Lessons in Automation Part IV

Since I am out of the country for a few weeks I am featuring some writing from Doug Alward, Applications Engineer from Wright Industries. I have prepared these excerpts from the introduction to Doug’s book ahead of time; as you read this I am in Belize.

Lessons of Automation -Doug Alward


(continued from last week)

Buy and sell from one outsider to another with a common sad ending. Closed or bankrupt organizations and uncountable families of well educated, talented individuals left with no income and basic health care for their next generation. An amazing recurrence of excellence to outright failure.

These educated outsiders eventually resorted to, “Aw, you can’t make money in this business”. Tell that to those who you bought out at absurd multiples of book value as they bask on their yachts in Florida.
To the Accountants who reduced direct over head costs by terminating the clerical staff, leaving clerical work to be done by Project Managers charging $100 per hour to the job.

To the Operations Managers whose background was in manufacturing catalog widgets, paranoid of risk in an industry where you are designing and building one of a kind custom automation machinery.

To the Leaders who could hear but never could listen. Who didn’t comprehend that “we’re actually all in this together”.

To the families of very intelligent, capable, hard working engineers and skilled trades who were put into personal circumstances that they never should have to have been subjected to. Loss of pride. Loss of health care.

This is a story of the extraordinary brilliant people and the astonishing idiots. This is “Lessons of Automation”.

Hello from Guatemala!

This is the last part of the introduction to Doug’s book. Next week I will be back from my trip and look forward to working on another post.


Electrical Engineer and business owner from the Nashville, Tennessee area. I also play music, Chess and Go.