Industrial Automation: Hands On

Well, its official: after something like three years from initially concepting the book I finally have it in my hands. Now the task of promoting it and leveraging it into a different career direction begins.

As I mentioned in a post a few months ago I was tasked with getting some people to review the book on Amazon. I had quite a few responses but could only choose ten people. Most of the reviewers have responded that they received the book from McGraw-Hill, and one has already completed his review, you can read it here. Two of the reviewers are fellow automation bloggers who occasionally comment on this site.

Details on what is in the book can be read on the Amazon link above, including the table of contents, but I’d like to mention a few things that you may find of interest that are not listed in the description:

1. An example of the same short PLC program written in the five IEC 61131-3 languages; Ladder, Instruction List, Structured Text, Function Block Diagram and Sequential Function Chart.

2. A list of all data types defined for PLCs.

3. A full explanation of NEMA and IEC IP enclosure ratings.

4. A list of the properties of plastics.

5. An extensive description of most touchscreen technologies.

6. A description of risk reduction categories for safety classifications.

7. An explanation of pneumatic and P&ID symbology.

8. Tables for wire gauge/ampacity/horsepower, resistor color codes, thermocouples and binary/octal/decimal/hexadecimal conversion.

9. Extensive coverage of Lean and Six-Sigma terminology.

10. A story of the concepting, quoting, sale, design, building and installation of a production line.

Of course like anyone who has ever spent a lot of time working on something, I am very proud of my book. As I have mentioned before, I do wish it was a bit less expensive so that it could be carried on the shelf in regular bookstores, but I didn’t have any input into the pricing. It is however sold through Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, Amazon and several other outlets.

If you type in the book name on Google or Yahoo the first thing that comes up is a blog by a guy in Europe. When McGraw-Hill changed the name of my book last summer I didn’t know about his site; when I found out I tried to get them to change it, but it was too late. If you type in the word “book” after “industrial automation hands on” of course you get mostly this book.

Anyway, the book is available now, and I hope lots of people like it and buy it. I really think it serves as a good introduction to the world of manufacturing and automation. It is purposefully general, I am trying to appeal to those who are either just getting into the field or want to learn about all of the other disciplines involved. People generally already know a lot about their own discipline, be it controls, electrical or mechanical design, industrial engineering or whatever. They also usually have resources from school or other training. It is harder to learn about other related fields without buying expensive textbooks or attending school, hopefully my book will help bridge the gap.

Usually I write posts on Sundays, but I am leaving on vacation tomorrow morning so I figured I’d post this today. I am headed to Seattle to see my oldest daughter Yuki get her MBA, then spending a few days in Victoria and Vancouver Canada. It looks cool and rainy up there as compared to the 90+ degree temperatures we have had here. So if its cold and rainy where you are: have you considered curling up with a good book? 😉


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