I do like the move that the industry is making toward local intelligence. It helps a lot in troubleshooting issues and keeps a lot of the spaghetti wiring to a minimum. In addition, it allows status feedback to the operators so that they can tell immediately what the problem is rather than having the maintenance engineer hook up a bunch of diagnostic equipment.
Not only is localized intelligence making life easier for problem solving and debugging, but the costs are becoming lower and lower which only helps drive the localized solution. Becoming more affordable will allow more solutions, and better designs, to occur with a minimal amount of fuss by engineers.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.