Testing & Training Room
By: Justin Gilg, Electrical Engineer Co-Op Student
In order to meet customer needs and requirements Huffman Engineering, Inc. has its own in-house testing and training room. Within this room, there are various PLCs and electrical components which can be used to test programs and features. Also found in the testing/training room are a wide range of PLC devices including Allen-Bradley PLCs, HMIs, Siemens PLCs, and more. As Huffman Engineering, Inc. continues to grow so does its training room and its capabilities. In the last year, the testing and training room has been moved to a larger area in order to accommodate more people and devices.
One of the benefits of having an in-house testing room is it allows our engineers to test their programs on a physical device before going on-site; therefore, creating a more robust program and minimizing the amount of on-site work needed for testing the program. This also means that our engineers have more hands-on experience with different PLCs and are able to train on these devices. When engineers have downtime between projects they have the opportunity to utilize the training room to train on different programs; this is helpful since there is such a wide arrange of hardware to learn and understand.
The room also provides a unique opportunity for customers who are unsure of what they’re looking for to come in and have Huffman Engineering provide different products, programs, tools, and idea to help the customer move in the direction they are looking for. It allows the team at Huffman Engineering to expand their range in helping a customer and identifying their needs. Another example of the training room being useful to Huffman Engineering, Inc. is when a customer has a change that is needed on an existing PLC requiring a programmer to go onsite. By having an in-house PLC, the engineers are able to go online with the same type of PLC found onsite; testing as much as they can without having the external devices. This ability to test at Huffman Engineering’s own facility provides the Huffman team the capability to work problems out in-house, in turn allowing onsite work to flow smoothly and speed up the implementation process.
An additional example of when the training room is beneficial is during the design portion of a project. By having multiple PLCs available, Huffman Engineering, Inc. can quickly identify limitations each PLC has and where some stand above the others due to the features and efficiency. Allowing Huffman Engineering to choose the best device suitable to the customer’s needs and requirements.
It’s a unique opportunity that sets Huffman Engineering in a position to better adapt to their customer’s needs during a project. But it also provides an in-house training facility for engineers to continue their learning on hardware like Rockwell and Siemens. With the availability, it has provided the hands-on training capability needed to continually be successful in the industry.