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EECO Asks Why Podcast

Author: Electrical Equipment Company

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Welcome to EECO Ask’s Why – A podcast that dives into industrial manufacturing topics and spotlights the heroes that keep America running. On this weekly podcast, we do not cover the latest features and benefits on products that come to market. Instead, we focus on advice and insight from the top minds of industry because people and ideas will be how America remains number one in manufacturing in the world.
80 Episodes
How do you build an engaged team?  It can be extremely difficult especially in today's business climate as everyone learns how to move forward with COVID.  The game is changing and Nirpal Sihota brings wonderful insight and wisdom on how he is addressing this and seeing amazing results. He defines an engaged team as when people feel comfortable and confident in bringing their best self to work on everything they do.  As a leader that doesn't happen over night and Nirpal unpacks areas to consider to begin changing the game for all team members, like taking ownership and creating alignment. Sometimes there simply isn't alignment between parties and he walks through how not addressing that creates friction and at the end of the day sometimes making the decisions to find alternative paths may be best for overall growth. Nirpal is a big basketball fan and connects the dots on how his Golden State Warriors team approaches building synergy in their team and how that has a direct correlation to business.  This is an information packed episode that will challenge your thinking and taking notes along the way.  Remember you are only as good as your team and being intentional about building the best team possible is critical for success in the future. Guest: Nirpal Sihota - Director of Industry Sales at Rockwell AutomationHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsResources:The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni Silos, Politics and Turf Wars by Patrick Lencioni Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni Great quotes from Nirpal:"A good manager would actually help get the fire issue resolved and then pull that person's head back up and say, okay, now let's get above those forest trees again.""Worrying oftentimes is just planning for the worst.""People have to be willing to go ask that question and say, can I learn from you? Can you help me on this?"
Jason Simon is making big waves by helping those wanting to begin a career in industry learn the skills necessary to hit the ground running.  After serving his country as a United States Marine, he transitioned to a role in education and fell in love with training others.  He had the opportunity to lead AMTEC and develop cutting edge training solutions. Workforce attrition is a major issue in industry and Jason is helping the rubber meet the road by truly bridging the education/industry gap.  He is an avid outdoorsman and fitness plays a big role in his life.  He began competing in ultra marathons - imagine 50 miles without stopping!  On his last run he burned approximately 21,000 calories and walks us through some of the planning it took to pull that off.  He shares about the farm he has where they grow the majority of the food for his family of six children and how faith plays a huge part in his life. Jason Simon is a family man with a heart for serving others. After hearing his story you'll quickly realize why he is one of our heroes!Guest: Jason Simon - Director at AMTECHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsResources:Joe Rogan PodcastDave Ramsey PodcastCatholic in a Small Town PodcastThe Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday EECO's Inspire Blog: Closing the Industrial Skills GapFAME - Federation for Advanced Manufacturing EducationAMTEC WebsiteJason's contact information: Phone (270) 686-4616Wonderful quotes from Jason:"If I can raise my children in a way that they go out and make the world a better place, then I feel like I've left my mark.""I personally believe that the biggest difference I can make in this world is within my four walls."
With so many metrics out there in industry OEE stands out as important for all manufacturers to understand.  Mike Caccia walks through the different components of OEE and how that can be impacted in the industrial environment. He discusses production, event and fault data and how that affects the important KPI's that management focuses on.  An analogy of a three legged stool is discussed and shows the importance of each factor of OEE and how they affect each other.  In order to have maximum availability, performance and quality each must have an intense focus in order for all three areas to improve to desired operation metrics. It is quite the juggling act for manufacturers to manage and when done correctly can make significant impact to meeting market demand and overall business bottom lines.  Mike also discusses who is typically involved in the OEE management and steps they can take to better understand this critical metric.  Thank you Mike for unpacking the crucial topic of OEE for the EECO Asks Why listeners.Guest: Mike Caccia - Product Manager at EECO Host: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsResources:EECO Inspire Blog - OEE and Cascading Objectives
Zach White is an amazing coach for engineers and shares his story on this hero episode. After graduating from Purdue he had a great opportunity at Whirlpool and from there found that his passion was helping others grow in their careers.  He took a leap of faith and created OACO and has never looked back.  Zach shares about his passion for serving others and some of the innovative items he's pursuing.  He has a great way of getting others to realize the potential that exists within and helps them build the confidence needed to keep moving forward.He loves spending time outdoors and riding horses with his wife is always high on his list.  He shares an interesting hobby of acrobatic yoga and how he highly recommends that for all couples wanting to connect at a deeper level.  Zach is making such an impact in many peoples lives and we are proud to call him one of our Heroes! Guest: Zach White, CEO at OACOHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsResources:Lifestyle Engineering Blueprint 30 Day ChallengeHow to Win Friends and Influence PeopleThe 48 Laws of PowerMasteryAwaken the Giant WithinThe Tim Ferriss Show Wonderful quotes from Zach:If you want to change someone's life, believe in them more than they believe in themselves.Life's Purpose Statement: I am an Oasis along life's journey that gives you courage to walk on.
Joe Frank leads us through a discussion about the power of network assessments.  As the old saying goes “you have to know where you are to get to know where you’re going”.  This rings so true for industrial networks and the network assessment is key to getting started on the right foot. Joe discusses the ins and outs of an assessment for all the items on the physical layer.  He discusses what he looks for in an assessment for items such as grounding, cabling, switches, and the overall environment.Security is such an important issue for all industries and understanding the risks is covered in a good assessment.  Areas such as physical and how key equipment is protected are all important.   Open ports or cabinets without locks are weak areas from a security standpoint and should be corrected quickly. Joe also discusses IT/OT convergence and how an assessment can be impactful for both sides of the table.He has wonderful experiences that he shares about which could make a huge impact for others as they assess their own situations.  Network assessments are crucial to building a robust, powerful, and safe industrial network.    Guest: Joe Frank - Industrial Network Engineer at EECO Host: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsResources:EECO Inspire Blog: Do You Think You Have the Best Network Architecture in PlaceEECO Inspire Blog: What to Consider with Industrial Networks
This episode provides a unique perspective on how to tie business goals with the OT network.  Amos Purdy has an illustrious background with having a Masters in both Electrical Engineering and Business Administration.  He had a passion to learn how to speak the language for everyone on both the technical and business side of a company.  He provides great insight on how operations and business leaders can align to achieve better results together. So often, as with IT and OT, the barrier of understanding is around knowing what is important to both sides. Amos speaks to how engineers could invest more time in learning from other departments and how to help them achieve their goals.  He unpacks how reviewing with HR or accounting can reveal areas to improve the company and could reveal areas for future investments. Understanding all the numbers and how processes impact them is critical for alignment with OT and business goals. The capabilities of manufacturing continue to grow.  New technologies will continue to disrupt, and operations will impact the success of many organizations.  Ensuring everything aligns to business goals is key to the desired growth moving forward. Guest: Amos Purdy - Lead Systems Engineer at Global Process AutomationHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsResources: EECO Inspire Blog: What to Consider with Industrial NetworksNIST FrameworkConnect with GPA on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, or visit their Website.
K Sorsenginh breaks down how Ethernet/IP and interoperability converge in industry.  Interoperability is the ability of a machine or product being able to exchange or send information and the other node that is receiving it can process and utilize the information.  When you begin to utilize Ethernet/IP the ability to move data throughout an industrial environment becomes even more critical.  K does a great job of breaking down these terms for those new to industrial networks while going deep in some areas for those that want to learn more.He speaks about the importance of open vendor device association (ODVA) and how that ensures manufacturers follow the same guidelines to ensure interoperability.  From there K unpacks device profiles and how its important to understand the different profiles to best utilize them in your system design. For those looking to expand their industrial network K’s wisdom is sure to help you achieve the desired results and have a robust and connected facility.  Guest: K Sorsenginh Solution Architect at EECOHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsAdditional Resources:EECO Inspire Blog: Interoperability and Ethernet/IPEECO Inspire Blog: Ethernet/IP and Operability
Scott McNeil is the expert in all things WiFi and does a phenomenal job of breaking down what exactly is industrial WiFi.  He walks thru the hardware and client requirements as there is a wide variety of things that impact a system and zoning in on the key objectives is key.  Connectivity is critical with an industrial WiFi system and ensuring that those that need access to the network can do so in a safe, reliable and secure environment. The industrial environment can be challenging and reducing interference is important for a robust design.   Scott talks about some of the most challenging areas he's experienced with WiFi and items to explore on the plant floor. As smart manufacturing and industry 4.0 initiatives are becoming more and more prevalent a strong industrial WiFi design will ensure the data and processes that are important will be able to operate as desired as industry continues to grow in the future.Scott is a passionate engineer and loves sharing his expertise around the topic of Industrial WiFi.  Be sure to follow Scott's blog where he digs deeper into these and other industrial networking topics. Guest: Scott McNeil - Senior Network and Security Engineer at GPAHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsResources: Industrial Wifi ShopEECO's Inspired Blog "Industrial WiFi 101"
In this episode Chase Boehlke gives a great breakdown of what a soft starter is and where they fit best in industrial settings. He walks us through how to properly size the solution as this can be an area that people struggle with.  He digs deep on applications to help understand when soft starters are not the best solutions.   Finally he reviews when other alternatives should be considered. Chase brings a tremendous amount of knowledge to this topic and we hope you find the information helpful. Thank you Chase for shedding so much light on the exciting topic of soft starters!Guest: Chase Boehlke - Motion Control at Siemens. Host: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsAdditional Resources:
Jonathan Fuller is a rising star in industry and loves helping others solve their problems.  As the Automation and Power Product Manager, he is on the front lines with manufacturing and loves the different challenges he faces while striving to bring the best solutions to the table. For those that support industry, it is well known that no two days are the same and that is something Jonathan enjoys about his journey.  He graduated from the University of South Carolina and is a proud Gamecock.  He's had several customer supporting roles but finds great joy in his ability to work directly with end users across the state of South Carolina. He speaks about the knowledge gap in industry and how one of his most impactful professors challenged him to be the best engineer possible.  That professor demanded upfront research and taught Jonathan the importance of individual effort.  It also opened his eyes on how to ask for help after doing solid research independently.  At home Jonathan has a wonderful wife and son that keep him busy.  He's an avid woodworker and all around cool guy.  This is an inside look at one of our Heroes!Guest: Jonathan Fuller - Automation & Power Automation Product Manager at Electrical Equipment Company.Host: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam Sheets
The pandemic has thrown everyone for a loop and learning how to communicate with others virtually is becoming a necessary skill.  But how do you learn this skill and what do you need to know to move forward?In this episode, Tim Pollard shares some of what he and his team at Oratium live out every day.  Tim's mission is to help everyone be better communicators. He recognized very quickly that as more communication is shifting to a virtual platform that the game changed dramatically and those that master this skill will lead the way in the future. He has written several best selling books around communication and breaks down several areas that he sees as most important for everyone.No matter what role you're in (manufacturing, engineering, sales, quality, etc...) learning some of these tips can have a positive impact on your career.  Simple things such as microphones, camera position and how to properly utilize lighting can have such an impact on the quality of a virtual engagement.  Make the decision today that you want to be a better communicator on virtual platforms and follow Tim's guidance to get started.  We encourage anyone that wants to learn more about Oratium and how they can support your efforts to reach out to them via the resources below.  Guest: Tim Pollard - Founder and CEO at Oratium Host: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsResources:The Compelling CommunicatorMastering the Moment Design and Deliver the Virtual Sales Message - wonderful elearning opportunityQuotes from Tim that are guaranteed to make an impact!"I'll give you the best tip in the world...have all of your customer conversations in the morning because zoom fatigue is real." "TRAPS - Technology, Remove Distractions, Ambience, Prompts, Sound""Get the meeting onto the platform you know best."
Our hero, Matt Hussey, grew up in the Pittsburg area and graduated from the University of Pittsburg with a degree in Mechanical Engineering (side note his minor is Nuclear Engineering which means he loves a challenge). In this episode Matt walks us thru his career and offers insight and advice to what has helped him grow professionally.  He embraced new opportunities that opened a door to make an impact in the electrical industry.  He speaks  about how we shouldn't let our degrees dictate our futures and how, with his mechanical background, he knew he could bring value to the electrical industry. Man was he right!  Matt now leads the effort at Eaton in their low voltage motor control center solutions and has been involved in several areas of innovation.He also is an active social media influencer and proudly unpacks how his solutions are making an impact for others.  He was instrumental in starting a social media campaign called "Factory Floor Friday" where he and other Eaton team members share awesome insight to solutions in production (talk about an inside look)!  In his time away from work Matt enjoys home bar tendering and has the secret to making the best "Old Fashioned" you ever tasted.  He also enjoys making his own bar-b-que and for those in North Carolina you can relate to how big a treat that is. Matt is making industry better every day and it's his type of leadership, vision and inspiration that will continue to lead America as a leader of manufacturing and engineering in the future! Guest: Matt Hussey - Low Voltage MCC Product Manager at Eaton.Host: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsResources:IEEELinkedIn - Follow #FactoryFloorFriday
Sit back and dream for a minute about what areas of your manufacturing process could be enhanced if it had a digital solution. Perhaps items such as scheduling are still being done via a manual process.  What if there were options available to enhance some of these areas that make a significant impact? In this episode Bill Migirditch unpacks this idea and discusses several ways manufacturers could begin embracing digitization and areas of low hanging fruit to consider. Think about how much data gets collected on clipboards still today.  As technology evolves the ability to automate how the data is collected and enhance decision making by utilizing real time in the moment intel is possible.  The sky is the limit and embracing the changing landscape is important. Bill discusses how a quick win up front goes a LONG way in winning over advocates and build momentum for a true manufacturing digitalization culture. There are many nuggets of wisdom in this conversation and they are all done in hopes to inspire those in manufacturing grow and be leaders in their markets. Guest:  Bill Migirditch - Manager of Manufacturing Systems at RovisysHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsResources:Rovisys Digital Transformation Information John Vargo - Rovisys' Director MES/DSC NOTE: Since this recording Bill transitioned to a new role as Digital Pursuit Desk Consultant at Rockwell Automation - we wish Bill the best in his new adventure! 
Brett Melancon is a rising star in Engineering and shares his passion for industry. He loves technology in electric vehicles and had opportunities in his career to grow his knowledge in that space.  Currently at Bühler he's working on many projects and some are tied directly to the medical field which impacts so many people. With the rapid development of the medical field it's directly impacting manufacturing which can be challenging and exciting at the same time. Typical 3 year projects are being completed in 50 weeks which shows how intense and exhilarating manufacturing can be. Brett provides great advice for those new to industry and engineering. The big areas he shared were cooperation and flexibility. To be the most impactful team member mastering the art of cooperating with others to accomplish tasks is key.  Also, any chance you can expand your expertise into other areas should be viewed positively.  Being flexible to trying new things is how we grow and Brett see's this as a key differentiator. He loves being outdoors and is also a big foodie. He loves trying new foods with his wife and his favorite is Oxtail (don't knock it before you try it). Brett's "why" is that he loves learning and teaching others. He is one of our heroes and will continue to make a huge impact to help many people in the future. Guest:  Brett Melancon - Electrical Project Engineer at Bühler Motor Host: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam Sheets
Companies that embrace digital transformation will be able to attract great talent in the future.  That in itself should be enough to get everyone on the train.  In this episode Tessa Myers unpacks how companies can begin a digital transformation journey that leads to success.  This topic can be confusing and knowing where to get started is tricky.  Tessa gives examples to consider around some of the new technologies that are developing and how to use this newly available data can improve manufacturing.  With analytics and predictive algorithms available companies are making huge leaps and bounds in improvements.  She expands how digital transformation can impact areas such as maintenance.  The days of time based maintenance can be behind us when new technologies are embraced.  Think Big & Act Small - great advice from Tessa on how to begin a digital transformation journey in manufacturing.  Focusing on the scalable opportunities that will yield large improvement across the board even if they start in a small way.  She gives examples on how this can work and practical ways others can begin journey.  Before beginning your digital transformation voyage don't miss what Tessa shares as it will put you on the path to success in the future. Guest:  Tessa Myers - Global Vice President, Software & Control at Rockwell AutomationHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam Sheets
If you're looking for inspiration this conversation hits the mark.  Jack Lawson shares many lessons and stories he had throughout his stellar career.  Jack served as the President and CEO at EECO and was able the lead through several areas of significant change.  In fact being a "change agent" was something he remembers fondly and gives wonderful advice for those that truly want to make an impact around them. From implementing the first computer system, fax machine and automated inventory system he saw how the world around him was changing and how he needed to prepare people to be able to serve the changing needs of the market.Jack shares about how his mentors shaped his thinking and ultimately taught him what not to do.  His leadership style was one of compassion and great vision.  Throughout all of this he mentions that at his retirement his daughters told him they never once felt like he wasn't there.  That speaks to the character of Jack and how he never lost focus on the most important things in life.He shares his love of music and how his life has transitioned to a wonderful family farmhouse that started with a massive renovation project.  From that project they now have two rental properties and guests from all over visit on a consistent basis.  Jack has a positive outlook on life and his wisdom and insight made such an impact on so many people and continues to make an impact wherever he is to this day.  Sit back and enjoy this story from one of our heroes!  Guest: Jack Lawson Host: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsResources:The Immortals - Jack Wray, Jack Lawson, Richard Cowles, and Jeff Wray Don't Wait - album by Jack Lawson Weldan Pond Wells Cabin InformationDaniel Cottage InformationThe Oz Principle - cultural leadership material Jack recommends
 A load flow study (LFS) determines proper loading as well as whether the proper voltage is maintained at each circuit due to voltage drop. In simpler terms, it helps to determine how much current load you have and whether the equipment is overloaded or not. Kareem Josephs shares what is needed to get started on a load flow study.  Items specific to the total load demand in the facility are factors that will play into the LFS.  Kareem explains how often a LFS should occur and what changing variables should be considered in a system to warrant a study outside of that general timeframe.  He also shares how to take the data in a LFS and make system enhancements to ensure safe and reliable operation of expanded electrical load.  Risk mitigation is key for all electrical system owners and a LFS can be a great way to understand areas of concern and help facilitate a roadmap of modernization for necessary future enhancements.  Guest: Kareem Josephs, Lead Power Systems EngineerHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsResources:Eaton Load Flow Video EECO Inspire Blog: What is a Load Flow StudyEECO Inspire Blog: What Testing is Important for Electrical Distribution Systems?EECO Inspire Blog: What Testing Should I Do? 
In this episode Dan Leeman breaks down what an arc flash study (AFS) is and how to use that information to make better decisions in the future to enhance safety and reliability.  The AFS takes a holistic look at the entire electrical power system, all the way down to the individual piece of equipment that is being reviewed. An AFS gives valuable information about voltage class and characteristics, incident energy – the arc energy at a distance from electrical equipment, limited approach distances and PPE required to service the equipment. Dan walks thru what you should expect from an AFS and how you can take that information to prioritize modernization efforts in the future.  He also reviews how often these studies should be performed and how to best showcase the results on your equipment to ensure all personnel are aware of the potential that exists with every piece of equipment.  At the core of the WHY for an AFS is ensuring you're doing all you can to keep people safe and provide a roadmap to mitigate areas of concern within an electrical system.  Guest: Dan Leeman - District Services Manager at EatonHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsResources:EECO Inspire Blog: What is an Arc Flash StudyEECO Inspire Blog: What Testing is Important for Electrical Distribution Systems?EECO Inspire Blog: What Testing Should I Do? 
A great way to enhance safety and reliability in an electrical system is by performing a coordination study.  In this episode Kareem Josephs explains what a coordination study is and how it can positively impact end users.  Picture in your mind a set of dominoes.  For each domino to fall the previous one has to "trip" and then causes the next action to occur.  This happens all the way thru the setup to the last domino which ultimately falls.  A coordination study evaluates an electrical system to ensure you have the right size dominoes and also that they are properly designed in the system to trip when the proper criteria occurs.  Hence you don't start a line of dominoes off half way thru - well maybe if your younger sibling set them up but we digress. We've all experienced the frustration of nuisance tripping of loads and cranking up the setpoint may be a short term fix but that could open up a larger problem in the future.  Kareem does a fantastic job of explaining the importance of a coordination study and why they are important for industry in the future. Guest: Kareem Josephs, Lead Power Systems EngineerHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsResources:Art and Science of Protective Relaying EECO Inspire Blog: What is a Coordination StudyEECO Inspire Blog: What Testing is Important for Electrical Distribution Systems?EECO Inspire Blog: What Testing Should I Do? 
Entering an electrical room can be unsettling for those new to industry.  How do you keep yourself safe in these environments?  Dan Leeman is an expert in this space and walks thru practical ways you can ensure a safe engagement with electrical gear.  Dan reviews how being proactive with visual inspections will give tons of data that you can act on.  He unpacks terms such as limited approach and restricted approach boundary which define the safe distances that personnel can engage by each piece of equipment.  There are different restrictions also depending on if the person is qualified or unqualified.  Dan explains the differences and for anyone that ever has to enter these areas this is important knowledge to have.  Most of all he explains why it is everyone's personal responsibility to keep themselves safe and understanding the environment in an electrical room is key to success.  For our heroes in industry who engage with this equipment regularly stay safe and share your knowledge with others - it could save their life. Guest: Dan Leeman - District Services Manager at EatonHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsResources:EECO Inspire Blog: How Close to My Electrical Equipment Can I Get?EECO Inspire Blog: What Testing is Important for Electrical Distribution Systems?EECO Inspire Blog: What Testing Should I Do? 
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