Online Training

What Training Material Is Available Online for Machine Builders?

By Katherine Bonfante

Recently, I adopted a dog and couldn't be happier. He barks, he plays, and he seems to respond to my commands. Come. Stay. Sit… Yet, there are so many other things I would like my dog to do. I've been reading blogs and online training suggestions, and I've found enough information for successful at-home dog training sessions. In a couple of weeks I'll have my dog fetching the newspaper, turning off lights and obediently walking unleashed.

These online searches got me thinking about what training material is available online for machine builders. The current economic situation has forced the automation industry to cut personnel and budgets, and these cuts now require the remaining employed professionals to learn new skills. How do you train on a small budget? This is when online training material comes in handy. has training material, tips and techniques stored in our vault. It's available for the industry professionals at any time and at no cost.

Year after year, the industry suffers from a shortage of young job candidates who have formal automation training. Senior Technical Editor Dan Hebert writes in "How to Build an Automation Professional" that the industry runs on professionals with two-year technical degrees or four-year engineering backgrounds. However, machine builders, system integrators and vendors get training through on-the-job hands-on practice.

In our article "How Should We Train?" a reader was concerned that his company limits training and certification programs to EEs and MEs. As younger talent joins the industry, companies are concerned with the cost/time/benefit of various certifications such as the IEEE's Certified Software Development Professional program, ISA's CAP and CCST for technicians, and SME's CMfgE.

Which training programs should companies have for degreed and non-degreed employees? Our article at explains how our industry experts tackled this question.

If you are looking for training courses, don't forget to visit our Training & Certification Center at Here you will find a compilation of educational opportunities and resources for the process instrumentation, control and automation community. Just check out upcoming sessions such as ISA's Understanding and Tuning Control Loops, June 21-23, in Houston.

Hopefully is your No. 1 destination when it comes to searching for online training material and machine builder news. The Web is full of insightful information and most of it is available to you at no cost. Be like me, take advantage of the free training material and hone your skills.