We recently received an e-mail commenting on the Feb 08 "How to Build an Automation Professional" cover story. Here's a summary: "I think it was a very good idea to point out the need for training and education in the field of automation. You know how much new stuff is being developed requiring training at some level. As an employee of Pepperl+Fuchs and a Board Member of AS-Interface USA I would like to make the following comments/suggestion. For many year we have offered our customers application specific training for our products. This means that once the customer has determined to purchase certain hardware components and systems from P+F, we are offering training that focuses on the exact application. We do that since we recognized that most professionals have very limited time and are much more open to a short and to the point classes. From an AS-Interface USA point of view, you should know the following. In 2008 (for the third time) we have scheduled six all day ASi training seminars. These are highly technical hands-on seminars. It is very typical that application problems are discussed; sometimes off-line, sometimes with the entire group. We had many participants telling us that initially they were afraid that this would be just another sales pitch with very little substance. After the seminars they told us that they learned a lot and liked the vendor neutral approach. Throughout the day, we have 4 speakers from competing companies and participants sometimes do not even know which company an individual works for. We take neutrality very serious. Thanks again for pointing out the importance of education! I feel very passionately about education in general and it is my firm belief that knowledge will be our only chance to retain our standard of living in the long run. We will never be the cheapest but we can be the best." Helge Hornis, Ph.D. Manager Intelligent Systems Group Pepperl+Fuchs, Inc. www.am.pepperl-fuchs.com What do you think about Hornis' statement that "We will never be the cheapest but we can be the best". Is this the path to success, and is training an integral part of it?