Contact Us    1-800-249-1612  

Newsletter Issue # 30

Real Time Automation's - Best Darn Newsletter 

What's Your 'Why'?
Why You'll Love Working with RTA
Fun Facts and Trivia

Get your free RTA reversible pocket screwdriver this month only!

Take our quick, 5 question survey by June 17th to claim your steal of the month!

May 4, 2016
Modbus Security
April 26, 2016
Implement Messaging Devices in a PLC Environment
April 20, 2016
Messaging Devices Don’t Get No Respect
April 18, 2016
IOT – The Elephant in the Room
April 8, 2016
Still a Thrill: OPC UA Device Discovery
April 4, 2016
ARCX Wins Automotive Project with Help from RTA

What's Your 'Why'?

If You’re Not Differentiating Your Product or Service Somehow, There’s No Reason to Open the Doors.

A Column of personal opinion by John Rinaldi, Founder and Owner of Real Time Automation.

At some point in our careers as engineers, most of us entertain the notion of kissing the cubicle goodbye and going out on our own. I’ve heard all sorts of reasons—passion for your work, special skills, a dislike for the boss…I’ve heard them all. The most common format for their reasoning is this: “I really love doing [blank], so why should I do [blank] for these guys when I can do just as good of a job or an even better job for myself?”

Engineers love to follow that up with a version of, “If I build it, they will come.” I’m certain it’s a malady we picked up during our engineering education—calculus must compromise the immune system!

What’s a symptom of this infection? One example is, “I’m really good at [blank] type of design or development, so I could be really successful in the [blank] business.” Another symptom is arrogance when it comes to seriously considering the other important skills you need to run a business. Engineering is all that matters—while you’re in engineering school. Once, when I inquired about a budding entrepreneur’s sales skills, he told me, “I went on a sales call once. It doesn’t seem that hard to do.”

As important as competence is in any discipline, it’s still not the most important factor; the “WHY” of your business is. The fact that you like PLC programming or make great pizzas isn’t a reason to be in business. There are already really good pizzas — take a look at my waistline for proof—and the same goes for oil change shops, dry cleaners, golf stores and convenience stores. If you’re not differentiating your product or service somehow, there’s no reason to open the doors.

Look at our company, for example. In 2004, in an Alabama Automotive plant, I was trying to integrate a gateway that I’ll call a “BlueKitty” in order to protect the not-so-innocent. All I needed to do was have the BlueKitty grab two single points of Modbus temperature data and show them on its little display. It’s almost too painful to relive, but, in the end, during that two-week drama there were fifteen calls to technical support, ten to fifteen hours of reading the 185-page manual, and innumerable attempts at integration (I lost count in Week 2).

In that Alabama plant, everything that can go wrong with industrial automation products did. A vendor with an amazing product full of exceptional features. A horribly complex and undecipherable user interface. A long, complex and incomprehensible manual. And a technical support team that couldn’t (I hope it wasn’t wouldn’t!) support us.

On the bright side, that incident turned out to be the genesis for my passion: to change the way these kinds of automation products are created and commissioned. That experience was the motivation behind the RTA mission to deliver simplicity, true ease-of-use and exceptional support. It also led directly to the development of ways that we bring something different to the table. It’s so important, that every 18 months or so I devote an entire issue of this newsletter to the RTA “WHY.” On the next two pages you’ll find the reasons why RTA is in business. It’s what all of us personally promise to deliver. It’s why we get up in the morning. It’s why we go to work. It’s what we want to deliver every day, every week and every year.

Our Promises. Count on them.



- John





· The first day of summer is called the summer solstice. What does the term solstice mean in Latin?

· According to custom in the US, what color pants can only be worn during the summer months between Memorial Day and Labor Day?

· What common summer treat is 92% water, and part of the cucumber, pumpkin, and squash family?

· Who did the Ancient Romans and Greeks blame for the extreme temperatures, drought, sickness, and discomfort that came in late summer?


Answers located on bottom of page.


Why You'll Love Working with RTA

YOU’LL TALK TO A REAL PERSON… Sure, we could use an automated phone system. It’s cheaper than humans and it would make our life easier, but that’s not the point – we’re here to make your life easier. RTA is, first and foremost, a customer service company whose priority is to solve your problems. Can’t do that if some automated system comes between us. Your call is going to get answered by a real live human. That real live human is going to either answer your question immediately or find someone who can. THAT’S OUR PROMISE.

YOU’LL FIND SIMPLER IS BETTER… You’re smart enough to know that the true cost of a gateway is its deployment time, not its price tag. Every gateway company promises you an “easy-to-use” experience. I don’t doubt their sincerity but they’re big, bureaucratic companies that believe in building very complex products that can meet every application problem with the same little black box that they ship all over the planet. You won’t get that from a smaller, customer focused team like RTA. Instead of a box that is designed to meet the needs of 500 different customers, with a gazillion features you don’t need, you’ll get a box that does THE ONE THING YOU WANT IT DO. THAT’S OUR PROMISE.

YOU’LL FIND IT IN STOCK… Our products aren’t manufactured or stocked in Sweden or Germany or Fiji for that matter. We’re Americans and our products are built, configured and shipped right here in the good old USA. Our boxes are stocked right next to the game room with the pool table, the dart board and the foosball table (we’re a competitive bunch). We do that intentionally so that our shipping people are right there to ship exactly the product you need and get it to you exactly when you need it. THAT’S OUR PROMISE.

YOU’LL GET IT WHEN YOU NEED IT… It’s inevitable. It’s 3, 4 or even 5 o’clock in the afternoon and you need something. Sometimes it’s somebody confusing a 24VDC with 240VDC (that zero really does make a difference) who lets out all the magic smoke so now you need another unit and you need it fast. Because it’s too late for the regular pickup, we’ll drive it over to the FedEx or UPS so that it’s there for you in the early A.M. And for those emergencies when that doesn’t work, we’ve been known to get in the car and drive it right to your dock ourselves. We once drove a box 500 miles to a factory in St. Louis making it just in time for third shift. You’ll get your gateway when you need it. THAT’S OUR PROMISE.

YOU’LL GET AWESOME SUPPORT… Here’s our goal - when you run into a problem, you’ll have the same kind of awesome experience we‘ve heard past customers talk about:

 “…Your support staff was excellent, even to the point of getting me an early release of firmware to meet my requirements...”

“Their support person is so skilled he could be an effective hostage negotiator!”

Want to read more examples?

If you have to call for support you’ll get that same level of interest, patience and attention. THAT’S OUR PROMISE

YOU’LL GET IT YOUR WAY… No, we’re not talking about the flame broiled whopper from Burger King. We know that sometimes our product just needs a little tweak or a little bit of custom code to make it perfect for your application. You may have your own unique protocol, it would really help if your data was scaled, summarized or manipulated in some way, or you need a whole new custom product for a special application. We’ll do any and all that for you. And you’ll be working with an engineering team that has delivered custom industrial applications for almost 30 years. We’ll get it done and get it done right. Just the way you want it. THAT’S OUR PROMISE.

YOU’LL ENJOY WORKING WITH US… We’ve always been a unique company. Whether it’s our KanJam contests in the parking lot, our Polar Plunge on a freezing New Year’s morning, or our plaid shorts day, we like to have fun and that shows in our attitude and work ethic. Our philosophy is to work hard and play harder. Smiling and laughing are important and an integral part of our culture. So, when you’re one of our customers you might get a backwards running clock, a computer mouse with a real bug in it or some other very odd gift. We run a serious business but we want to make sure we smile ….and make you smile along the way. THAT’S OUR PROMISE.

MORE THAN JUST ANOTHER BUSINESS… You deal with lots of businesses; caterers, auto dealerships, bakeries, barber shops, bars, restaurants – the list really is endless. All those business exist to make money and we applaud that. Capitalism is about making money. If we aren’t making money we can’t provide you with the excellent service and support that you deserve. But in our view, a business should be about something other than making money. After all, the world doesn’t need another pizza restaurant with a 30 minute delivery. It doesn’t need another low end dollar store. It doesn’t need another boring auto dealership and it surely doesn’t need another “me too!” strip mall. That’s why we’re different. We’re unique. Unique in how we market, how we deliver and how we talk with our customers and how we approach life and business. We’re one of the few American-owned industrial automation companies. We manufacture, stock and support our products right here in the USA. We provide a five-year warranty, and a team of experts to give you unparalleled customer service 12hrs/day. We’re unique and you’ll love working with us. THAT’S OUR PROMISE.









Fun Facts

·Memorial Day was originally designated to honor those who died in the Civil War. Later it was changed to honor all Americans who had given their lives serving the country.

·On Memorial Day, the flag is supposed to be flown at half-mast until noon, and then raised to full mast until sunset.

·Every Memorial Day weekend, the Rolling Thunder group brings millions of motorcycle riders who ride to Washington D.C. in a display of patriotism while demonstrating to raise awareness for all POW/MIAs.

·The tradition of wearing red poppies on Memorial Day originated from John McCrae's 1915 poem In Flanders Fields.



March Survey Results

My first experience with computing technology was:

  • A slide rule- 32.14%
  • Oregon Trail on Floppy - 58.93%
  • Oregon Trail on CD - 5.36%
  • Oregon Trail Streamed - 3.57%

What is your level of education?

  • High School Diploma - 8.93%
  • Technical Degree - 26.79%
  • Bachelors - 50.00%
  • Secondary Degree - 7.14%
  • Other - 7.14%

How near is your retirement dream?

  • 1-5 years - 10.71%
  • 5-10 years - 8.93%
  • 10-20 years - 19.64%
  • 20-30 years - 39.29%
  • You'll find me dead at this desk! - 21.43%

You have won dinner with one of the following celebrities, which do you pick to dine with?

  • Justin Bieber - 14.29%
  • Burt Bacharach - 7.14%
  • Neil DeGrasse Tyson - 26.79%
  • Jamie Hyneman - 51.79%


Want to be part of our next set of survey results? Visit to sign up for our steal of the month to join in on the fun!



  Trivia Answers: Sun stand still; White; Watermelon; Sirius

Need help? Call our Expert Support Team: 1-800-249-1612