It’s A Crazy World Out There…

I don’t think that I’m crazy. Well, I usually don’t think it anyway but is the world getting crazier and crazier?

Hearing from lots of customers and they are telling me stories that make my hair curl. At least they would make my hair curl if I had hair. Maybe makeing my skin crawl is a better analogy.

Craziness #1. Customer number one has a messaging device. By messaging devices I mean those kinds of devices that send message packets as opposed to I/O. This particular customer has little presence in any networked-based automation application as they don’t have any networking capability. Sounded fine. That’s my best customer. RTA helps customers get networked-enabled. I gave him a very cost effective way to get EtherNet/IP and Modbus TCP enabled.

Here’s the craziness. Their management has decreed that they can’t spend any money. No investment at all. Nothing. Even if it expands the number of customers that might want their product. Just nuts to not expand your market when sales are down.

Craziness #2. This customer is a large manufacturing concern in Michigan. They’ve been around a long time and use VME extensively. Unfortunately, VME isn’t very popular any more. There are no spare parts and it is only a matter of time until this house of cards falls apart. But guess what? Management says we aren’t spending any money. That will last until the production line goes down. Then it will be a fire drill and I’ll get a bunch of extra money from them. OK with me.

Craziness #3. Another guy is telling me that he is going to use free EtherNet/IP, free Modbus TCP and as soon as he can find it, free Profinet IO. In the end it will cost him more than if he had bought everything from me. But no one will really know. His costs will be in travel, additional engineering labor, customer dissatisfaction and lost opportunities to do other projects. His accountants and management won’t be able to measure that cost. But he is getting that software for free…

Maybe it’s time for me to go a little crazy. I think I’ll run for Congress. Normal rules don’t apply and craziness is expected.

Please send your John Rinaldi for Congress donations to my office. Cash only. Unmarked bills.