Exciting Announcement

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On May 22, 2018, Electric Innovations and its sister company Thompson Automation and Specialty Services were brought together as a stronger and even more dynamic technology integration company called Thompson Innovation.

Our strategic plan has always been focused on strengthening the technical capabilities and portfolio of solutions we can offer to our customers. This is another step in fulfilling our Corporate Mission: “To be the prime solution provider as recognized by our employees, customers and the communities we serve.”

Under the direction of General Managers, Tasha Barker and Jason Glover, Thompson Innovation will continue to passionately lead our solutions teams in:

  • Managed IT & Software
  • Life Safety & Security
  • Automation & Robotics
  • Electrical Safety & Preventative Maintenance

The addition of solutions previously provided by Thompson Automation and Specialty Services strengthens our ability to meet current and new customer’s needs as one company. For more information contact Thompson Innovation at 712-224-3800 or visit us at www.thompsoninnovation.net

The Industrial Internet of Things’ (IIoT) Should Matter to Your Manufacturing Operation

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Manufacturing operations of all shapes, sizes, and types are using the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to achieve substantial competitive advantages, and improve profits.

The Industrial Internet, also sometimes referred to as Industry 4.0, connects and links concepts such as big data, analytical tools and decision making, and connected networks with traditional industrial equipment.  It is about collecting and applying data to make better decisions, run facilities more efficiently, and in the end to improve profits. The IIoT is in the process of revolutionizing manufacturing.

Some ways that the IIoT has impacted traditional industrial manufacturers, food processors and those in agricultural processing is by improving the collection of system data that allows better record keeping, inspection tracking, and analysis. These help with the productivity of certain areas such as predictive maintenance, safety, and supply chain.  The IIoT advantages can be especially beneficial in those areas.

The IIoT can help your manufacturing operation in many different ways. Three of the main areas it can be beneficial the most in are 1) Preventative maintenance, by being able to better predict when your equipment will need servicing. 2) Safety, by providing reports and real-time updates to track events that can prevent accidents. Finally, 3) it helps with your supply chain by giving you visibility on your products before, during, and after shipments by the use of sensors, scales, or even encoders and tachometers.

The promises of the IIoT and the changes that Industry 4.0 are bringing are no longer “coming attractions”.  They are for companies that embrace the potential of the IIoT. There are substantial competitive advantages, increases in profit, and new opportunities abound.  This is a concept that deserves your attention.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact your IIoT experts at Thompson Automation. We have 30+ years of experience and are always willing to help in any way we can to improve your business. Contact us today at:

Phone: 844.321.3869

Email: help@thompsonspecialty.com

Website: www.thompsonspecialty.com

The Three Best Things to Do To Avoid OSHA Training Violations

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With OSHA’s clear message to all employers that more training needs to be completed in order to avoid violations, there are three main things that you can do in order to educate you and your employees of the importance of being compliant.

The first thing you can do is to start with education and a clear understanding of what OSHA is asking you to do. There are plenty of resources out there that can help you with that such as, the Training Requirements in OSHA Standards, and the NFPA 70E Handbook. These documents will be able to clearly explain what you need to do in order to get your employees properly trained. OSHA has now made it a requirement that the employer must train their employees. This means that in order to stay compliant and avoid violations you MUST have training complete.

The second thing is to check out the 270-page book that lists the overview and requirements of the OSHA standards. This is meant to assist employers, safety and health professionals, and training directors with what they need to know in order to keep their employees safe. Also check out the most cited violations for the past year. This will give you an idea on what to avoid and what to train your employees on.

The third thing to do would be to get started with your training schedule and keep track of what you are doing. One of the main questions that an OSHA investigator will ask is if your employees have received proper training. It’s better to have a program started rather than not at all. Keeping track of what you do shows that you are making the right steps forward.

Overlooking training isn’t something that we would recommend. It is better to get started now than to do nothing at all. Come to Thompson for your training needs, we are ready and willing to assist you in any way.

For more information regarding Thompson Training contact us at:

Phone: 844.321.3869

Email: help@thompsonspecialty.com

Website: www.thompsonspecalty.com

Do you trust your control systems integrator to have your best interest in mind?

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Is your Control Systems Integrator a business partner or do you think of them more as a car repair mechanic? Someone you only see when there is a problem and you never are quite certain if they are telling you a line or shooting you straight.  Do you ever have that feeling the mechanic isn’t doing something to your car to make you come back in a week or two? That trust with your system integrator is extremely important as you consider what might happen if the engine of your production systems breaks down.

Ask yourself five critical questions?

  1. Does your control systems integrator customize their work to meet your needs?
  2. Are your SCADA and IT systems growing as you grow?
  3. When was the last time your provider brought you new and innovative ideas?
  4. Are they following through when they say they will get the job done in a timely manner?
  5. Do you trust them?

A trusting relationship with your systems integrator is very important in getting the best service possible. If you can’t answer these five questions in the affirmative, then it might be time to look for a new control systems partner.  Your systems integrator should have three qualities for you to trust them. The first is for them to be ready and willing to adjust to your needs. The second thing is for them to have a good communication system in place to work around what you want. Lastly, the third one is to simply be more involved with you. If your integrator isn’t doing these things, it is time to change.

Thompson Automation has been meeting the needs of customers for more than 30 years. Thompson is not about “products” and fitting you into the mold of what the “system” will do rather we spend our time fitting the best solution around your needs.  We craft custom solutions to meet our customers’ specific needs. We can assure you that Thompson is the way to go.

If you need reliable and dependable experts to help with any of your controls and automation needs then don’t hesitate to contact us. Our information is:

Phone: 844.321.3869

Email: help@thompsonspecialty.com

Website: www.thompsonspecialty.com

‘The Industrial Internet of Things’ (IIoT) Should Matter to Your Manufacturing Operation

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Manufacturing operations of all shapes, sizes, and types are using the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to achieve substantial competitive advantages, and improve profits.

The Industrial Internet, also sometimes referred to as Industry 4.0, is the connection and linking of concepts such as big data, analytical tools, and decision making, and connected networks with traditional industrial equipment.  It is about collecting and applying data to make better decisions, run facilities more efficiently, and in the end to improve profits. The IIoT is in the process of revolutionizing manufacturing.

Some ways that the IIoT has impacted traditional industrial manufacturers, food processors and those in agricultural processing is by improving the collection of system data that allows better record keeping, inspection tracking, and analysis in functional areas such as predictive maintenance, safety, and supply chain.  The IIoT advantages can be especially beneficial in those areas.

The promises of the IIoT and the changes that Industry 4.0 are bringing are no longer ‘coming attractions’.  They are here and for companies that embrace the potential of the IIoT there are substantial competitive advantages, increases in profit, and new opportunities abound.  This is a concept that deserves your attention.

If you have more questions or are looking for ideas and more information on the IIoT or other best practice automation programs give the experts at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services a call today.  Given their 30+ years of experience as an automation solutions provider, Thompson specializes in the development of custom controls and automation programs for customers across the country.   Thompson Automation is not about “products” and fitting you into the mold of what the “system” will do rather we focus our time fitting the best solution around your needs.  Crafting custom solutions to meet our customers’ specific needs is what we do.

www.thompsonspecialty.com

 

Innovate; the first ever industrial automation & technology conference

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On May 15th Thompson Automation and Specialty Services hosted Innovate; the first ever industrial automation & technology conference in the Siouxland area.

This exciting automation and technology conference highlighted several emerging automation technologies, the development of new security systems to protect IT infrastructures from attack and identify ways companies can leverage workforce development partners to meet their future employment needs. The attendees were able to learn more about emerging industrial trends being implemented to reduce downtime, cut costs, find process improvements and utilize data to make better decisions.

This was a very exciting event for Thompson Automation to be able to host.  Thompson was able to bring in a panel of national leaders in the areas of automation, IIOT, security, and workforce development to have a robust discussion on relevant topics like connecting industrial systems to traditional IT infrastructures, infrastructure security, and workforce development.

The days’ keynote speaker was Bob Murphy, the Senior Vice President of Rockwell Automation, and a national leader in transforming business operations. Bob discussed how Rockwell was able to transform their manufacturing operations through a focus on people, processes, and technology. Bob shared many of the actual business benefits Rockwell realized and how others could achieve the same results through implementation of modern control and information systems.

After the keynote address, Bob Murphy also participated in a roundtable discussion on the challenges he faces leading an organization through transformational change.  Other panelists talked about their own real-world examples of implementing new technologies, preparing organizations for the Industrial Internet of Things, and Industry 4.0.

The day also included presentations from Chad Richards, a Cyber Security Specialist with Cisco, and Corey Cronin, a Solutions Architect from Rockwell.  Chad discussed the importance of having an integrated approach to network security. He talked about how companies need to properly protect their organization from multiple types of attacks and multiple sources. Corey discussed real examples of how improving a few automation and IT processes can make a huge difference in an operation.  Benefits discussed were how modernizing an operation can increase productivity, decrease downtime, and improve change over times.

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The day finished with a tour of the WITCC Advanced Manufacturing Lab and Confined Space Trailer.

It was an exciting day and a special note of appreciation goes out to the days’ sponsors and hosts:  Thompson Automation and Specialty Services, Electric Innovations, Cisco, Rockwell Automation, The Siouxland Initiative, and Western Iowa Tech Community College.

The 2017 Innovate Industrial Automation & Technology conference was a huge success! We are already looking forward to the 2018 Conference!

 

GEAPS

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Recently, Thompson Automation & Specialty Services participated as an exhibitor, in the National GEAPS (Grain Elevator and Processing Society) Expo in Kansas City, MO.  More than 3000 people from all aspects of the grain industry attended the 3 day event.

Mike Pendergast (Thompson Automation and Specialty Services) and Rob Costello (Thompson Electric) handled the booth duties promoting arc flash awareness, infrared thermal imaging and electrical safety for grain elevators.  Thompson Automation and Specialty Services is using these national expos to create awareness of the dangers of electrical hazards in grain handling facilities.  As a result, owners and operators of grain facilities, are now realizing the dangers of electricity and the need for arc flash risk assessments, electrical surveys and training for their employees.

The interest generated by our presence at the GEAPS Expo, and the follow up from our contacts made at the Expo, emphasizes the growing interest in electrical safety and the need for Thompson Automation and Specialty Services to stay active in the grain industry.

Thompson Electric Acquires Automation Company

Services Unlimited joins company to form Thompson Automation and Specialty Services

SIOUX CITY, IA – March 6, 2017 – TEC-Corp., the parent company of Thompson Electric has acquired the assets of Service Unlimited Inc. of Ireton Iowa, an industrial controls and automation company.   The purchase allows Thompson Electric to deliver innovative controls and automation process solutions to customers throughout the Midwest. Industries such as agriculture, water/waste water treatment, food processing, oil and gas, light and heavy manufacturing, utility production and distribution and more. The acquisition also marks the creation of Thompson Automation and Specialty Services.  A new company to meet the needs to customers requiring support solutions beyond those of traditional electrical contractors.

“Our strategic investment in the purchase of Services Unlimited represents a significant strengthening of our technical capabilities and portfolio of solutions to offer customers,” said Skip Perley CEO of Thompson Electric parent company TEC-Corp.   Skip continued; “Mel and the team at Services Unlimited bring to Thompson Electric more than 30-years of expertise in automation and a true commitment to customers’ satisfaction.  We look forward to their joining our team at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services.”

 “We are excited to join Thompson Automation and Specialty Service to create a regional leader in the automation and controls process market.  We will continue to deliver the high-quality solutions that our loyal customer base has come to expect,” said Mel Schwiesow, Services Unlimited founder and President. “This creates the best combination available to help customers uncover the benefits of process controls that drive production efficiencies.”

Thompson Automation and Specialty Services now adds process control and automaton to its list of available solutions.  Previous offerings included Arc Flash Risk Assessments, Infrared Thermal Imaging, Electrical Preventative Maintenance, large scale LED Lighting Retro-fitting, and Solar and Wind Energy Generation.  “Thompson Electric has earned customers trust and loyalty for nearly 85-years by providing innovative solutions to meet customers’ unique needs,” said Jason Glover, General Manager of Thompson Automation and Specialty Services.  “The addition of solutions in the area of controls and automation only strengthens our ability to meet current and new customer’s needs.”

Specific controls and automation solutions now provided by Thompson Automation and Specialty Services include:

  • System Design and Engineering
  • Custom Software Programming
  • UL Certified Customer Control Panel Fabrication
  • Equipment Installation and Commissioning
  • Instrumentation Installation, Set-up & Calibration
  • Hardware and Programing Maintenance Service

About Thompson Electric Company

Thompson Electric is a premier Midwest electrical contractor since 1933 that services the commercial, industrial, healthcare, education, government, low voltage and residential industries.  Thompson Electric is a forward thinking innovative leader in the industry with the ability to revolutionize its business model.  We utilize technology in every aspect of our business from estimating, arc flash risk assessment, infrared thermal imaging, 3D, Cad, BIM/Revit, electrical preventive maintenance (EPM), Solar, Automation and Controls, design build, prefabrication to project management and field supervision.  To support our regional growth, the company maintains permanent offices in Sioux City, Omaha, Sioux Falls.

http://www.thompsonspecialty.com