Pick from three options to fit your time and budget.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” — Benjamin Franklin
Starting out as an applications engineer many years ago, I found so much to learn about Opto 22’s automation products—what made them innovative, how to use them, and how they fit in with customer applications. I learned from other engineers, read magazines and industry articles, and just tried things out, so I could help customers who called in (or faxed, back then!) for Product Support help.
Fast forward almost 30 years, and while technology and the products have changed, we still have to learn those same essentials, plus so much more. We have to be jacks-of-all-trades and learn about PLCs, protocols, and programming; navigating, networking, and security; and IIoT on the edge.
To help you learn about the powerful technologies you can add to your automation arsenal with groov EPIC, Opto 22 gives you three options. Let’s take a look.
Option 1: Premium Factory Training
Hands-on with a groov EPIC Learning Center, total immersion, and drink-from-a-firehose training for three days: that’s what you get with groov EPIC Premium Factory Training (PFT) at Opto 22 headquarters in Southern California.
From 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day you’ll work through every training module with experts in a modern training room with up to 11 other automation professionals like yourself. Bring your questions, hear about other applications, and quite literally get ideas about how to solve your own automation problems.
In my last training class, a student said that after the first day, he knew groov EPIC was what they needed to solve their problem—bringing in data from various PLC models and manufacturers on different campuses, and sending that data to an offsite database. What problems do you have to solve? Let me or your Opto 22 Regional Sales Manager know ahead of time, and we can reserve some time with a Pre-Sales engineer while you’re here.
By the way, do you like deals? Need to do a PoC? Here’s a deal for you: purchase your own Learning Center equipment (the same that’s used in class), and get two training seats included for free. Each training seat costs $995 (2 x $995), and the Learning Center is just $2895 (list). That means that for about $900, you get real groov EPIC hardware and software and a pre-wired load panel in a sturdy Pelican travel case. Great for learning; great for proofs of concept and pilot projects; great for demonstrating to others and gaining support for your ideas.
One final note about Premium Factory Training. In case you’re wondering if the training is worth spending time and resources on, take a look at what others say about the class:
"...this was truly an exceptional training - best technical training I've been to in my career." - Jacob Zehnder, Engineer II, Parker Hannifin
"You can really see that all of you truly love your work as it reflects in your teaching..." - Isaac Martínez,
Automation Technician, Pexco Aerospace
And if you just can’t make it out to the west coast but would like hands-on training, check with IoT Certified OptoPartner Advanced Control Solution (ACS) in Atlanta, Ga. They’ve set up training just like you’d get at Opto 22 HQ, but a lot closer to you on the eastern side of the U.S.
Option 2: Opto U
When travel is not an option or you want to work at your own speed, there’s free online training from OptoU at training.opto22.com, and it’s available 24/7/365. Learn about groov EPIC by going through these courses, which are similar to what you would do in the Premium Factory Training class.
The topics are divided out by category, what I like to refer to as groov EPIC’s toolbox:
- Hardware (chassis, power supply, processor, I/O)
- PAC Control (flowchart programming with optional scripting)
- HMIs: groov View and PAC Display
- Ignition Edge for linking PLCs
- Secure Shell access for custom programming
- Node-RED (simple data flows using pre-built nodes)
- MQTT/Sparkplug (a different data communication method)
- CODESYS (IEC 61131-3 compliant control programming)
That’s right, you can learn when it’s convenient for you—how to program the EPIC, build a mobile HMI, or move data to a database from Node-RED. The short lessons have quizzes interspersed within the courses to test your knowledge as you progress through them. If you have a groov EPIC Learning Center, special sections (indicated by “groov EPIC Learning Center Users”) direct you in how to use your LC. If you’ve been to PFT class, use OptoU as a refresher of the lessons you did in class.
Coming soon: when you complete Opto U lessons and quizzes, you’ll be able to receive a Certificate of Completion for groov EPIC Training. You’ll be able to print your certificate and also include it as a badge on your LinkedIn profile.
Option 3: Opto22.com
Finally, if you just need something quick, don’t need a formal path to training, but need help, there’s a lot you can freely access on the Opto 22 web site at any time.
- Videos—How to’s, case studies (Wondering if they’re good? Node-RED Fundamentals video has more than 185K views on YouTube!)
- Developer site—For groov EPIC programming hacks
- Examples—Find them on Opto Forums, or in sample code downloads
- Demos—Interactive pages for groov View, PIDs, SVG Images, and many more
- Tech notes, bug reports, manuals, nitty gritty READMEs
- Building a system—Learn about the components you’re selecting with the groov EPIC Configurator and end up with a parts list and an image to include with your request for quote
There you have it, lots of ways to learn about groov EPIC to fit your time and budget. Pick the option that works best for you. Hope to see you in class!
(Question: Would you benefit from recorded training sessions? Let me know in the comments below.)