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Free workshops for PLC Software Engineers

Since two years TMC’s Industrial Automation business cell is offering free workshops to PLC software engineers looking to expand their knowledge. Cell director Marco Haasjes and business manager Haydar Al Sawad recommend this new formula. ‘By working together with your partners you strengthen the relationship. You also get to meet many interesting new engineers.’

Two years ago Marco Haasjes, director of the Industrial Automation business cell at TMC’s Eindhoven office, was thinking hard about ways to grow his business. Preferably in ways that would benefit both him and his partners. His ruminating resulted in the idea of hosting free workshops at TMC that were offered by his partners. ‘I saw a win-win for both parties,’ Marco explains. ‘For us it’s a great way to get to know new software engineers. And our partners are happy to introduce these engineers to their product.’

The first company Marco approached was Rockwell. When asked whether they would like to offer the very first workshop, they responded with an immediate yes. Marco promised to provide the participants. ‘It was hard work, but eventually we were able to reach forty PLC engineers to take part in that first workshop.’ Among the participants were clients, TMC Employeneurs, but also seventy new faces. The workshop was such a success that Marco decided to give them a regular place in the yearly program.

Pretty hands-on for a PLC Software Engineer

Now Marco’s business cell Industrial Automation offers four to five workshops a year. These training sessions are offered entirely free of charge by partners like Beckhoff, Bosch, Festo, Siemens, Nixu, Yaskawa and Sigmatek. Workshop themes vary from machine safety to motion control. The partners provide the workshop teachers and the hardware, Marco takes care of the location and the participants. Marco: ’We have a large room at TMC that we fill out with tables to support the partner’s hardware. The engineers can work with the equipment in groups of two or three. It’s pretty hands-on.’ 

Real nice on your CV and the workshop is free

The partner companies offering the workshops are enthusiastic about the formula, says Marco. ‘Many partners think it’s an incredibly cool idea and return every year.’ Also for the participating software engineers there’s much to gain. ‘They learn new things and can ask very specific questions about a system they’ve usually never worked with before. That gives them an edge in their line of work. People often want to return for a new workshop.’ At the end there are drinks and snacks and everyone receives a certificate of participation. ‘It looks real nice on your CV,’ says Marco.

He can recommend the model of free workshops to other business cells. ‘Through the workshops we get to know about 150 new software engineers each year. It’s a great way to expand our network. Sometimes we have clients visiting the workshops, so it’ also a form of improved customer loyalty. Naturally it also improves the relationship with our partners.’

Are you a PLC Software Engineer and want to participate in a free workshop? Contact Marco Haasjes.

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