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We’re not going to crash? Do I really want to know? TMI!

November 15, 2011
at 8:57 pm PST

A funny thing happened to me on the way to the fair. The Rockwell automation Fair that is.The Pilot comes on the intercom and says something like:

 “Hi, it’s the captain here. I want to tell you that we can’t get the flaps into the right position. We need number 15 and we can only get to 14.” (or he said something like that). “We’ve tried a few times and it doesn’t want to move.”

So we (the passengers) are all thinking: “What does that mean – are we going down?” Most of us don’t pilot planes so we don’t know how serious the situation is. We all agreed in our seating row that it was ‘TMI’ -- Too Much Information? I think he realized that, because he then said words to the effect of:

“It’s going to be fine, we do this all the time in windy or wet weather. We just need to come around again [aborting this approach!], and land on a longer runway. Everything’s going to be fine.”

Do you ever get the feeling that you have too much information, that you’re not really the best person to tell this stuff to? You just want to get there? This happens all the time in manufacturing. Information overload sometimes, and TMI a lot of the time. The service folks have already been trained over the decades not to say “Who sold you that then?” or “We always get problems with that part, never seems to work right, I’ll see what I can do for you”. All of this may be truth. But the perception is that I have a dud, I made a bad purchasing choice, or this was a mistake I made when faced with competitive options. And Perception is truth too!

At the Rockwell Automation Fair we’ll be showing how you can get just the information you need -- securely if for a select group of individuals. How to broadcast the good news on Cisco Digital Media Systems. Or maybe broadcast some alerts that could save lives. And we’ll be showing how engineers and managers, the people who really need to know, can get real-time plant floor information from machines, sensors, Program Logic Controllers and other digital controllers, so that they change course if needed, rectify problems quickly, and keep things running smoothly. These are the folks that know what to do with information.

All I ask is that next time someone tells me something when I’m flying, they recognize I probably wont know how to process that information. It’s not for me!

And what happened with the landing you ask? Well I’m here to tell the tale. The Captain landed the aircraft well, albeit on a gentler glide slope and a longer runway. Though I can’t agree that it was a ‘normal’ landing as he had suggested. The red and blue flashing lights on the fire trucks and emergency vehicles that greeted us as we rolled down the runway put paid to that notion!

Watch out for information that you will want to hear about while I’m here in Chicago at the Automation Fair.

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1 Comments.


  1. Peter Granger

    This comment is in response to the Trackbacks and Pingbacks comment below from the Read-out Instrumentation Signpost blog.Yes, we’re learning Social Media does work! Thanks for picking up on our YouTube Channel too! We often wonder what will get people’s attention to read blogs, and I’m as guilty as the next person of sometimes coming across a little unexciting in my blogs, so you’ve provided some validation of the ‘off-the-wall’ blog titles, so I’d better do some more! Thanks again and I enjoyed reading your show summary – click here.

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