Company TopicsIssue 44 - 2020News

Improvise, Adapt, Overcome

If you know us well, then you know our training partner Doug Bell and his company Interconnecting Automation. Doug has been with us from the beginning and offers several services that our customers, and many others, gladly take advantage of. Whether it’s free online PLC training videos, on-site/hands-on PLC classes, or control system consulting and integration, Interconnecting Automation does it all and has been doing it for decades.

In fact, one of our most recent application stories, Modern Controls Automate Rock Crushing, discusses how Interconnecting Automation upgraded an aging and highly manual rock crushing control system into a modern and easy-to-configure design. Over the years, Doug and now his son Nick, have built an impressive resume and a robust offering of services…Enter 2020.

This year has been rocked with many unforeseen disasters, with Coronavirus having the longest lasting effect…at least so far. While many industries are suffering the consequences of this pandemic and the associated lockdowns, on-site education and training services, like Doug’s, were hit particularly hard. Luckily, Doug is not just an educator but an innovator at heart, and he refused to let this virus destroy what he built and stop him from doing what he loves.

That brings us to the reason for the title of this piece. “Improvise, Adapt, Overcome” is an important mindset with the United States Marine Corps made well-known by Clint Eastwood’s movie, Heartbreak Ridge. Marines are about as tough as they get, and this mentality prepares them to overcome any obstacle that may confront them on the battlefield. It’s imperative to their survival when faced with unforeseen disasters. This same mindset can be extremely valuable in the civilian world, and although Doug may not have realized it, his newest venture teaches us one of his best lessons yet.

In the current environment, where there is much uncertainty about how to stop the spread of Coronavirus and many differing opinions on who is or isn’t at risk, some may not want to attend in-person hands on classes. So, what was Doug to do about that? Give in and let that part of his business die off? Of course not. Doug adapted his training and used today’s technology to meet people where they are and continue providing valuable training to those who seek it.

Interconnecting Automation’s new service, live-lecture online training sessions (, provides live PLC training classes and discussions that can be attended from anywhere. These classes were created to better serve those who need training but want to avoid in-person hands on classes. With these live sessions, you can access the same high-quality training as the in-person classes, directly from your home or office.

Live-lecture training tutorials offer these advantages:

  • PLC training within the comfort and safety of your own location, at a low cost per session.
  • Limited number of attendees per session, with plenty of opportunities to ask questions during and after the session.
  • No special hardware required and no prerequisites to attend.  Material covered will be applicable to DirectLOGIC, CLICK, Do-More/BRX, and Productivity PLC families – attendees determine what families are covered.
  • Modules start at 10:00 AM Central Time and are three hours long with one 15-minute break.
  • Train as often as you want on seven key areas of PLC programming.
  • Access a recording of your session after it is over for future review.

Signing up for live training is easy; instructions can be found at Give it a try today and remember, just as Doug showed, it’s up to us whether we accept our fate, or we improvise, adapt, and overcome.