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February 2012 - Vol. VI, Issue 2
Patti Engineering


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Ever read the book "Drive" by Daniel Pink? Have you ever heard of a FedEx Day? I certainly had not when Sam announced to our team that we were going to have our first FedEx Day. Daniel H. Pink is the author of four provocative bestselling books, including "Drive", about the changing world of work.


The FedEx Day is one of the ideas in the book Drive that has spread the fastest and the widest. Invented by the folks at the Australian software company Atlassian, these one-day bursts of autonomy allow people to work on anything they want (as long as it's not part of their regular job) - provided they show what they've created to their colleagues 24 hours later. Atlassian dubbed these innovation jamborees FedEx Days because participants have to deliver something overnight.


Our engineering team and staff enthusiastically embraced and tackled their first FedEx Day. The results: a robot, an engineer chatter blog, a new conference room, a Siemens data integration tool and more. See this month's article for the details. 


The Patti Personnel spotlight is on Ryan Hibbert, a talented controls engineer who joined us just about a year ago. Ryan has not been with us for long, but his positive impact has been noticed!


We always love your feedback. Let us know if there is a specific automation topic you are interested in or if you have comments on what we have covered here.


Thank you for your interest in Patti Engineering!



Best regards,


Georgia H. Whalen


Director of Marketing
Patti Engineering, Inc.
Phone: 978.697.2664

FedEx Day




In his book "Drive", Daniel Pink maintains there are three elements of true intrinsic motivation: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. He describes FedEx Day as an example of an activity that helps boost morale, creativity and productivity.



Patti Engineering's first FedEx Day kicked off Thursday Feb 2nd at 4pm and came to a close 24 hours later, Feb 3rd at 4pm. The results are in and our FedEx day proved to be successful and enjoyable.


According to Sam Hoff, president of Patti Engineering, "The experience further proved to me what a great and talented team of engineers I have the pleasure on working with on a daily basis. The ideas the teams came up with were amazing. The only change we will make to our next FedEx day will be to extend the time by moving the start time to noon. We were all running short on time in the end!"


Listed below are short summaries for some of our projects. Many have already been implemented:


iRobot TeamTeam: iRobot

Project Title: iRobot Game


Project Description:

The team developed and finished a good portion done of programming the iRobot basketball game for the upcoming Electromatic March Madness event that Patti Engineering will be displaying at.


Team: SDI (Siemens Data Integrators)

Project Title: Siemens MSSQL Server Communications Function Block


Project Description:


The Patti Engineering Texas team set up shop at AWC's Austin office to work on a Siemens Function Block that will write data directly to a Microsoft SQL server. The initial block did not use security, but provided a quick and easy way to log data from the PLC into a database via Siemen's open TCP communications block.  



Team: DECO


Conference Room TeamProject Title: Update Reception Area and Conference Room


Project Description:

Unused Reception Desk was disassembled and removed. Pictures were taken down in the conference room and new pictures featuring quotations from inspirational people were developed. Ryan Hibbert created a program to display real time information, the Patti Engineering photo album as well as welcome slides on a monitor to welcome office visitors.


Team: Team Library

Project Title: Siemens Frequently Used Functions Library


Project Description:

The purpose of the project was to gather function blocks in Step 7 for many of the tasks that are encountered frequently. The blocks are fully portable and standalone, meaning that they are not dependent on any global variables that may change from program to program for which the functions are to be used. The blocks were taken and modified as necessary from existing projects.


Team: JCI

Project Title: IPC Release/Testing System


Project Description:       

Team JCI worked on developing a new system to handle needed processing in testing and releasing of IPC updates. It combined existing processes and streamline processing in order to prevent gaps and potential leak points. It will help make the release a seamless process to the end user and not affect their processing.


Blob box
Team: The Awesomes

Project Title: Storing files in the SQL database as blobs


Project Description:

This team developed a method to store files (images, pdf, word doc) in the Pattinet database in Blob Data or in alternative data storage method for SQL server. The initial project allows employees to attached receipts to expense report entry. A future goal is to be able to store the project or sales related data and the use of a Smart Phone application. The smart phone app will ideally be able to OCR the Receipts to start the Expense reports while on the road.


Team: Mass Marketing

Project Title: New "Engineer Chatter" Blog


Project Description:

We replaced our inactive forum on our website with our new "Engineer Chatter" blog. Our goal is to engage our community of partners, client, prospective clients and engineering team in a meaningful way. We have a highly skilled team of engineers with a wide variety of experience in many industries: powertrain manufactures, automotive parts plants, robotic paint systems in various manufacturing applications, textile mills, retail distribution centers, power plants, oil rigs on the ocean, chemical plants, and dam spillways. This is our new platform to give direct access to our engineers. Our engineering team will receive an email when a question or comment is posted to this blog. An engineer will respond to post within one business day.




Let us know if you have any feedback on our projects. We highly recommend the FedEx Day concept!




Patti Engineering 

Phone: 1-800-852-0994 (US Only)
(248) 364-3200


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Patti Personnel - Ryan Hibbert
Ryan Hibbert
Ryan Hibbert

Ryan is not what you normally picture as a typical controls engineer. Whether he is nailing that Barry Manilow song at the local karaoke bar or bashing his competitors in a little game of Whirleyball. Ryan embraces all challenges, work related and personal, with vigor and enthusiasm!



Before joining our team, Ryan was working as a technical writer and instructor for Chrysler, training technicians on Mitsubishi programming and other automation technologies. Having been with Patti Engineering for just under a year, Ryan has transitioned into a great team member. His technical expertise with Mitsubishi, Siemens, Steeple Chase VLC,, SQL and Indusoft fits well with Patti Engineering's core competencies.

Ryan Hibbert karaoke
Ryan on stage




According to Ken Kutchek, vice president of operations at Patti engineering, "Ryan is a great communicator with excellent interpersonal skills, which is not always the case with talented engineers. He has quickly earned the trust and respect of our clients and our engineering team."



When not playing Whirleyball or making karaoke appearances in his off-hours, Ryan enjoys reading, writing, designing websites and working with various software programs. One is a virtual scoreboard/sound FX application; the other is a poker game.


Sam and Josh Hibbert
Josh and Samantha Hibbert



Ryan is the proud father of daughter, Samantha (21), and son, Joshua (14). Between his career, activities, interest and family, there is surely not a dull moment for Ryan!




Ryan shared his perspective on being part of the Patti Engineering team:


"Working at Patti Engineering has been a wonderful and challenging experience. Not only are the people great to work with, the work itself is diverse and fulfilling. I think of engineering as the ultimate jigsaw puzzle, where the fun is getting all the pieces together to create a picture. Patti has been great at providing me with plenty of jigsaw puzzles!"