Area Engineer Puts More Effort into Automating Front Yard Display than Facility

SEDALIA – Area engineer, Reginald Biles, finds designing front yard holiday automation strategies far more interesting than doing so for work.

“It’s amazing what I can do with a PROFINET backbone in the front yard,” says Biles. “I can totally make that spider jump out when a light sensor is triggered, cycle the fog machine on and off, and provide an accurate count of the number of kids that enter my yard.”

When asked if these same automation techniques are used in his facility engineering role, Biles responded “no.”

But in his front yard, Biles in mixing wired and wireless PROFINET to bring a highly integrated and sequenced Halloween display to life. Running the show is a Siemens S7-1500 controller capable of high speed control of his most critical Halloween assets.

“Every year I get to add a little more to my yard,” Biles adds, “like this year I’m enabling edge computing by placing an old laptop near the corner of my house near the neighbor’s yard.”

Biles has future plans to take the data from the edge laptop to the cloud for historical trending and analytics.

“I get joy from seeing industrial automation used to frighten children on Halloween night,” Biles concluded, “and starting on Thursday, I’ll begin a maintenance outage to retool the yard for Christmas.”

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