#pAutomator: Fady Mettias, Senior Field Engineer
Hey, it’s time to talk with a lovely member of the automation community! Our guest today caught my attention on social media, sharing interesting pictures and comments about daily visits to different customers. In fact, his insights on LinkedIn help a lot of users in his network. So I added him and we had a nice conversation about the automation world.
Please welcome Fady Mettias, an engineer with solid field experience! Fady Mettias began his career working as a calibration engineer for two years, then became an electrical maintenance engineer for another year. Today, he works as a senior field service engineer at Anasia Egypt and as an Endress+Hauser representative, sharing his experience with his network on LinkedIn.
Let’s learn more about Fady Mettias’s work and his routine in the field. If you have questions, drop a comment here or on Fady. Cheers!
Hi, Fady! Thanks for your time. Could you tell us a little about your career?
Seven years ago, I started as a calibration engineer at a certified calibration laboratory in Egypt. Here, I gained a lot of experience working with several brands in the field of instrumentation. I learned how theoretical physics principles applied in an industrial way, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry. I also gained experience not only in measuring devices but also in clean room validation, installation and operation qualification for machines, sterilization, and GMP regulation.
Later, I got an opportunity to shift my career to another field (maintenance engineer at Electric Traction Tram), but I couldn’t resist the temptation of process automation and decided to re-engage with the things that I love most.
Now, I really enjoy working as an Endress+Hauser representative in Egypt. We have all customer segments here – food, power, chemicals, water, even gold mines and many more.
We have a lot of work pressure as a small team covering all these responsibilities. But I really boosted my skills and knowledge in the past three years. Moreover, I became aware of several process technologies that really enriched my experience.
So you started in calibration. Do you believe it takes extra patience to work in that area? And do you think that on-site flow calibration has become more frequent? If so, why?
I totally agree that calibration activities need patience, patience, and also patience! Everything requires waiting! Waiting for the work permit for you and your tools, for the production plan or batch to finish, for the customer to give you device access, for readings to stabilize, for results after adjustments. So you just need to be calm.
And yes, on-site calibrations have increased as customer awareness increases. They’ve learned how effective calibration can reduce losses and increase product quality and profit. By the way, flow calibration has become a trend, as flow meters have the most tangible effect in any process optimization.
As a field service engineer today, do you find many fundamental mistakes with installations or setups in the field?
Could you share some of what you’ve seen?
I saw a lot of examples. Flow meter installers often mishandle inlet and outlet runs, install devices in the highest point in the line or near the pump, and forget to isolate the device from line vibrations. I’ve also seen them ignore grounding disks for magmeters, neglect to calculate pressure loss for mechanical meters, and even use reducers without paying attention to the flow velocity.
Setup and configuration mistakes are a nightmare. I used to have to reset devices to factory defaults before I could troubleshoot them in my visits. One time, I saw a Proservo device go up instead of down to find the level, all because of the wrong configuration!
Which do you think have more problems, level or flow applications?
Although it always depends on the application itself, I believe that level devices need more effort than flow meters. Once we select the right flow meter for the application, we rarely face problems in a start-up. However, levels need more effort to understand the product and the process. You must verify the installation conditions yourself and even find a way to compare the actual level with the measurements.
Do you believe that people in automation today lack basic instrumentation and automation knowledge?
Yes. That’s the ugly truth. It seems that people don’t like to read manuals or pay attention to their measuring principles. Some of them treat their instrumentation as plug-and-play devices that will work without effort. But it impresses me to see what Visaya has done to fight this lack of knowledge, how it introduces technical information in a modern and easy way to attract engineers to the power of know-how.
Thanks! We do our best. You’re always traveling and visiting different segments. What field protocols do you see most? And why do you think companies use old options in new projects?
I believe that FOUNDATION Fieldbus (FF) and PROFIBUS (PB) usage has decreased – at least in my region – compared to HART and MODBUS. Maybe because HART costs less, doesn’t require special cables or accessories or configurator tools, and offers reliable diagnosis options.
How has wireless communication adoption gone in your country?
Wireless communication has just started to catch customer attention in Egypt, especially for large tank farms and remote sites, where it’s expensive to supply cables or panels. I believe my country offers a lot of good potential for such applications.
Do you believe that companies are ready for the Internet of Things (IoT)? Or do we still have a long way to go?
Yes, it’s time for IoT solutions. I’m seeing companies use such applications already. Last year, Endress+Hauser fully equipped a large chocolate production factory in Egypt with Ethernet TCP/IP sensors. And two oil production companies used this technology to connect their storage tanks in the western desert to their company networks in Cairo. I believe it’ll keep moving forward very fast.
We have many students reading Visaya. Do you have advice for them?
You’re on the right track if you’re studying engineering and reading Visaya. 🙂 My advice is simple. Keep yourself updated on new technologies and hold onto your passion for learning. One day, you’ll see where this commitment will lead you, and you may be surprised by the prize!
Finally, what does instrumentation mean to you?
After graduation, my very first device was the CLM223 conductivity transmitter. From that day on, instrumentation captured my attention, my career, my passion, my love, and my life.
Follow Fady Mettias, an automation community member, at LinkedIn.
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