Sunday, December 28, 2008

Is Hollywood finally listening?

For years, Joel Leonard has been complaining about the depiction of maintenance workers in movies. However, after seeing a couple of recent Christmas releases, Joel is wondering if someone in Hollywood is finally getting the message.

Believe it or not, in the Disney Movie, "Bedtime Stories", Adam Sandler plays a maintenance worker at a hotel. He overcomes being taken for granted and branded as loser, only to win the girl, Kerry Russel, and also own his own hotel. By the way, his character's name is Skeeter.

In the new Will Smith movie, "Seven Pounds", Will plays an MIT graduate who wins his girls heart by fixing a 150 year old Heidelburg Press.

Plus with cable shows "Dirty Jobs", "How Its Made" and "The Big Fix", it appears that Hollywood is finally listening that we need to show more respect to skilled workers.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

News Break: More Maintenance Crisis Song Versions in the works

While in Dubai, Joel Leonard shared with Middle East Maintenance Managers Conference the Maintenance Crisis Songs. Several oil refineries, water desalinization plants maintenance leadership loved the songs. So much so that they have offered to translate the lyrics into Arabic and locate Arabic musicians to record an Arabic Version of the song.

As Joel said over 6 years ago, the Maintenance Crisis Song has no borders, the message affects us all so everyone needs to hear it. Therefore, he is delighted that they are willing to exert the effort to join in the crusade against the Maintenance Crisis.

Also in the JW Marriott Hotel was a German restaurant that had live musicians from Berlin performing to entertain the diners. They too, have offered to perform a Polka version of the song. So the message continues to grow and expand so that more efforts to fix it forward are mobilized.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Super Maintenance Heroes- Here they are to save the day!

After hearing the process that the Saudi Water Conversion Corp implemented to improve their efficiency and performance of their 30 water desalination plants, Joel Leonard provided Director Abdullah M. Al Khedher a new SkillTV Shirt for him to wear with pride when he returns back to work. Joel feels that is very important that industry recognizes top engineering/maintenance performers as many don't receive recognition in their own companies.

The Hidden Heroes of the Middle East

Millions of people who live in the Middle East actually live in a desert. And without water, there is no life. Therefore, those who run and maintain the water desalination plants deserve lots of praise and support for their efforts. Especially when they implement enterprise asset management (EAM) that normally take 9-18 months to set up in just 3 months. Joel Leonard sat down with leaders of the Saudi Water Commission and Datastream Arabia and learned how they were able to implement this comprehensive application in a very short period time.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bye, Bye Dubai

Joel Leonard regrets that he has not had time to provide continual updates of his wonderful trip into Dubai, but will be sharing, pictures, videos and information collected in future articles, blogs and videos.

Joel was actually quite apprehensive about coming to the Middle East with all of the news reports and daily barrage of negative activities. He said this is a totally different world than America. However, when the attending engineers started divulging their frustrations about maintenance not getting respect, maintenance being a target when in an economic downturn, that maintenance people need more training and finding qualified resources is difficule, Joel realized well maybe a different part of the world but in the maintenance world it is absolutely the same the world over.

He was flattered to learn that new facilities director at the Malaysian airport came to this event just to hear him and has been following his articles in Plant Services Magazine and really is excited to implement these strategies.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Still wondering who that was?

Yes, that is Joel Leonard, host of SkillTV and international maintenance evangelist. They had a hard time finding a headset to fit him. He is really enjoying sampling the local culture, food, drinks and making friends from all over the world. Met several phillipino, indian, and others today. Joel wants to make sure that all of his friends and family know that he is safe and having a blast. Only wishes that too were able to join him. Tomorrow is a big day for Joel as he is going to be leading a day long discussion on Strategic Maintenance and how to incorporate maintenance into long term business performance strategies with over 20 Middle Eastern engineers. He is excited to be able to learn some of their processes and share the resources and information to help them elevate their peformance and status levels here and to perhaps help drive down the cost of oil even more!

Sunrise in Dubai

It is now tomorrow in the land of Tomorrow

From the hotel Marriott's rooftop in Dubai, UAE, Joel Leonard captured some great images and filmed a brief segment of SkillTV this morning. Above is the Dubai International Airport at 530am. Above are pics. However, are you still wondering who that man is below. Check in later to find out.

That guy looks familiar

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hello from Tomorrow

When you arrive at Dubai International Airport, you are greeted with a sign that states


As it is 9 hours ahead of EST it is often the next day. And when you see the buildings and newness, cleanliness and energy, it does actually feel like tomorrow.

Kind of wild to see signs for CASTROL, TIMKEN and other American companies all over the place. Everyone is extremely friendly and helpful to make sure that tourists have a great time!

Will add more as time permits!

Joel Leonard
Maintenance Evangelist

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dubai me this and Dubai me that

As Joel Leonard is about to depart to participate in the 14th Annual Middle East Maintenance Managers Conference in Dubai, he is getting numerous requests from friends and family to Dubai them gifts. Joel hopes to bring back lots of videos, pictures, and interviews of this unique event in this idealic location. The only tough part is that is not far from Iraq, Iran and other hot spot areas. On his return trip back from Europe he witnessed 75 foot flames beside the Frankfurt Airport tarmac. Everyone was very hush, hush about the incident and one self deluted traveler suggested it was probably a training exercise. We all know that the government protects us from the real skinny to avoid panics.

Regardless, Joel is very optimistic that all will work fine. Please keep Joel in your prayers, and tune in this blog as he will be reporting as often as possible.

A job with a view

Many of our kids are poisoned with images that they see of the skilled trades portrayed on TV or in movies like Norma Ray and don't know of the variety of work locations and important functions that a skilled technician can provide.
Above is a picture of a welder who helped build the glass bottom, cantilevered horseshoe that goes out over the Grand Canyon. Tourists can now stand safely and see a 4000 foot drop.

Wow, that is not something you can do in a cubicle!
Picture provided by our friends at Lincoln Electric. Feel free to send us your pics, videos and comments at

Monday, December 8, 2008

BioTechs, NanoTechs, IntelliMechs, we need them all to fight the Maintenance Crisis!

Plant managers, engineers, research analysts drove from all over Italy to hear the Maintenance Evangelist from America and later several gathered around for a group picture at Intellimech, a research industrial park that is funded by 20 Italian and international corporations.

They revealed to Joel that they too have difficulty locating qualified technicians to work on modern machinery, willing to work third shift and weekends and willing to pursue the education needed to advance their careers on their own. And were delighted to learn of an online resource center to gather more information about this event. They loved the Maintenance Crisis Song!
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Through the eyes of Da Vinci

"Once you visit Italy, you will never be the same again."

Above Joel Leonard stands with Laura Salvetti of Salteco Corporation. Joel said that although it already been two weeks since his momentous trip to Italy, he still can't get back in the groove in the US, forgeting names, addresses, items he just laid down,(worse than normal) and he blames it on the fact that Italy made such a powerful impression upon him that he still carries these strong images of the beauty in his brain and in his heart he is longing to visit again to meet even more charming engineers and other talented resources.
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Leonardo Da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology

This is a must see museum for anyone interested in artwork or engineering. At this facility they not only display Leonardo Da Vinci's artwork, engineering designs, replicas of his designs, but also displays of a variety of modern technologies. Many items can trace their origin or inspiration by previous works by Leonardo Da Vinci.
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The Italian King of Maintenance

After his speech at the Salteco 60th Anniversary, Joel Leonard was approached by a 75 year old gentleman who proclaimed himself to be the King of Maintenance. He said had served in the profession for over 41 years and he had earned that title. Today he is an maintenance instructor and is working very hard at building the next generation of maintenance royalty.
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Masterpieces at Risk

While attending the Salteco 60th Anniversary Celebration, Maintenance Evangelist, Joel Leonard wondered if Italy faced similar challenges of a Maintenance Crisis that he discovered in the US. All he had to was look up and see masterpieces that are deteriorating because of recent water damage caused by roof leaks at the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology. These paintings were made by mixing paint and plaster together and thus preserved beautiful images for centuries. However, with the recent introduction of water, the pigments are beginning to fade, flake and wash away. Meanwhile the museum, struggle to figure out to preserve this building with limited funding. With all of the advances we are making in modern technology, there has to be a cost effective methods to preserve our priceless images of the past.

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Salteco Celebrates 60 Years

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The Salteco Corporation knows maintenance, welding products, automation equipment and how to throw a party! On November 24th, these resources below as well as approximinately 150 members of the Salteco Corporation, friends and family converged to celebrate how a family emerged from the ruins of the WWII and created a multi-national corporation providing robotic and automation products and services all around the world.

Helmut Aretz CEO Wear and Fusion Technology in Europe
Gary Heath - VP Marketing and Product Management Castolin Eutectic
Arjo Klijn – segretario generale della Fondazione Salvetti
Direttamente dagli Stati Uniti:L’evangelista della Manutenzione: Joel Leonard (Curriculum Vitae)
As Joel Leonard said, "This is a perfect event and location to mark the renaissance of maintenance and reliability, so that world benefits not just from the benefits of new technology but also functioning, well preserved equipment and infrastructure.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Upcoming Videos on SkillTV

If you have been watching, you know that we have been quite busy researching the Maintenance Crisis and uncovering challenges, the opportunities, and solutions to these critical issues that affect us all. We have visited Chicago, Ill, Cleveland, Ohio, HighPoint, NC, Washington, DC, Brussels, Belgium, Amsterdam, Holland, Milan, Italy.

Stay tuned in coming weeks as we share several more inciteful interviews with industry experts, governmental leaders, maintenance technicians and other interesting resources.

For example, we will be releasing a video from the SMRP Conference with industry experts: Terry Wireman, author of numerous engineering books and dozens of articles, Wayne Vaughn, former maintenance manager with Harley Davidson, and Kahn Ellis, former technology leader with SAP, all currently work with Vesta Partners. They sat down with SkillTV Host, Joel Leonard, and had an informative discussion about the challenges in Maintenance.