Troubleshooting Your Critical Power Equipment with FSE, Rob Plane

When it comes to troubleshooting the most complicated critical power equipment, the LionHeart team calls on team member, Rob Plane. Rob’s ability to problem solve is truly one of a kind in this industry. His hard work and dedication, along with detailed knowledge of electrical systems is second to none.

Rob with his Rockwell Commander.

Along with his hard work and dedication, Rob is a gifted instructor. He teaches a variety of classes at LionHeart to help Apprentices, Journeymen and Office personnel alike get in-depth knowledge of the power generation industry. Rob will often look at problems from several different angles to find the best solution. Rob truly represents the best LionHeart has to offer.

Get to know LionHeart’s Field Service Engineer (FSE), Rob Plane. 

What did you do early on that helped you move to the power generation field?

I started working at my neighbor’s farm at age 15. My duties ranged from milking cow, working on machines, and field work. With that, I maintained and performed repairs on farm equipment such as grain handling equipment, tractors, trucks and combines. That experience still helps me today.

What’s your experience prior to LionHeart?

Previously, I worked as an electrician for approximately ten years before joining LionHeart. I had the opportunity to wire up several complex industrial control systems. These projects gave me a chance to learn how to read and understand complex electrical schematics, which helped me gain confidence to troubleshoot the electrical systems after installation.

How did you hear about LionHeart and why did you make the change?

I heard about LionHeart through Field Service Engineer, Ben Belohlavy, whom I have known since grade school. Ben spoke very highly of the company and as a result, I felt this industry was a good blend of my mechanical and electrical background.

Who’s your biggest influence on building your work ethic?

LionHeart is lucky to have so many hard-working team members that exhibit tremendous dedication to their work. Outside of LionHeart, my two biggest influences have been my father and a past neighbor whose farm I worked on. Both are “work until the job is done” types of guys and I learned so much from them. They are great role models.

What’s your favorite project and some of the challenges you faced?

I had a nice balance of fun and challenges with the Hinsdale Hospital CoGen project where we upgraded the paralleling switchgear. Some of the challenges included, trying to manage the technical aspects of the work, while moving the project forward as well as delegating tasks to co-workers.

What do you look for when it comes to designing a custom control system for a customer’s critical power needs?

I always try to ensure that we are installing a system that serves the client’s immediate needs. It is very important to leave provisions for future upgrades, such as integration into a building management system. Also, LionHeart strives to make sure we are helping our customer’s meet current NFPA codes that are applicable to their installation.

Improve the reliability of your generator with LionHeart.

According to Rob Plane, “Many generators in the Chicagoland area have relatively low total run hours, but may be approaching twenty to thirty years old.”

With LionHeart, we are able to upgrade the control components which are typically the common point of failure in aging equipment. In a day or two, we can add many years of reliable service to your generator.

Rob with EGSA President, Dennis Roundtree

On September 24, 2018, Rob received the Technician of the Year Award (TOYA) by the Electrical Generating Systems Association (EGSA).

EGSA is the world’s largest organization exclusively dedicated to On-Site Power Generation with over 1,600 members. EGSA caught up with Rob on June 9th, 2020. Check out the video here.

Looking back on the TOYA award, what does it mean to you now? What advice do you have for those preparing for the EGSA exam?

It was nice to be recognized by my peers in the power generation industry. EGSA is a great voice for our industry, offering a platform for training and some level of standardization across the many players in our field across the nation. I would suggest that apprentices gain as much practical knowledge as possible and utilize the study guide as a great means of test preparation.

Here’s what our clients and team members are saying about Rob:

Senior LionHeart FSE, Kevin Sheppard, “After working with Rob for the last 12 years, I am amazed at his ability to take things that you teach him and develop it further to a point where he can tell you something that you were unaware of.  It is this tenacity in his quest for knowledge that makes him a great tech.”

 

“Rob and his team member were amazing as they pulled a part off the generator due to a turbo system leak to complete the load test.”

 

LionHeart Apprentice, Eric Dawson, “Rob is a great guy to work with. His willingness to take on any type of problem and go the extra mile really shows in all aspects of his work. He is a pleasure to work with and is a huge asset to the Lionheart team.”

 

To learn more about troubleshooting your critical power equipment, contact us 24 hours a day at 844.LHPOWER.

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