USA - The Entertainment Technician Certification Programme Council has confirmed that the Navigator Automation Class at Fisher Technical Services, Inc. (FTSI) has been approved as an ETCP Recognised Training Programme.

FTSI's four-day course gives students an overall view of the principles of entertainment automation systems and teaches the basics of how to configure and programme an automation system using FTSI's Navigator hardware and software.

The course is taught by Dana Bartholomew, a vice president of Fisher Technical Services, who has over 26 years of theatre automation experience. Bartholomew is one of the foremost experts on both Navigator software and practical installations. She is involved with the development of industry standards as a member of ESTA's Rigging Working Group. At Fisher Technical Services, she has been integral to the design, manufacturing, and installation of everything from single winch installations to large scale, 100+ axis spectaculars.

The course is designed for practising professionals as well as the novice looking to develop a greater understanding of automation. With a maximum class size of eight students, the course covers mechanical system components, network architecture, safety systems and considerations, motion control techniques, system programming tools and instructions, console operation, and basic troubleshooting, with examples and exercises provided for all students. Richard Cadena wrote, "It was an incredible experience and it made me realize just how powerful automation can be. I think automation is still in its infancy and it will be one of the fastest growing areas of the industry for a long time to come."

Upcoming courses will be held at FTSI's research, design, and fabrication facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. The classes with space still available in 2010 are 23-26 August 23-26 and 13-16 December. Additionally, this fall LDI will incorporate automation training in the LDInstitute for the first time in its history.

(Jim Evans)

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