132: Globetrotting, Apprenticeships and Data-Driven Panel Design with EPLAN’s Sean Mulherrin

Sean Mulherrin is a Product Manager and International Solutions Architect at EPLAN…and this episode is truly a trip around the world!

EPLAN is one of the world’s leading design software solutions for machine, plant, and panel builders. As much as this is a conversation with panel design at the core, it’s also a conversation about how to use data effectively, career paths you can take, and why you might want to break out of your bubble and see the world.

In this episode, Sean shares his truly international background and what he’s learned from growing up and working around the globe. We also cover engineering, skilled trades, and the role of apprenticeships in the modern workforce before diving deep into panel design. Sean discusses methodologies for both panel design in general – plus digital panel design – and how end users and integrators alike should be thinking long term about how they’re building their panels.


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3 Quick Things from this Episode

  1. Apprenticeships provide manufacturing hopefuls with helpful, hands-on experience, and can be a great alternative to an engineering degree as it was for Sean.
  2. Control panels should not be designed only for the panel build, but also for troubleshooting. Design your panel for the future user.
  3. “Digitization” refers to creating a static digital version of something, like a PDF of a schematic. “Digitalization” refers to creating a dynamic version that is useful and maintains it’s ability to be modified and updated, such as creating schematics in the EPLAN Platform.

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Tweetable Quotes

  • “Travel really opens up your eyes and makes you less afraid of change, professionally and personally.” 
  • “Digitalization is the way forward.” 
  • “If you design for troubleshooting, you can use data to generate the information for building the panel, as well as making it available for troubleshooting. You’re future-proofing.” 

Please Scroll Down for Recommended Resources from this Episode

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What We Discuss with Sean

  • How to use data effectively 
  • The past, present and future of control panel building 
  • Why you should break out of your bubble in manufacturing 
  • The benefits of apprenticeships 
  • Why you should design panels for troubleshooting 
  • How to find your passion in manufacturing
  • What Sean has learned from working around the globe 
  • How both end users and integrators should view panel building 
  • Why you shouldn’t be afraid of change 

Recommended Resources

  • EPLAN, providing software and service solutions in the fields of electrical engineering, automation, and mechatronics engineering 
  • Jost Van Dyke – One of the smallest of the British Virgin Islands, Jost Van Dyke encapsulates an abundance of charm and history. Its rich history has fostered some of the Caribbean’s best dining, with barbecue, Indian food and seafood dominating menus across their many beachside eateries: https://www.bvitourism.com/the-islands/jost-van-dyke  

Connect with Sean and EPLAN

LinkedIn | Twitter | Sean Mulherrin