Conestoga news

November 14, 2008 1:14 PM

Schneider Electric

Industry Leading Initiatives, Leading Edge Technology!

Schneider Electric Canada, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, is a world leader in electrical distribution, industrial control and automation products, systems and services, dedicated to the distribution and control of electricity.

Corporate Training Guide Winter 2009 cover image

When Conestoga College approached the local Schneider representative, Graybar Ontario, for help in outfitting a lab with leading edge PLC technology, Graybar’s Account Manager (Bruce Densmore) made Conestoga aware of a valuable grant program available from Schneider Electric/Square D foundation. The annual grants are available through a competitive process, through which Conestoga made a case for how the College could best serve the community with this support.

Schneider Electric’s Peter D’Aurora of Automation Business Development was brought into the process by Graybar’s Industrial Sales Manager, Shaun MacGarvie, to help. Peter was “ impressed with Conestoga’s passion to expand technical training, partner with industry and satisfy all of the requirements that this entailed”. During his presentation to the foundation, he highlighted Conestoga’s great technical training programs, serving diploma, applied degree, continuing education as well as corporate clients. With the case well made, Conestoga was honored to receive a $78,000 donation from Schneider Electric towards the purchase of the very latest Automation technology (Modicon M340 PLC’s., Magelis HMI’s and Lexium Servo Drives).

Having helped forge this new industry partnership, Graybar further secured equipment donations for the College from their suppliers to complete the new lab setup. N-TRON donated a high-end industrial Ethernet switch, enabling the College to expand its conventional network training to the plant floor. The new network switch will be housed in an electrical enclosure donated by Hoffman. The balance of the networking components are also kindly donated by Graybar and Conestoga complimented all of this by outfitting the lab with brand new computers and flat screen monitors.

Schneider Electric's strong commitment to the College includes training the College's instructors and supporting the College’s delivery of training to both the public and Schneider's southwest Ontario customers. Schneider’s Peter D’Aurora points out that "This is the technology hub of Canada with world leading OEM's. A local training centre with Schneider products was a key focus for this partnership with Conestoga College."

"A key Graybar strategy (explained Shaun MacGarvie) is to link our core suppliers to the college so that Conestoga and the community can benefit from all they have to offer". Shaun also stated that "the Conestoga grads Graybar has hired were top drawer."

Andres Escamilla of Conestoga College has taken the lead role in implementing the training curriculum and training courses for the Modicon PLC lab. Andres’ extensive experience with Modicon PLC’s goes back to the earliest models offered, allowing him to bring depth to the training program. These PLC’s bring new technical opportunities for training, two of the most notable being full-motion control and the five IEC programming languages, as well as other advanced PLC functions.

Conestoga thanks Schneider Electric and their local representative, Graybar Ontario (and their suppliers), for this tremendous opportunity, which is best summed by the plaque which now rests on the classroom door: “In recognition of Schneider Electric for its outstanding support of education at Conestoga”. The lab opening and first courses are slated for January, 2009.

For all your PLC and automation training needs, contact:
Mike Diamond at 519-748-5220 ext. 3370 or

Peter D’Aurora
Peter D’Aurora, Schneider Electric Automation Business Development beside plaque recognizing Schneider Electric’s contribution