Meet Justin VanHorn, a Lead DCS Programmer based out of LSI’s Memphis, TN, office. Justin started with LSI in 1997 and over the last 25 years, he has played a key role in growing our HMI and DCS capabilities by mastering multiple platforms. Justin excels in generating documentation for projects and platforms to facilitate efficient workflow and to communicate best practices. He is best described as a DCS Guru, mentor, and team player. We’re proud and honored to feature him in this month’s Employee Spotlight below.
How long have you been with LSI?
25 years as of Nov 2022
What is your role at LSI?
Lead DCS Programmer
Where did you go to college?
The University of Missouri – Rolla, now known as the Missouri University of Science and Technology.
What industries have you been involved in?
Coffee, Specialty Chemicals, Food and Beverage, Brewing, Paper, Nuclear Waste, Parts Manufacturing
What is your area of expertise?
Emerson’s DeltaV DCS, including S88 Batch, and Process Control
What platforms are you familiar with?
- Besides DeltaV, I started programming PLCs using the ICOM PLC5 software (before RSLogix was as widespread) and then RSLogix for SLC 500, PLC5, and Studio 5000. Siemens (then owned by Moore) APACS was the first DCS I ever worked with. I’ve also used the Rockwell PlantPAx Library.
- Simulators I’ve used include Cape Software, PICS simulation with PLC5 (a very long time ago!), and much more. Most recently – Mynah Mimic and DeltaV Internal Simulation.
- For HMIs, I’m most familiar with Intellution iFIX as packaged by Emerson DeltaV, but I’ve also worked with Aveva (Wonderware) Intouch, Aveva (Wonderware) ArchestrA and System Platform, and ABB MOD 300 and various panel view software applications.
What has been your favorite project at LSI?
My first paper mill project is my favorite because I was the software team lead, and I had the freedom to develop the standards as I saw fit.
What is your proudest moment at LSI?
My proudest moment was seeing my DeltaV simulation block library touted to customers as “LSI’s Internal Simulation Library.”
What sets LSI apart as an employer?
LSI is flexible and family oriented. We treat our people as people, not just as temporary resources. We focus on the long-term growth of each employee.
What sets LSI apart as a system integrator?
LSI builds relationships with our customers; we don’t just complete a project, wash our hands, and move on. We want to be there for our customers in the long term, to help them with future needs and to become knowledgeable of their facilities.
What are three ways or words that you would use to describe LSI?
Family-friendly, caring, and a true team across our many branches.
What is one thing clients may not know about LSI that you want to share?
LSI is continually expanding its capabilities, and if you have an industrial need at your facility, there is a good chance LSI can help – just ask one of our engineers.
Long-term client relationships are a hallmark of LSI. Why is that?
It’s been a philosophy of LSI leadership well before I arrived over 25 years ago. From the beginning, I believe it was part of a great business model originating with LSI’s founders, Larry Bailey and Larry Baker.
How has LSI helped you in your career development?
LSI has been a Godsend to me personally; they have provided me with many opportunities to learn and grow from the very beginning. I was mentored by an experienced engineer early in my career and was never “pigeonholed” into just one specialty.
What advice do you have for prospective LSI candidates?
Be ready to rise to new challenges, and you will never stop learning.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I spend most of my free time with close friends – we like BBQs and bonfires. I go target shooting on a regular basis, and I also enjoy DIY projects around the house.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
Anywhere with a beach and cold drinks!
What is your favorite sports team?
I’m not much of a sports guy, but I love the Lewisburg High School Patriots (because both my sons played football there). If I were watching sports, it would be MMA or boxing.
Apple iOS or Android?
ANDROID on a high-power Samsung device is the only way to go.
Any random facts about yourself that you could share with us?
- People might not know I’ve recently survived (so far) bone marrow cancer (MDS) and a bone marrow transplant.
- I once translated a PanelView application from English to Chinese (I don’t speak Chinese, but I had an app before Google existed and help from one of our engineers in China).
- I’ve had some unusual hobbies in the past, such as experimental rocketry. I also practiced fencing during college and MMA in my younger days before and after college.