One of the major benefits of the International Society of Automation’s (ISA) membership is ISA’s flagship magazine, InTech. Published six times a year, InTech is a peer-reviewed and trustworthy source, providing timely information about recent technical developments, trends in our industry, and details about the sector as a whole.
InTech explores and reports on the entire gamut of the automation field. It has thought-provoking and authoritative coverage of automation technologies, applications, and strategies. As a well-respected member magazine, InTech draws on the resources and credibility that come from tens of thousands of dedicated professionals in all fields of automation—ISA members who regularly contribute on-the-scene, expert editorial content. InTech takes the form of a 60- to 80-page full-color glossy magazine and is distributed worldwide to ISA’s 30,000 members.
The magazine enjoys a much larger distribution than just ISA members, however. Total print distribution is approximately 60,000 per issue. The online edition of InTech also garners an additional 40,000 views per issue, not including content that is broadcast at www.automation.com as part of ISA’s relationship with that automation news portal. The online version of InTech can be found at www.isa.org/InTech.
What goes into a typical InTech issue? The following list describes the typical main sections that can be found in InTech:
Cover Story: What are the leading-edge trends, technologies, and applications facing the automation profession today? In each issue, InTech’s cover story takes an in-depth look at which technologies manufacturers are using today and will use tomorrow.
Process Automation: These feature stories cover systems that control continuous production processes in various industries, as well as equipment that measures the variables of a process, directs the process according to control signals from the process computer system, and provides appropriate signal transformation.
Factory Automation: These features focus on the discrete manufacturing process that involves the assembly of component parts to construct products that are measured in units, such as airplanes, household items, and computer systems.
System Integration: As engineering departments suffer from the slash and burn of the past decade or so, integrators are becoming more visible and important to manufacturers. They truly are key decision makers in selecting which product line the manufacturer uses. Features covered here speak to the technologies and tools needed to be successful.
Automation IT: Engineering and information technology are in the process of blending skills and their technical expertise. Features in this section tell us about how engineering departments and their colleagues from IT are able to work together, speak the same language, and tackle tough issues on the plant floor.
In addition to the above main sections, InTech also includes a number of regular “departments” which consist of columns, updates and news briefs that are included in every issue. These departments include:
- Automation Update: Leading and bleeding edge technologies that will soon hit the industry
- Automation by the Numbers: A quick snapshot of industry events through numbers
- Executive Corner: Industry leaders sound off
- Automation Basics: Covering basic automation process control parameters and technologies
- Channel Chat: News and developments from system integrators
- Government News: Rules and regulations impacting the industry
- Workforce Development: Industry career development and workforce challenges
- Standards: Breaking news about developing standards throughout the industry
- Talk to Me: Thoughts and analysis from the InTech editor
- Letters: Letters to the Editor from readers
- Young Innovators: Talking shop with the next generation of automation professionals
- Association News: ISA members learn more about their association
- Product Spotlight: Product spotlights focusing on specific areas and other new products in industry
- Products and Resources: New product releases
- The Final Say: Views from leaders in the automation profession
From its beginnings in the 1960s, InTech magazine continues to be the flagship technical publication for the International Society of Automation. As a major benefit, it helps us keep up to date on industry trends, new automation techniques, and major developments in our industry, as well as giving us regular columns for the leaders in our field. As an ISA member, the next time InTech arrives in the mail be sure to take a look through the excellent information provided by this important member benefit.
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Graham Nasby is the vice president and president-elect of the ISA Hamilton Section and a voting member of the ISA18 alarm management standards committee. He is also the general symposium chair for the upcoming 2013 ISA Water/Wastewater and Automatic Controls Symposium, which takes place August 6-8, 2013 in Orlando, Florida, USA.
The author wishes to thank Susan Colwell, publisher of InTech, for her assistance in writing this article.