Check engine light in yellow on automobile dashboard

Are Smart Devices in a Plant Your Most Valuable Assets?

Think of the usefulness of the diagnostics in your automobile: Few of us know or even care about the hundreds of functions being carried out by a car’s “brain” under the hood.  On-board diagnostic (OBD) systems give the vehicle owner or repair technician access to the status of the various vehicle subsystems. Modern OBD implementations […]

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A Sneak Preview of ISA’s New Website and Enhanced User Experience

The International Society of Automation has been putting the finishing touches on a brand new website, the customer − and member − facing portal that showcases all of ISA’s products, services, and technical information to the world. Behind the new website is a brand new, state-of-the-art association management system, which fulfills a similar purpose to […]

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Tip #38: Derail Scripted Demonstrations

We have all been there. The sales person stands before the crowd demonstrating a control system. He clicks here and lays down a pump, he clicks there and adds a control valve, he opens this window and everything magically links and is fully functional. The system is a flawless masterpiece. Nothing can go wrong … […]

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Cybersecurity – one of the 10 trends impacting the future of ISA

In my column in last month’s issue of ISA Insights, I mentioned five game-changing themes ISA leaders adopted as high-level directional strategic goals for the Society. Those goals originated from a discussion of trends impacting ISA’s future. In many cases ISA staff and volunteers who are subject matter experts (SME’s) in these areas are already […]

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ISA Training and Education Programs for April

Educational events, online courses, webinars and exam preparation offerings for April feature a variety of choices including classes on instrumentation for hazardous environments, burner management, process control valves, MES user requirements, electronic equipment maintenance and tuning control loops. Special programs for April feature the ISA Technician Training Boot Camp and a new, online review course […]

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What are the Benefits of Multiproduct Manufacturing in the Biopharmaceutical Industry?

With the historical success of blockbuster products, the biopharmaceutical industry has required large manufacturing capacity with single-product facilities built to produce large volumes of a single blockbuster drug. More recently, however, with the changing business and regulatory environment, facilities have to be more flexible and capable of producing multiple products. They need to have shorter […]

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Tip #97: Use Valve Position Control to Optimize Process Efficiency and Capacity

There are many opportunities for process optimization by valve position control (VPC). Table 1 summarizes common examples of the use of VPC for increasing process efficiency and capacity. Efficiency is increased by reducing energy and raw material costs for a given production rate. Capacity is increased by increasing feed rates for a given efficiency. Table […]

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What Test Equipment Should You Use in a Hazardous Area?

What is a hazardous area? A hazardous area is an area (inside or outside) that contains, or may contain, flammable substances. The flammable substance may be a liquid, gas, vapor, or dust. The area may contain a flammable substance all of the time, most of the time, or only in specific situations, such as shutdowns […]

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What Can We Do to Prevent Cyberattacks on Industrial Operations?

Cybersecurity is now becoming a high priority for industry and the government, but the Automation Federation (AF) and its sister organization the International Society of Automation (ISA) have been ahead of this recent industry and government activity. The partners have been working with hundreds of end user and vendor members on industrial cybersecurity best practices, […]

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