Tag Archives | Instrumentation


Ain’t No Stopping Us Now

We just finished our Fall Leaders Meeting (FLM) and it was so invigorating spending time with our dedicated volunteer leadership teams.  There was record attendance, many new faces, and an outstanding Honors & Awards Gala event.  The Leaders Meeting Planning Committee developed a strong program that offered many opportunities to hone our ISA and work-related […]

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How to Achieve Optimal Web Tension Control

Tension controls are crucially important, both for the runnability of the machine and for the overall quality of the product. However, this control is quite often executed imperfectly or even incorrectly because of poor design or engineering. Many times the selected components themselves are good, but they are still incorrect for the specific application, or […]

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The Leadership Challenge: Priming the Pump

Last month I talked about the challenge of filling our volunteer leadership pipeline.  This is a multi-faceted challenge that includes the search, identification, and mentoring of potential new leaders.  Once we get volunteers to come forward, we need to figure out ways to help them become successful in their leadership roles.  This includes training on […]

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The Decision to Volunteer: The Why, How, and a Personal Call to Action

In their book, The Decision to Volunteer: Why People Give Their Time and How You Can Engage Them, Beth Gazley and Monica Dignam used research on associations to better understand why members volunteer for professional societies such as ISA.  Their research indicated that volunteers contribute their time for both altruistic (other-serving) and instrumental (self-serving) reasons.  […]

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How to Improve Industrial Automation Security

The history of industrial automation fascinates me. Continuous innovation and new technologies have taken manufacturing processes that originated in the Industrial Age and catapulted them straight into the information age. Just as productivity seemed to be topping out, the Internet helped boost productivity and efficiency to previously unimaginable levels. Unfortunately, as industrial automation roared into […]

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New Industrial Standards for Robotic Safety

The past few years have been marked by significant changes in industrial safety standards in the U.S. Safety managers, plant managers, and others who are not carefully monitoring these developments may not be keeping pace with the latest codes and regulations. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “machine guarding” that pertains to […]

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Modular Systems Speed and Simplify New Plant Programming

Getting out the cake and candles may have been overdoing it, but ISA-88’s 20th birthday was 28 February 2015. Since 1995, it has served countless manufacturers, primarily in batch process industries, while growing and evolving to cover new areas, and even spawning other standards. The first batch control standard in the ISA-88 series was approved […]

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Product Lifecycle Management and Automation Are Being Drawn Together

The worlds of product lifecycle management (PLM) and automation are being drawn together by a series of technological developments that are beginning to have far-reaching effects, not only in manufacturing, but across all industries. For PLM vendors, this combination is manifesting itself in an upsurge of research and development activity, acquisition, and partnering. For those […]

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Design Tips to Create a More Effective HMI

There are many ways to develop human-machine interface (HMI) screens for machine and process automation applications. Effective implementation requires discipline in design. The look, feel, and ease of use of an HMI can vary widely given all the tools, object libraries, animations, and colors available with modern HMI software—but there are guidelines to improve HMI […]

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