This post was authored by Joel Don, ISA's social media community manager.

This automation industry quiz question comes from the ISA Certified Automation Professional (CAP) certification program. ISA CAP certification provides a non-biased, third-party, objective assessment and confirmation of an automation professional's skills. The CAP exam is focused on direction, definition, design, development/application, deployment, documentation, and support of systems, software, and equipment used in control systems, manufacturing information systems, systems integration, and operational consulting. Click this link for more information about the CAP program.

Identify three levels within the manufacturing computer systems hierarchy.

a) operating system, machine interface, Internet
b) planning, execution, device control
c) MRP II, planning, enterprise requirements
d) inventory, movement, planning
e) none of the above

Click Here to Reveal the Answer

The manufacturing computer systems hierarchy is defined in ISA-88 and ISA-95 by Level 0 through Level 4. Level 4 encompasses the business planning and logistics activities, such as the basic plant operations schedule, inventory, and shipping requirements.

Activities at Level 3 are concerned with manufacturing operations management. These are the activities related to the execution of recipes and production workflow and creating operations records.

Levels 1 and 2 are focused on device control, whether it is batch, continuous, or discrete control.

Answer A only lists hardware and software used at each level where computers are used. Answers B and C are all activities found at Level 3 of the hierarchy.

The correct answer is B, “planning, execution, device control.”

Reference: Nicholas Sands, P.E., CAP and Ian Verhappen, P.Eng., CAP., A Guide to the Automation Body of Knowledge. To read a brief Q&A with the authors, plus download a free 116-page excerpt from the book, click this link.

About the Author
Joel Don is the community manager for ISA and is an independent content marketing, social media and public relations consultant. Prior to his work in marketing and PR, Joel served as an editor for regional newspapers and national magazines throughout the U.S. He earned a master's degree from the Medill School at Northwestern University with a focus on science, engineering and biomedical marketing communications, and a bachelor of science degree from UC San Diego.

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