ISA Updates Its Identity, Standards & Other Member Modifications

Thu, 10/23/2008 - 7:48am
The initials remain the same-but what they stand for has changed. ISA's Council of Society Delegates voted in its annual meeting during the ISA Expo in Houston to change the organization's name to the International Society of Automation by an overwhelming majority. The council voted to rename the society from the Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society. The council controls the society's policies, and members are represented by one delegate for each geographic ISA Section. The council also approved a $15 per year increase in dues at the annual meeting to accommodate two Technical Division Memberships for individual members, and updated its policy on Section rebates. "We are no longer just instruments and systems. Yes, these are an important part of any automation scheme and to the operation of plants, but we are more. Each member had an important decision to make and a responsibility to consider our future as an organization. The new name ensures that when science and technology advance beyond our wildest imaginations, we'll still have an identity that encompasses and embraces all of the current and future members that make up our Society," explains Kim Miller Dunn, ISA President. "The International Society of Automation is clear, concise, all-encompassing and easy to comprehend by our membership, as well as lay people outside the industry." Dunn continues, "ISA leaders have reinvented the Society. We are global. We are engaged with government in areas such as workforce development and cyber security. "We have successfully established the Automation Federation as 'The Voice of Automation,' creating a home for the many special interest groups that exist in the automation space without taking away their identities. We have reorganized the governance and enhanced our core competencies: standards, certification, education and training, publications, and conferences and exhibits. At a time when many volunteer organizations are struggling to remain relevant in a cyber world, ISA has succeeded and continues to grow." In related news, the ISA100 Committee on Wireless Systems for Automation recently completed a committee ballot on the second draft of the proposed ISA100.11a standard on wireless systems for industrial automation for process control and related applications. The ballot essentially asked voting committee members to indicate whether they felt that the draft was suitable for issue as an ISA standard. The ballot also invited comments from non-voting members of the committee and the general public. According to the organization, this open process of inviting all interested parties to suggest revisions or improvements to a draft standard is a hallmark of the ANSI-accredited consensus process that ISA uses to develop broadly supported industry standards. The ballot was supported by 63 percent of the voters, which falls short of the required 2/3 approval. However, a number of very constructive comments were received. The committee is now embarking on a defined process of addressing the comments by suitably revising the draft. Any substantive edits to the draft will be re-balloted to the voting members for an opportunity to revise their vote. If the standard attains a 2/3 approval as a result of the re-ballot, then it will progress to approval by the ISA Standards and Practices Board prior to final publication. The target timetable is by the end of 2008. In addition to the work on ISA100.11a, the ISA100 committee will engage in activities with WirelessHART Convergence (ISA100.12), Trustworthy Wireless (ISA100.14), Wireless Backhaul Backbone Networks (ISA100.15), and People and Asset Tracking and Identification (ISA100.21). Furthermore, it has a group investigating factory automation.

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