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IIoT & Smart Manufacturing Conference debuts virtually

ISA’s virtual events program debuted its IIoT & Smart Manufacturing Conference on 27 October 2020. Speakers at this eight-session virtual event presented advances in connectivity, automation, and security in the context of hybrid manufacturing. The keynote speeches focused on the significance of 5G in the manufacturing and automation sectors. Speakers included Adrian Scrase, CTO for the European Telecommunications Standard Institute; Andrew Alleman, chief architect for network solutions, next generations, and standards, at Intel Corporation; and Andreas Mueller, PhD, head of communication and network technology for Bosch Corporate Research.

Other sessions during the day covered industrial wireless systems and advancements in automation cyber-physical security, practical machine learning and artificial intelligence applications, smartly connecting manufacturing systems, how smart manufacturing is safe manufacturing, and more. For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/ISAevents-IIotSM.

Leader members living la vida lockdown

Hurricanes, the coronavirus pandemic, and more has caused many to create alternate activities for time-honored traditions in 2020. This year’s Annual Leader Conference—scheduled to be held in Puerto Rico—was no exception. But ISA leaders and staff rose to the (virtual) occasion.

On 22 October 2020, during two separate but equally festive Zoom calls, leader members around the globe were able to enjoy “Living La Vida Lockdown.” Attendees in tropical attire grabbed a cocktail and followed along as volunteers demonstrated cooking and beverage-making skills. “Quarantiki Time” was hosted by mixologists “Surfside” Steve Mustard and “Beach Bum” Bill Furlow. Others demonstrated how to cook tostones, a crispy fried plantain appetizer, and mofongo, a sweet and savory dish that is rich
with centuries of Puerto Rican history.

According to ISA director of governance and membership Andrea Hopkins Holovach, a good time was had by all.

What is IIoT? What is an Industry 4.0 HMI?

During this year of digital transformation, the Smart Manufacturing and IIoT Division (SMIIOT) has been busy populating the ISA Interchange blog with a slew of useful content answering fundamental questions about automation. Two examples:

What is an HMI? “Human-machine interfaces, more commonly known as HMIs, have been used since a personal computer arrived on the plant floor. Most people think of them as the screens used in a production environment. In a broader sense, they are a form of user interface (UI) between people and machines. So the better question to ask is, ‘What does an HMI look like in the age of Industry 4.0?’ ”

What is IIoT? “We first must define IoT. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of intelligent devices, computers, mobiles, and applications that are connected to the Internet. IoT collects a large amount of data, stores and processes it in the cloud, and shares it with the end user. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a subset of IoT that specifically refers to industrial automation.” Find out about the division’s other activities at https://isa.org/smiiot.

STEM diversity and inclusion: Blacks in technology

Individuals and organizations are working for equal representation in STEM all over the world. To find out more, the ISA Interchange blog asked Greg Greenlee, the chairman and founder of Blacks in Technology (BIT), to discuss his group’s work and mission.

Greenlee says he founded Blacks in Technology to “provide a space for Black people in tech to (a) connect and engage with one another; (b) learn from one another; (c) support one another in our tech careers, endeavors, and journeys; (d) create a sense of community amongst Black people in tech; (e) provide positive images to others in or aspiring to be in tech or just the tech-curious.”

A main goal for the organization is to ensure Black people are not being underrepresented. “Black people make up 13 percent of the population in the United States but only 2 percent in the tech field. This is well-known,” says Greenlee. “We are a long way off from equal representation, but we would like for the numbers to be reflected equally in tech. It would make it better because diversity of thought has always made things better throughout history.”

The organization is looking to not only help provide educational resources to enhance the careers of Black people already working in technology, but also to provide “visibility, a network, a safe space, and a community that can help broaden the reach of technology in our community and also help to show that this field is a great option for us to be in,” he said. BIT does that by partnering with organizations and companies to provide training and organizing events—in person and now virtual.

The annual tech conference called BITCon “pays talented and knowledgeable Black people in tech to come in and showcase their expertise to a huge audience. It’s a true tech conference where techies, engineers, and others come to bond with one another, build relationships, support one another, and elevate one another,” says Greenlea. “We had to cancel this year due to COVID, but we hope to be back in 2021.” Find out more at https://tinyurl.com/ISAinterchange-BIT.

Improving ISA governance and strategy

Outgoing ISA president Eric Cosman spoke to ISA members about the executive board’s decision to conduct a review of ISA governance structures and processes, the Society’s first use of online voting for the meeting of the Council of Society Delegates, and other changes and accomplishments during this turbulent year in a blog post on ISA Interchange.

“It continues to be a very strange and unusual year, presenting new and unusual challenges for many of us,” said Cosman. “Whether in our personal or professional lives, we have all had to show resilience and adaptability in the face of these circumstances. We have found new ways to work, communicate, and collaborate as we adapt to what the pundits euphemistically describe using the cliché of a ‘new normal.’ I have long believed that the traits most important for long-term success include willingness to accept change and openness to learning. Of course, the same holds true for our Society.”

Cosman noted that the ability to learn from others and respond to changing circumstances is a significant challenge for any organization. And ISA is meeting this challenge.

The Society’s first use of online voting by the the Council of Society Delegates resulted in the approval of a new set of bylaws for ISA. “With these changes, we now have a solid basis for the further improvements of our governance policies and procedures that will allow us to be more responsive to changing circumstances,” said Cosman.

ISA has also been making progress on a strategic plan that is based on the values of professionalism, diversity and inclusion, excellence, collaboration, and integrity. By definition, strategies are focused on the long term, and “we will need the ideas, contributions, and experience of all members to achieve our objectives,” Cosman said. “We all have a role to play in identifying and making the changes required to ensure our long-term success as a society, and to live up to our aspiration of being the home of automation.”

Amid these changes, ISA continues to provide products and services for its members and customers. “We are responding to the changing needs in the industries that we serve and the availability of new technology and solutions,” said Cosman. “An example of this is the formation of the Smart Manufacturing and IIoT Division, with the goals of providing clarity around these subjects, developing technical content and standardized approaches to solve critical problems, and providing a forum for networking and collaboration. This new division already has more than 1,000 members and recently held a very successful virtual event.”


New CAPs and CCSTs

Below is a list of individuals who have recently passed either ISA’s Certified Automation Professional (CAP) exam, or one of the three levels of Certified Control Systems Technician (CCST) exam. For more about either program, visit www.isa.org/training-and-certifications/isa-certification.

Certified Control System Technicians

Level 1
Thom Wolfsen, U.S.
Matthew Coyle, U.S.
Andrew Costello, U.S.
Lorenzo Lanzi, U.S.
Brian Keel, U.S.
Kelvin Ware, U.S.
Reese Horton, U.S.
Douglas Ringgold, U.S.
Jeffrey Daniels, U.S.
Mark Keller, U.S.
Thomas Connolly, U.S.
Shawn Hardesty, U.S.
Frank Muscato, U.S.
Nicholas Hines, U.S.
Ronald Campbell, U.S.
Patrick Kendall, U.S.
David Myers, U.S.
Jeffrey Grovom, U.S.
Justin Davis, U.S.
Level 2
Thomas Massey, U.S.
Brandon Cooper, U.S.
Angel Hernandez, U.S.
Henry Ng, U.S.
Reza Gholamrezaei, U.S.
Ryan Raiford, U.S.
James Marshall, U.S.
Clinton Thompson, U.S.
Norman Bates, U.S.
Brandon Karas, U.S.
Steve Gerovac, U.S.
Level 3
Daniel Mos, Canada
Jason Misenhimer, U.S.
Micah Dudley, U.S.

Certified Automation Professionals

Robert Albright,U.S.
Syed Muhammad Bilal Haider, Australia
John Melott, U.S.
Jeremy Wells, U.S.
Riaan Schoeman, U.S.
Vikram Baliga, U.K.
Rangit Kondattu, Norway
Jorge Jimenez, U.S.
Jacob Lindsay, U.S.
Muhanna Al Rahbi, Oman



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