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ISA Process Industry Virtual Conference Highlights Open Process Automation

“In the past few years, open process automation and industry initiatives have focused on open modular, interoperable, and portable solutions,” said Bridget Fitzpatrick, process automation authority for Wood Applied Intelligence, during her keynote speech at the ISA Process Industry Virtual Conference (PIC) held 2 November 2021. The level and pace of competition in the process industries highlights the need for better solutions, she added.

Fitzpatrick, who has more than 30 years of experience in process engineering, is an ISA Fellow who has been active in the association since the 1990s. In her keynote called “Future Ready Now: Developing, Adopting, and Managing New Technology,” she discussed how process automation has developed over the years.

“I’m suggesting we set our redesign sights back on the drawing board and create engineering solutions that best support the underlying functional requirements,” Fitzpatrick explained. “The companies that embrace the possibilities of these new platforms will be future-ready and potentially the most successful.”

Fitzpatrick said becoming future-ready involves different opportunities for each segment of the industry:

  • For vendors, embrace the opportunity to refine and use intellectual property to help better manage commercial and custom client technology.
  • For operating companies, it is an opportunity to step back and redesign systems to leverage technology rather than perpetuate the existing controls.
  • If open source hardware is used, when you next need new hardware, you can port your IP to the new platform and not have to rebuild.
  • There will be some control design evolution, but it will be driven by performance improvement rather than by obsolescence.

In summary, Fitzpatrick highlighted four major focuses of future-ready now initiatives: leverage technology, including open systems; customize when you need to; standardize where it makes sense and figure out the best method for common unit operations; and enable the operator to agilely respond to opportunities.

The virtual PIC event also included sessions on the best practices for automation project management, digitalization of functional safety, and a variety of technology demonstrations. –By Melissa Landon

In Memoriam: Thomas Leigh Phinney

Thomas Leigh Phinney—instrumental in the formation of the ISA100.11a wireless standard, IEC 62734, and the local area network standards IEEE 802.11 and IEEE 802.4—passed away 2 December 2021. In addition to his contributions to industrial process control systems and network system standards, including the first one for Wi-Fi, much of Phinney’s work before and after retirement centered on cybersecurity for wireless automation networks, including communications encryption for utilities, iris recognition for airports, and federally funded projects concerning U.S. security issues, especially after 9/11.

Phinney graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BS in mathematics and worked for GE/GE Process on automation system architecture and software design. He also worked at Honeywell Process Solutions, where he was the company’s first Senior Principal Engineering Fellow.

He founded Concord Data Systems, which developed early modems, and Concord Communications. He sold the business in 1989, using the proceeds to purchase a much-enjoyed summer home on the Oregon coast. He then reconnected with Honeywell, this time with Honeywell-Europe’s Brussels office, working with Shell International at The Hague and with the European MAP Users Group. Additional Honeywell assignments followed in the U.S., with projects that included working on ISA’s SP50 fieldbus standards committee.

“His knowledge, integrity, and professionalism set a great example for me,” says Penny Chen, senior principal technology strategist, Yokogawa U.S. Technology Center. “Tom was a true inspiration, not just for work but for his life. He was learning ballet and Chinese after retirement. He was a very open-minded person and willing to try different things.”

Phinney was an avid patron of, and contributor to, the performing arts scene. He enjoyed classical music, performed ballet in Arizona productions, and was on the board of various related organizations. He has said he was “a significant supporter of early music programs and education at Arizona State University, for which [he] commissioned and contributed two clavichords to early music pedagogy and performance.” He also endowed the Oregon Bach Festival keyboard chair—he and his family enjoyed the event every summer. –By Lynn DeRocco

Meet 2021 ISA Fellow Jagan Mohan Reddy Yeturu

Jagan Mohan Reddy Yeturu, CAP, has 25 years of experience in architecture and system engineering, instrumentation, and control systems technology development. He developed a system that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence at edge devices to predict failures of high-pressure gas skids. The system uses vibration, pressure, and position to learn a failure model. The model is then deployed across multiple sites and employs course correction based on the predictions versus the actual results. The system reduces the cost of downtime and repairs for natural gas suppliers.

Yeturu also conceptualized, designed, and implemented the integrated control and safety system for a Qatar-based gas processing greenfield project with more than 60 OPC integrations to the distributed control system. This was a unique experiment to replace traditional systems with OPC DA, AE, and HDA.

Other projects included conceptualizing and designing docker technology for control systems, in which control execution is performed as a container in the hardware to make the software agnostic to the underlying software. Further, he designed, developed, and implemented a first-of-its-kind Foundation Fieldbus–based control system for biomass-based power plant applications. As a member of the Fieldbus Foundation Committee, he has trained hundreds of project and support engineers in these technologies.

Yeturu became a Certified Automation Professional early on and was one of the few initial members from India to pass the exam. “I renewed thrice, which is a measure of my continuity toward its usefulness, and became a mentor to others taking this exam, to get certified to improve their prospects in employment in the profession,” he says.

For more than 10 years, he has served ISA District 14 in various capacities and contributed to the growth of the Society by enrolling people and conducting events. He has also been a member of the ISA100 group from its inception, actively implementing and incubating WCI scripts to test device compliance for proper operation and interoperability.

Yeturu coauthored Foundation Fieldbus with other ISA Fellows and implemented Foundation Fieldbus (FF) at Reliance Jamnagar, the largest FF implementation in India for the oil and gas domain. He is a member of the board of studies of more than five colleges and on the senate of three universities to encourage more students to adopt instrumentation, control, and automation as a profession. He implemented an integrated control systems lab for industrial and building systems using digital protocols, such as Foundation Fieldbus and BACnet, at the International Institute of Information Technology in Bangalore, India, to enable thousands of students to train and become industry-ready professionals.

Additionally, Yeturu wrote a book on instrumentation and control for Indian students. It is used as a textbook in more than 100 colleges in India. He also coauthored the reference book Industrial Process Automation and Design. He has numerous patents and has been published in scores of peer-reviewed, internationally renowned journals.

Yeturu is currently a senior engineering manager of Honeywell Technology Solutions Labs, and his current projects include research on vision- and voice-based soft sensors with artificial intelligence.

Find out about other ISA Fellows and other 2021 award winners.  –By Lynn DeRocco

ISA President Mandolesi Discusses Goals for 2022

In his first blog post as ISA president, Carlos Mandolesi urged ISA members to “remember the components of our strategy that includes our vision, mission, and values. We need to live our strategy, and all of our members and volunteers, from the sections and divisions to our staff, need to take them into consideration in all that we do.”

ISA’s vision is to create a better world through automation. ISA’s mission is to advance technical competence by connecting the automation community to achieve operational excellence. And ISA’s values include:

  • Excellence: We provide industry-leading, unbiased content developed and vetted by a community of experts
  • Integrity: We act with honesty, integrity, and trust—respecting others in all that we do
  • Diversity and Inclusion: We are committed to being a global, diverse, and inclusive organization
  • Collaboration: We seek out opportunities to work together for the benefit of the Society, its members, and our profession
  • Professionalism: We uphold the highest standards of competence and skill in everything we do.

During the last month of 2021, Mandolesi said the executive board reviewed ISA’s strategy, defined its objectives, and “introduced the concept of key results that will allow us to measure our progress.” The key results all members should be focused on during 2022 are: grow our professional membership by 2 percent, increase ISA’s audience in specific target segments by 5 percent, increase ISA’s non-U.S. audience in specific target segments by 10 percent, increase total training attendees by 5 percent, increase non-U.S. training participation by 2 percent, increase certificates and certifications by 5 percent, improve Leader Satisfaction Score by 2 percent.

“I am thrilled that one of our key results is to increase our membership. Members are the essence of ISA, and they are the main reason we exist. We need to know our members, and members need to be aware of and use the benefits that ISA offers to them,” he said.

“I have heard many times from members around the globe that ISA needs to do this or that. We need to remember that WE are ISA. ISA is formed by its members, volunteer leaders, and staff, and WE are the ones that can ‘do this or that’ to create the ISA we want to be,” he said.

Connect with Carlos Mandolesi on ISAConnect, LinkedIn, or via email.

New CAPs and CCSTs

The following individuals 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 information about either program, visit certification and testing.

Certified Control System Technicians
Level 1
Ryan Blair, Shermco System Integration, U.S.
Kayle Bollin, U.S.
Andrew Boone, U.S.
Alexander Brimacombe, Canada
Daniel M. Chandler, U.S.
Eliazar D. Cruz, U.S.
Daylen Grewe, U.S.
William Brian Gubbins, Akorn Pharmaceuticals, U.S.
Sean Keane, MillerCoors, U.S.
William Joseph MacClain, Hollyfrontier Tulsa Refining LLC, U.S.
Mitchell Mann, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, U.S.
Sean W. Marsh, U.S.
Brandon Mastey, Xcel Energy – Sherco, U.S.
Gunnar D. McConnell, Xcel Energy, U.S.
Seth Milne, Bureau of Land Management, U.S.
Sami A. Motairi
Ronney Neely, Ann Arbor Wastewater Treatment Plant, U.S.
Juan Negrete, Akorn Pharmaceuticals, U.S.
Enrique Ochoa, Flint Hills Resources, U.S.
Desmond Paxton
Jesse Shepherd, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, U.S.
Jesse Sherman, Associated Electric Cooperative Inc., U.S.
Christopher L. Thrower, U.S.
Julian Trott, Bermuda
Branden Williams, Messer, U.S.

Level 2
Aaron J. Conley, U.S.
Danny Cooper, MillerCoors, U.S.
Walter Duckworth, Total Petrochemicals USA Inc., U.S.
John Gowder, MillerCoors, U.S.
Joseph Mark Grubb, U.S.
David Halter, MillerCoors, U.S.
Paul Kaczorowski, MillerCoors, U.S.
Antonio Mar, U.S.
Zulamin Masahod, Emirates Global Aluminium – Alumina Refinery, Philippines
Cole Neufeld, SaskPower, Canada
Zach A. Otto, U.S.
Joseph Storer, American Refining Group, U.S.
Seth Young, MillerCoors, U.S.

Level 3
Benjamin G. Cade, U.S.
James A. Frederick, Engineering Institute of Technology, U.S.
Daniel Ray Richter, U.S.
Certified Automation Professionals
Mohamed Abdelrahman, Yokogawa Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia
Devesh Agrawal, Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company Ltd., Saudi Arabia
Ali Hussain Al Majed, Saudi Arabia
Mohannad Al-Shahrani, Saudi Arabia
Ali Alhaddad, SNC-Lavalin Fayez Engineering, Saudi Arabia
Ali Almatar, Saudi Arabia
Abdulaziz Balghonaim, Saudi Arabia
Miguel J. Borges Filho, Petrobras – CENPES, Brazil
Asim Iqbal, Worley Parsons Engineering Consultancies Company, Saudi Arabia
Christopher Michael Marik, U.S.
Mohamed Ismail Khalid Mohamed, FM Approvals, Saudi Arabia
Khairul Redwan Bin Muhammad, Hexagon PPM, Malaysia
Onome Omene, Bendel Automation and Controls Inc., Canada
Scott E. Owen, MWRDGC, U.S.
Yusuf Pribadi, Indonesia
David Sanchez, Ecuador
Jesse Sherman, Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. U.S.
Anil Manohar Shinde, Canada
Wei Hong Tai, Excel Marco Industrial Systems Pte. Ltd., Singapore
Chengyu Wang, U.S.
Tyler Watson, BSI Engineering, U.S.

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