International Society of Automation News Release
Contact: Jennifer Infantino
+1 919-990-9287
jenniferinfantino@isa.org

First-ever ISA Food and Pharmaceuticals Industries Division Symposium held last week in NC's global epicenter of technological innovation and research

Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA (13 March 2014) - More than 70 automation and control professionals gathered in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA last week at the inaugural ISA Food and Pharmaceuticals Industries Division (FPID) Symposium to learn how to address emerging serialization requirements and supply chain processes that are driving major changes in global food and pharmaceuticals distribution.

Research Triangle Park, a globally acclaimed epicenter of high-tech research and development, served as the ideal setting for the symposium given that it is home to many prominent, industry-leading pharmaceutical companies as well as to ISA headquarters. In addition to featuring 23 expert speaker and technical presentations with panel discussions, a well-represented vendor exhibit, and two ISA training courses, the event included tours of local companies so attendees could view first hand many of the recommended automation processes and techniques discussed.

During the two-day symposium, noted experts and guest speakers explained the importance of automation to reduce errors and implement enhanced serialization controls to improve tracking and tracing throughout distribution channels. Specific technologies and methodologies were discussed along with examples of their use. Many of the most effective approaches involve highly coordinated strategies that incorporate automation, supply chain management, and information analysis and security.

Two highly popular ISA training courses were conducted during the two-day event: Implementing Enterprise/Control Integration Using ANSI/ISA95 Standards (IC55C) and Introduction to Applying the Batch Control Standard ANSI/ISA88.01 (IC40C).

"Our team really enjoyed the conference," says Eric V. Mayer of Avid Solutions, a developer of automation and information solutions. "The quality of the presentations was outstanding and right on point with the theme and focus of the conference. We were impressed with the experience and expertise of the attendees, many of whom were high-level engineers and technologies with substantial experience in the automation and MES industry."

John Hamel of Parsec Automation Corp., a developer of real-time operations and performance management software, echoed these comments, saying the meeting was "well organized with great presentations. We look forward to attending future ISA FPID events."

ISA is pleased to announce that next year's ISA FPID Symposium will take place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in early March. Symposium and division leaders are already recruiting volunteers, participants and speakers for the event. For more information, contact Rodney Jones, Manager, ISA Sections and Divisions, atrjones@isa.org. Updates and more information will be posted on the ISA website.

Assisting ISA headquarters in conducting this year's symposium were the Tar Heel Section of ISA, which provided numerous volunteers, and the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE), which contributed valuable technical content and served as an event sponsor and exhibitor.

In addition to the technical sessions and training opportunities, attendees were treated to:

Tours of two area companies, Biogen Idec and Lonerider Brewery 
Attendees received a first-hand look the US Manufacturing and Patient Services Operations of Biogen Idec's RTP-based facility. Founded in 1978, Biogen Idec is the world's oldest independent biotechnology company. The company discovers therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, hemophilia and autoimmune disorders. Patients worldwide benefit from its leading multiple sclerosis therapies.

Attendees also received a tour of the Lonerider Brewery beer-making operations in Raleigh, NC. The conference visitors witnessed all stages of the beer-brewing and bottling processes.  

An award ceremony
At a conference award ceremony, Andre Michel was named 2013 ISA FPID Member of the Year for his contributions as division webmaster and editor of ISA's FPID newsletter.

Two networking luncheons and an exhibitors' reception
Two networking luncheons were held, providing attendees the opportunity to mingle and interact personally with colleagues as well as conference presenters.

In addition, an exhibitors' reception enabled leading vendors to demonstrate their newest products and services in a casual, social setting. Participating exhibitors included Avanceon, ESP, Laetus, Parsec Automation, Mangan, Rockwell Automation, Brilling Systems, Inc., Avid Solutions, Prime Technologies, the ISPE Carolina-South Atlantic Chapter and the Tar Heel Section of ISA.

About the ISA Food and Pharmaceutical Industries Division (FPID)

The Food and Pharmaceutical Industries Division (also known as FPID) is organized within the Industry and Sciences Department of the International Society of Automation (ISA). FPID expands awareness and understanding about the latest technologies in automation, sensors, instruments, other equipment, computer systems and software application for the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) and Pharmaceutical Supply Chains (PSC).

The FPID retains a knowledge base of design, engineering, system, software, process automation, validation, quality, research, and scientific professionals. Division members: share and enhance their personal expertise in CPG product manufacturing and packaging, pharmaceutical R&D, clinical trials, and the manufacturing of tablet formulations, parenteral and biotech products; help  provide global leadership at the US Food and Drug Administration and other international regulatory bodies; and furnish valuable knowledge and input on controversial issues regarding instrumentation, analysis automation, equipment and system validation, and testing for regulatory compliance.

For more information, visit ISA Food & Pharmaceutical Division.

More about ISA

Founded in 1945, the International Society of Automation (www.isa.org) is a leading, global, nonprofit organization that is setting the standard for automation by helping over 30,000 worldwide members and other professionals solve difficult technical problems, while enhancing their leadership and personal career capabilities. Based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, ISA develops standards; certifies industry professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; and hosts conferences and exhibitions for automation professionals. ISA is the founding sponsor of The Automation Federation (www.automationfederation.org).