1 June 2007

Documenting skills is value-add

ISA certification provides an objective, third-party assessment, and confirmation of a person's skills. It gives manufacturing and factory staff the opportunity to differentiate themselves from their peers and gain recognition. InTech covers three certification areas in its monthly Certification department.

ISA Certified Automation Professional (CAP) program

Certified Automation Professionals (CAPs) are responsible for the direction, design, and deployment of systems and equipment for manufacturing and control systems.

The following question comes from the CAP study guide, Performance Domain I, Feasibility Study: Identify scope and justify the automation project. 

CAP question

Gathering requirements is critical to the success of an automation project because they:

 A. Establish the design and engineering schedule.

 B. Provide a basis for performing calculations.

 C. Define the purpose, scope, and objectives.

 D. Determine funding and buy-in from stakeholders.

CAP answer

The correct answer is C; define the purpose, scope, and objectives.

Gathering requirements is important because they define the objectives, purpose, scope, needs, and other key meters. They perform the basis for understanding for the customer, the engineer, and other stakeholders.

Requirements may make it easier to get funding approval and stakeholder approval but only because the purpose, scope, and objectives are included. Gathering requirements should not affect the ease of calculation.

Requirements will not generate automatically in and of themselves and one should map them out before an automation project begins.

Reference: Jim Parshall and Larry Lamb, Applying S88: Batch Control from a User's Perspective, ISA Press, 2000.


ISA Certified Control Systems Technician (CCST) program

Certified Control System Technicians (CCSTs) calibrate, document, troubleshoot, and repair/replace instrumentation for systems that measure and control level, temperature, pressure, flow, and other process variables.

This question comes from the Level I study guide, Domain 3, Troubleshooting. Level I represents a professional who has a five-year total of education, training, and/or experience.

CCST question

A continuity check should take place prior to hook-up of a field transmitter to the control room so the technician: 

A. Can make sure the transmitter is being hooked-up to the  proper indicator/controller.  

B. Can make sure the proper voltages are present.

C. Can make sure that he continues hook-up on a particular transmitter.

D. Knows he may connect another transmitter to the loop circuit.

CCST answer

The best answer is A.

A continuity check is a test performed on a length of finished wire or cable to determine if the electrical current flows continuously throughout the length. Each conductor may also check off against each other to ascertain that no shorts exist. This makes sure the transmitter is hooking up to the indicator that one is expecting it to hook up to, which is to say, they are connected.

ISA Certified Industrial Maintenance Mechanic (CIMM) program

Certified Industrial Maintenance Mechanics (CIMMs) are responsible for preventive, predictive, and corrective maintenance. They are multi-skilled individuals whose expertise is primarily mechanical in nature as opposed to instrumentation or electrical.

CIMMs have a minimum of five years of relevant work experience in the maintenance mechanic field or three years experience and a two-year associate degree in maintenance or a related field.
This question is from Performance Domain III: Troubleshooting and Analysis.

CIMM question

What does P&ID stand for?

 A. Process and Integral Derivative

 B. Process and In-line Description

 C. Piping and Instrument Diagram

 D. Placement and Installation Diagram

CIMM answer

The correct answer is C, Piping and Instrument Diagram (P&ID).

P&ID refers to a facility's Piping and Instrument Diagram, sometimes called the Process and Instrument Diagram.

Depicted in one-line and graphic format, the diagram details all piping, instruments, and machinery used in the process.

Additionally, device names and tag numbers are on the drawing, and there is a description of process parameters.

P&IDs must be accurate and up-to-date by revising the documentation anytime a change takes place.

Reference: Job Training Systems Inc., Reading a P&ID, Unionville, Pa., 1999.

Nicholas Sheble (nsheble@isa.org), InTech senior technical editor, writes and edits the Certification department.