March/April 2013
Certification Review

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.

CAP question

A specification for a new facility indicates that the new system "must be capable of analyzing the multiple sources of data required to run the entire facility, as well as have the capability to provide collaboration between the visualization, alarm management, scheduling, reporting, and analysis functions." The type of system that would best meet these requirements is:

A.     an MES system utilizing a B2MML interface

B.     a stand-alone HMI system

C.     a process automation controller (PAC) with fieldbus I/O

D.     an integrated building automation system

CAP answer

The correct answer is D, "an integrated building automation system." A well-designed, integrated building automation system seamlessly integrates lighting, elevators, boilers, chillers, fire protection, generators, access control, and HVAC control systems, which may all be communicating over different networks and using different protocols (BACnet, Modbus, LonWorks, OPC, etc.)

Answers A, B, and C are not correct, mainly because they describe systems that are dedicated to a specific function, each of which may play a role in an integrated building automation system. An MES with B2MML interface (ISA95) can provide scheduling and analysis support, but it cannot address the basic control requirements of visualization and alarming. A stand-alone HMI can address only visualization and alarming, while a PAC with fieldbus I/O is limited to device control and logic execution.

Reference: Trevathan, Vernon L., A Guide to the Automation Body of Knowledge, Second Edition, ISA, 2006.