ISA Automation Week 2011: Technology and Solutions Event brought automation professionals from 19 countries to the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center to learn the latest in their technical fields, network, share knowledge, present new products and technologies and discuss the future of the world of automation with industry experts.
Surveying the three activity-packed days of 17-20 October, Pat Gouhin, executive director and CEO of ISA, commented, “ISA Automation Week delivered the technical excellence we had anticipated and more. The unique combination of unbiased content from technical experts and complete integration of the end-user and solution-provider communities in myriad activities resulted in a not-to-miss, knowledge-based and networking event.”
The technical program offered 63 sessions across eight technical tracks, including safety and security; advanced process control techniques; energy, automation and control system design; analyzers; wireless technology and applications; human asset optimization and installation, operations, and maintenance.
ISA President, Leo Staples, of Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company, commented, “The quality of the technical presentations was phenomenal. Many of the session presentations complemented and built on each other to provide the attendees a well-rounded, deeper knowledge base. The keynote presentations were extremely informative and gave attendees a lot of insights to take back to their businesses.”
The keynote presenters included
Charlie Cutler, who gave the Tuesday address, “The Status of Real Time Optimization and Multivariable Predictive Control”
- A general-session panel on Wednesday, which consisted of Cutler, Béla Lipták, Greg McMillan, Russ Rhinehart and Terry Tolliver presented ideas on “The Present and Future of Automation Worldwide”
- Lipták, who presented the Thursday address, “The Present and Future Role of Automation (the Maturing of a Profession)”
Conference attendee, Nathan Bullock, of Interstates Control Systems in Sioux Center, Iowa, USA, came to ISA Automation Week to learn more about the security aspects around the ISA99 standard. “I deal with IT people and I want to help establish best practices for my customer base around this standard. The instructors in the sessions I attended have been very knowledgeable in their areas of expertise and provided good insights and real-world situations,” he said.
Another attendee, from the pulp and paper industry, selected sessions from numerous tracks. “I needed more knowledge–from security through testing and instrumentation, to control. The presentations improved my understanding of the challenges my company faces. Now, I’ll be able to communicate more easily with my customers, and be more relevant.”
The Supplier Showcase featured 129 solutions providers who offered demonstrations, briefings, and product and service information to attendees. The showcase also offered 30 technical presentations—from suppliers, authors, and experts—in two Technology Solutions Theaters, as well as five technical poster sessions.
“ISA’s event has consistently been a good place for us to meet with our clients and leaders in the process controls and automation industry. We also get to show them, and potential new clients, our latest new technologies here,” commented George Buckbee of ExperTune.
“The relevance and quality of the technical conference attracted interested and focused attendees,” said Jon Peterson, VP of Marketing for OSIsoft, LLC. “We had an opportunity to talk with prospective customers who were truly engaged in the technology. We’re looking forward to bringing our product managers to this event next year because of the experience we’ve had this week.”
John Balanetsky of COOPER Bussman (ELPRO Technologies) said, “We’re getting good, quality leads and projects from this event. The quality of the attendees is good as far as their technical knowledge is concerned. They’re informed about what they are looking for.”
The ISA Fall Training Institute ran concurrently with ISA Automation Week, offering students 10 courses, while a special Technician Day provided basic and advanced workshops on key topics for technician education.
“ISA Automation Week was rounded out by participation from the larger automation community through our partners in the Automation Federation Pavilion, with FIRST® and the young automation professionals and students who joined us for our Automation Career Connections activities,” said Gouhin.
“FIRST is delighted to be further strengthening the collaboration between our young people and the automation professionals of the Automation Federation and ISA,” said Jon Dudas, president of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). “The increased collaboration between our students and the members of AF/ISA through key mentoring opportunities represents a formidable advance in global workforce development.”
Alabama’s Bishop State Community College also supported the Automation Career Connections activities. These groups showed more than 600 Mobile-area high school and college students some of the automation career choices available to them, to support the growth of the next generation of automation professionals. Special guest Calum Pearson of Cirque du Soleil, gave a keynote address to the young audience.
On to Orlando, Florida, for ISA Automation Week 2012
ISA Automation Week 2012: Technology and Solutions Event is scheduled for the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, USA, 24-27 September 2012.
Staples said today, “We are excited about Orlando and even more so to announce that Peter G. Martin, Ph.D., vice president and fellow, of Invensys Operations Management, has agreed to serve as program chairman for Automation Week in 2012.”
Martin added, “I am very pleased to be working with ISA on this important initiative. Industry needs to be able to drive a much higher level of business results through automation technology and talent. ISA is in a great position to be the catalyst to help industry to realize the true potential from automation. I am looking forward to helping, and I appreciate the opportunity to move this important mission forward.”
ISA Automation Week 2012 will be held at the award-winning Orange County Convention Center, which is one of the most modern convention facilities in North America. It is located only 15 minutes from the Orlando International Airport and provides attendees traveling from around the globe a welcome, relaxing venue as they pursue their professional development and business objectives. The Rosen Centre Hotel, connected to the convention center, will serve as ISA’s host hotel.