In my last article, I talked about the International Automation Professionals Day. Today, I will talk about one of the things that all automation professionals love to do: Attend in-person events and network with other automation professionals.
During the pandemic, ISA had to migrate from our traditional in-person events to the world of virtual events. Most of our members and automation professionals missed the opportunity of networking during our in-person events, which is one of our most valued ISA benefits. This type of crisis presented big challenges for us, but at the same time, brought big opportunities. ISA managed to pivot from in-person events to virtual events, and now to hybrid (combination of in-person and virtual) events. These new models increased our audience and allowed members from all around the world to attend.
ISA officers, in addition, couldn’t travel to visit sections, districts, and attend conferences or shows during this time. This year, we’re finally returning to the new normal, and I have already attended two major conferences. I am also planning to meet and greet our members in US, Brazil, India, and Europe.
ISA Automation & Leadership Conference
7–9 November 2022 | Galveston, Texas, USA
This is a new event that combines ISA’s leadership conference with two days of technical presentations on trending industry topics including digital transformation, cybersecurity, industrial internet of things (IIoT), smart manufacturing, and process automation. By attending this conference, you will have the best of both worlds combined in one event:
- An automation technical conference
- An ISA leadership conference
You will have the opportunity to network with ISA leaders and automation professionals from around the world—including managers, engineers, technicians, and subject matter experts. You can also:
- Attend society meetings and leadership presentations
- Attend vital technical sessions and access an array of technical subject matter experts (SMEs) from the United States, Middle East, Brazil, Malaysia, Spain, and India
- Interact with other conference attendees—in person or virtually
- Visit exhibitor booths to gain insight and information on the latest products and technology in the industry
- Attend the ISA Honors and Awards gala
As part of our strategic objective to increase our international audience, we are expanding our participation in US and international events both virtual and in-person. Below are two conferences that I’ve attended thus far.
IoT Solutions World Congress and Cybersecurity Conference
IOT Solutions World Congress (IOTSWC), the leading international event devoted to industry transformation through disruptive technologies, closed its sixth edition after three days of debates and knowledge sharing with the aim of setting a roadmap towards the digitalization of all industries. The show held 330 exhibitors, 95 conferences and panel sessions, over 270 speakers, and was jointly held with the Barcelona Cybersecurity Congress and Integrated Systems Europe (ISE), the world’s leading professional audio-visual and systems integration show.
The third edition of the Barcelona Cybersecurity Congress (BCC), organized by Fira de Barcelona and the Agència de Ciberseguretat de Catalunya, underlined the importance of cybersecurity as one of the most critical challenges that an increasingly digitized world is facing. The sessions held at the cybersecurity auditorium registered high attendance throughout the event and tackled topics such as hardware protection, hacker pattern tracking, industrial network monitoring, protection layers for autonomous cars, and zero-trust architecture. The IOT Solutions World Congress will return in 2023 for its seventh edition, scheduled from January 31st to February 2nd.
ISA was responsible for the technical program in the Cybersecurity Congress. We partnered with the cybersecurity group of ISA’s Spain section that worked to identify speakers and put the program together. The program was chaired by one of the Spain section SMEs, Agustin Valencia. During the event we had the opportunity to meet with the leaders and members of ISA Spain and talk about ISA’s strategy and ways to better collaborate with our local sections.
26th Annual ARC Forum
The theme of this year’s ARC Forum was “accelerating industrial digital transformation and sustainability.” As we return to a new normal, industrial innovation is accelerating. A renewed focus on sustainability, the circular economy, and climate change is sparking innovation and powering transformational and technological change throughout the industrial sector. Resilience has been prioritized in the supply chain and throughout production operations.
Digital leaders have now validated their strategies against the real-world challenges brought on by the pandemic. Many companies supported “connected” remote and frontline workers far earlier than they anticipated and will now do more. Having seen the power of disruptive technologies to transform business operations and competitive strategies, improve resilience, reduce costs, and better serve customers, it is full speed ahead.
Technologies like cloud, machine learning, edge computing, internet of things (IoT), cybersecurity, additive manufacturing, augmented reality, and more are enabling new business processes and obscuring traditional functional boundaries. Operational technology (OT), information technology (IT), and engineering technology (ET) teams are growing their skills and capabilities and transforming real-time operations.
Governance and compliance, workforce and skills, customer-centricity, competitive excellence, and change management all need management attention. Seeking to be among the winners in the new normal, executives charged with driving this transformation are seizing this moment to innovate and deliver real value. Call it digital transformation, smart manufacturing, smart cities, or industry 4.0, there is a rush to innovate, transform, and accelerate the future.
The main topics of discussion at the forum were:
- Digital Transformation
- Open Process Automation (OPA)
During the forum, I had the opportunity to meet with various ISA members, Automation.com staff, and industry leaders to listen to their demands and promote ISA’s mission. It’s very important for us to attend these types of events to validate our perception of market needs and adjust our strategies as needed.
Andre Ristaino from ISA presented the work developed by our consortia, including the ISA Global Cybersecurity Alliance (ISAGCA), ISA Secure, and LOGIIC. He also presented the ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute’s ISA100 Wireless Excellence in Automation Award. This award is presented each year to an end-user company that has demonstrated outstanding leadership and innovation in the use of ISA100 Wireless technology. The award is intended to highlight the use of the technology rather than any specific supplier.
The 2021 award was presented to EnQuest at their Sullom Voe Terminal in Scotland for their novel application of ISA100 Wireless technology in new approaches to gas detection, achieving a safe and secure gas detection system upgrade on a vast scale. Cybersecurity and reliability were key considerations in the gas detection system upgrade.
The Sullom Voe Terminal is operated by EnQuest and handles production from many oilfields in the east and west Shetland Basin in the North Sea. Fourteen different companies have ownership interests in the terminal, which receives production through the Brent and Ninian 36” pipeline systems.
Previous award recipients include Fuji Oil Company (2020), ILBOC (2019), BACPO (2018), ALCOA (2017), Phillips 66 (2016), Petronas (2015), Nippon Steel (2014), and RasGas (2013). The first award was presented in 2013.
I was so glad to see many mentions of ISA’s standards such as the ISA/IEC 62443 cybersecurity series of standards. Various examples of the adoption of ISA standards included ISA 18.2 (Alarm Management), ISA 84 (Batch), ISA 95 (Integration), and ISA101 (HMI), mentioned at presentations or presented at the various software vendors present in the exhibition hall.
During the Open Process Automation Standard (OPAS) update, it was mentioned that ISA/IEC 62443 is the standard of standards. Some of the standards adopted by OPAS include ISA 95 (IEC 62264) for technical architecture, ISA/IEC 62243 for cybersecurity, and ISA-18.2/IEC 62682 for alarm management (implemented with the OPC UA alarms and conditions standard to achieve uniform alarm and event messaging throughout the system).
I also attended the first ISA 95 standard committee in-person meeting that was organized during the forum, after quite some time of just having virtual meetings!
Contact the President
I love to connect with our members and listen to your opinions about automation, what ISA is doing now, and what ISA should be doing to answer your needs. Please connect with me on ISA Connect, LinkedIn, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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