An Open Letter to the ISA President...

No, it isn't from me. It is from Dieter Schaudel, who until his retirement in June was Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Officer, and a member of the Executive Committee of Endress+Hauser.

I did encourage him to allow me and other editors to publish it, if he sent it, so here it is. There is some serious food for thought here for ISA leadership. I said much the same thing yesterday about the press release on creating an automation competency. Unlike Dieter, I still feel the society is worth working with, and may even be worth saving.

Dieter isn't the only high official in a very large automation company that feels this way...that ISA is tone deaf, has selective hearing, and is arrogant beyond belief. But Dieter is retired, and can express himself to the world, while others simply rant to me in private knowing I won't print what they have to say.

It is highly doubtful that ISA can become "the voice of the automation profession worldwide" without some serious changes. And I don't see those changes happening. Neither did Dieter.


Open Letter      

10. Oktober 2008

Ms. Kim Miller-Dunn
ISA Society President

Termination of my membership  due to the change of name of ISA

Dear Ms. President:

Since April 1, 1982, i.e. for more than 26 years, I have continuously been an ISA member. During this time, I always held executive positions in the automation industry – since 1988, as a member of the Executive Board of the Endress+Hauser group responsible for Technology, Engineering and Informatics. As Vice Chairman of the German “VDI/VDE-Gesellschaft Mess- und Automatisierungstechnik GMA” I personally strove for the co-operation of this society, i.e. GMA, with ISA which led to the conclusion of a formal co-operation agreement.

Today, I terminate my membership in ISA with immediate effect. I am not prepared to support the decided change of name to “International Society of Automation“.


I see in the change of name an implied claim of ISA to world dominance in automation engineering, i.e. a further form of American imperialism (“the voice of the automation profession worldwide”). Internationally, we are excellently positioned with IFAC in automation, the world does not need a new American society with an international claim to power. The financial crunch of the last 12 months should have taught us a lesson, and Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq too.

It is regretful, that such a long-standing friendship has to end in this way.


Dieter Schaudel 

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  • <p> The comment below was sent directly to </p> <p> As an example of how far from being international the ISA is I recently found a newish ISA standard, ISA-5.6 Control Software Documentation, 2007. </p> <p> Reading it it became completely clear that the people who produced it were entirely American and had not even done any research as to whether there were already any equivalent international standards (<a href="">read more here</a>). </p> <p> My point is that becoming International is much more than a name change. </p> <p> Francis<br /><a href=""></a><br /><a href=""></a> </p>


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