What’s in a Name? Podcast

Dec. 4, 2007
Listen to Walt Boyes's December 2007 column, What's in a Name?

What's in a Name?

December 2007
By Walt Boyes, Editor in Chief

In October, a large majority of the ISA Council of Society Delegates voted to rename the society the International Society for Automation. However, the required supermajority was not reached−we missed the mark by less than one percent− and the measure failed. Nothing could better illustrate the pains of a changing profession.

When I was a young man, instrumentation and control was the name of the part of the profession I worked in, and automation was what they did at automobile plants with relays and those new things called robots. Soon, we began to divide the profession into those who worked in process control and those who worked in factory automation. There’s that word again…automation. Soon we were building and automating testing devices in the electronics industry…ATEs. There’s that word again…automation...