Reader Feedback: November 2007

Nov. 6, 2007
Read what our November 2007 readers had to say.

a.k.a. ISA

Re: ISA Council of Society Delegates Vote – Society Name Change

In the Oct. 3 posting of SoundOff!, (“ISA’s Proposed Name Change Rebuffed”) you summarized the defeat of the ISA name-change proposal very well, but to clarify, I’d like to note that new name would have been “International Society of Automation.” 

To say I’m not personally disappointed would be untruthful, but the vote pointed out a number of things which should be identified.  Of the 20,500 members represented by certified delegates present, 63.8% were in favor, with 66% needed for passage, clearly not a resounding defeat. While it is apparent that there are a few members who are clearly and vocally invested in the past for many reasons, many more merely wanted to see that ISA has not forgotten or forsaken its roots in instrumentation.  

Your visualization of automation as the big tent discipline where instrumentation plays a significant role is consistent with mine. 

As Pat Gouhin states, we need to lead the charge to define the automation profession to the world. When we talk about our initiatives to “outsiders,” such as lawmakers, senior managers and others who can influence our profession in a positive way, the term “automation” resonates well, as does our commitment to become more global. 

Neither of these primary reasons for the name change was well-explained in the supporting material provided to the delegates.  For these things, I accept the blame. Many people approached me over the course of the week to express that they were definitely behind our strategic direction, but felt that the leadership needed to do its homework a bit better to present a better case. 

I have committed to this and promise to see it through. Looking back, I would like to say that we have witnessed democracy in action, and I believe we will end up with a better result because of it…just a little later than intended.

Steve Huffman
ISA President

More on Magnetostrictive Gauges

I understand your point that magnetostrictive gauges are a mechanical level measurement device due to the fact that they use a float.  However, the performance of magnetostrictive gauges is beyond other mechanical level measurement devices’ performance.  A magnetostrictive gauge can provide the product level, interface level and volume out of a single gauge along with a temperature measurement. This performance level in addition to their high level of accuracy places magnetostrictive gauges’ performance among the best liquid level measurement devices. In addition, magnetostrictive gauges are not affected by changes in dielectric constants, environmental changes, the presence of foam, mist and/or vapors; they do not require recalibration or maintenance; and they are more economical than equal performers. 

My dilemma is that lumping magnetostrictive level gauges in with other mechanical devices adds to the notion that there is no difference in the mechanical devices’ performance and causes numerous end users to either pay less for a reed-switch device that breaks or bypass magnetostriction and pay more for another technology.  Either way lack of knowledge costs the customer more.

Lee Aiken
Product Marketing Manager
MTS Sensors