We seem to have no place to go

May 18, 2005
I can't count the number of times the past few days that I've had the same conversation. Where do you go to get quality professional-grade information on process automation? Where do you go to find out how MES, ERP and SCADA tie together? With the exception of Gerry Cockrell's and Russ Rhinehart's programs at IUPUI and OK State respectively, there are NO college level programs that teach practical automation theory, and none of them teach "Plant Floor IT." SAIT and Lee teach Fieldbus and instrum...
I can't count the number of times the past few days that I've had the same conversation. Where do you go to get quality professional-grade information on process automation? Where do you go to find out how MES, ERP and SCADA tie together? With the exception of Gerry Cockrell's and Russ Rhinehart's programs at IUPUI and OK State respectively, there are NO college level programs that teach practical automation theory, and none of them teach "Plant Floor IT." SAIT and Lee teach Fieldbus and instrumentation technology, but again, they don't make the leap to the third order stuff. It's all about building the watch, and sometimes, how to learn to tell time. Nobody is holding forth on what the benefits are of being on time. See the difference? 146 people took the time to try to do just that this week, at WBF. But it should have been 146,000 based on the number of people in the world who work in process automation, discrete automation, packaging and Plant Floor IT. If ISA actually reinvents itself, finishing cutting administrative bloat, and getting the Old Presidents to go away and stop playing puppetmaster, and gets people like Lynn Craig to trust them again, they could do it. Heck, CONTROL could do it...and we will, if nobody else steps up. We need this to finally become a profession, instead of a set of tools.

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