Automation Federation Gets Its Voice Heard


By Andrew Bond, Industrial Automation Insider

Dec 02, 2009

The Automation Federation, the umbrella body whose members include ISA, OMAC, WBF and WINA and whose aim is to become the "Voice of Automation," is claiming two significant victories in its campaign for recognition of automation as a profession in its own right. The first came on June 30 when the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations' 2010 Congressional budget report directed the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP) to consider the importance that automation plays in accelerating and integrating manufacturing processes and to consult and collaborate with independent experts in the field of automation. That was followed on July 16 by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE)'s decision to revise the 2010 Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) to include new codes for "Automation Engineer Technology/Technician" and "Mechatronics, Robotics, and Automation Engineering." CIP is the accepted U.S. federal government statistical standard on instructional programs and is used to report data collected on postsecondary education program completers. Inclusion of automation in CIP codes is an important step towards its adoption in the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system, which would mark the profession's recognition both in the United States and globally.