Congratulations to these CSIA Certified members
Axcend Automation and Software Solutions Private Ltd.
Captronic Systems Pvt. Ltd.
Loman Control Systems, Inc.
Welcome new members
InnCon Automation Corporation
West Valley, NY
Syscon Automation Group
Refer a new member!
Tell your colleagues about CSIA. Find member benefits and an application at www.controlsys.org.
The go-to resource for control system integration.
New at CSIA! Certification Management System
CSIA will launch a new and improved Certification Management System (CMS) next month. The new system will differ significantly from the current system, used since the certification program began in 2001.
As the association grows internationally and the number of certified members increases, the Board of Directors began looking for ways to ensure consistently high quality in the audit and certification process. The new management process adds further credibility to the certification in the marketplace.
Some new CMS features include:
- More clearly defined eligibility requirements for certification
- Single CSIA staff contact for information and administration throughout the process
- Dedicated section of the website - available only to members seeking certification or recertification - with resources to assist with the certification process
- Improved information sharing to help members select or be matched with an auditor
- A process for selecting and training new auditors and evaluating current auditors
- Internal CMS performance audits to ensure adherence to standards
- Analysis of anonymous, compiled data from audits to be used in development of Best Practices
- A participant evaluation of the audit and certification process to provide feedback for continuous improvement
CSIA will charge a certification fee for each audit to help cover the cost of managing the CMS. Scheduling an audit and audit payment remains between the auditor and the member.
A Certification Committee made up of the executive director, president, a CSIA staff person and all auditors will oversee the CMS. For confidentiality reasons, there are no members (integrators or partners) on the Certification Committee. CSIA staff, auditing company managers, and auditors sign confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements.
The Best Practices Committee will function as in the past, primarily updating the Best Practices and Benchmarks Manual and the audit criteria. The committee members will not have access to any confidential information.
The new Certification Management System will be effective on or about Sept. 1. Current contracts between members and auditors remain in effect.
For more information, contact Bob Lowe.
What topics would you like to learn about
at the 2014 Executive Conference?
by Bob Lowe, CSIA Executive Director
Planning for the 2014 Executive Conference is well underway. Is there a topic that you'd like to be addressed? Would you or a co-worker like to do a presentation on a subject for which you are a SME (subject matter expert - love those acronyms!)? Have you heard a really good presentation and thought that every CSI manager should hear the message?
Well, now is your opportunity to be heard. Send me your idea in an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 717-626-8012 or Skype at boblowe52.
Remember, presentations must be appealing to owners and managers. If it's a technical subject, then the presentation must be from a business perspective.
The conference will be held April 30 - May 3, 2014, in San Diego, Cal., U.S.
CSIA members make headlines
Members that have been featured in industry magazines recently include:
If you're interested in learning how CSIA can help you get your story in the news, please contact Ann Nelson.
New chair of BP&B Committee installed
by Eric Schaefer, Best Practices and Benchmarks Committee Chair
In July, the Best Practices and Benchmarks (BP&B) Committee chairmanship was transferred to me from Jeff Miller, who will continue to serve as a member of the committee and a mentor to me during the handoff.
By way of introduction, I am a partner and the general manager at Stone Technologies, where I am responsible for the operations and project management departments. I have been a member of the BP&B committee as well as a long-term member of CSIA, attending nearly all of the executive conferences.
Jeff provided a great direction for the committee and I do not see any major changes in our tasks or methods. We will continue to meet monthly, developing materials that support the best practices, reviewing potential additions/revisions to the best practices, and editing and publishing the Best Practices and Benchmark materials.
CSIA is providing administrative help to the committee with the addition of Emily Petersen to the committee. Emily will be working with me to define the role to best support the other members of the committee.
The near term tasks for the committee are reviewing and publishing some supporting documents such as support contract terms and conditions. We will also be compiling potential additions and revisions to Rev. 5.0 of the BP&B manual, including such topics as cybersecurity, panel shop practices, environmental responsibilities, and acquisitions. These potential edits will be compiled and reviewed by the committee with a final recommendation to the board coming later in 2014 when the next major revision edit process will begin.
Jeff provided several years of leadership and service to the committee and accomplished a great deal during his tenure as chairperson. If you get the opportunity, please reach out to Jeff and thank him for his valuable contributions to making CSIA a better organization and working hard to provide valuable materials that make membership in CSIA a good investment. He continues to serve on the CSIA Board of Directors as treasurer.
If you have an interest in being part of the best committee within CSIA, please contact me at email@example.com.
Tap the knowledge bank - the Connected Community Open Forum
by Ann Massie Nelson, CSIA Staff
One of the primary benefits of CSIA membership is access to the knowledge and experience of other integrators. You can tap this knowledge any time, from any location, by posting your questions in the Open Forum on the Connected Community.
Anonymous postings are not possible, however, if you need advice and you're concerned that others might think less of you for asking, please feel free to email your questions to me firstname.lastname@example.org. I will post your questions under my name. That way, you get the benefit of others' expertise, without revealing that you don't know it all. (No one does, by the way!)
I will post questions received Monday - Thursday within 24 hours. I'll be looking for your "Dear Ann" notes in my inbox soon.
|Mentor of the Month:
Luigi de Bernardini, Autoware
by Joe Martin
Tell us a little about yourself:
I was born in Vicenza, Italy, almost half a century ago. In 1982 I fell in love with a TI57C programmable calculator while attending high school and it changed my life. I got passionate about computer programming and decided to attend electronic engineering at the university. I graduated in 1991, specialized in telecommunications. Unfortunately when I left the university, I was not able to find a job related to my specialization. So I started to work in the research and development department of a small system integration company in Vicenza. After four years I decided that software was going to become much more important, even in the automation world. I started Autoware to focus only on software development for industrial manufacturing. My wife, Monica, and I have two children, Matteo (18) and Anna (14). My wife works with me in Autoware as chief financial officer. In the limited time that I spend not thinking about developing the business, my passions are technology and photography.
Tell us about Autoware:
We are a small system integration company trying to grow. We are now at 24 employees (two sales, one marketing, two accounting, one project management officer (PMO), and 18 engineers). Most of our employees have a degree in engineering (electronic, automation, software, etc.) and we try to mix the senior employees with the others to build effective teams. Our business revenue is around $2.8 million. Our main business is in Italy, but we are starting to do projects in different countries in Europe and work as subcontractors all around the world. We focus on our relationship with end users so as to better understand their return of investment as they evaluate our technical proposals. We do not have a particular expertise in any one vertical industry although from the beginning we have a strong knowledge of food and beverage and health care. We are a multivendor company but have a strong relationship with Wonderware. We have worked with them since the very beginning of our company and continue to develop a lot of business together. Essentially, partnership is the key word of our strategy and we strive to manage the supply chain from suppliers to employees to clients. That's the only effective way we see to establish long-term, win-win relationships.
What has CSIA done for you and your company?
We joined CSIA in 2008 without knowing what to expect. We knew very little about the association as it is not so famous in Italy. I attended the conference in 2009 and suddenly discovered that it could be a key part of our business strategy. The thing I struggle with is that I have a technical background and had no opportunity to study how to manage a system integration company. In CSIA, I found a group of peers that face the same problems I have in my business and they are willing to share their solutions. Information, relationship, networking are the key benefits we realize with our membership. It's probably not a coincidence that starting in 2009, our business started to become stronger and we improved a lot our quality and revenues. We still have a lot of work to do. We are in the middle of a reorganization process based on the best practices that should bring us to the certification.
What can you offer as a Mentor?
I think that the experience I gained in developing the company to the actual size and reputation level could be of interest to other members. CSIA participation has driven a lot of changes in our organization in the last years, most of them were positive, some of course not. One thing that I learned is that some of the recommendations need to be adapted to the different culture we have in Italy. This I can share with other international members.
What one piece of advice would you give to a new member?
Don't be shy! All the people you meet are interested in your story and in your experience. They are also willing to share their own. If you want to be involved, you need to participate. Things just need to be started...be the first to start them. You will be surprised of how much value you will get back.
If you're a new member or just want to find out how you can get more benefit from your CSIA membership, please feel free to contact Luigi de Bernardini via email.
Looking for a member mentor? In the Connected Community go to Directory > Find a Member. Check Mentor search box, then Find Members.
BI/PD: Is that a new boy band?
Matching contract risks to insurance coverages
by Brian P. Clifford, CSIA Attorney
I am often asked to assist control system integrators revise contract language that they receive from their clients. One of the most problematic provisions is the indemnity clause. These sections are often drafted so broadly that almost any problem on a project could fall within the scope of the obligation - even routine warranty claims or scheduling issues.
One of the risk allocation strategies I use to try to limit the indemnity obligation is to make the clause applicable only to "bodily injury and property damage" (BI/PD) claims caused by the integrator's own negligence. Why? Typically this is an insured risk under the integrator's commercial general liability policy. While these policies do not protect the integrator from having to correct its own poor work, they generally do provide protection from certain types of damages resulting from negligent performance by the integrator in the course of the work (such as accidental damage to the customer's facility or an accident impacting a visitor to project site).
Other insurance coverages may also be available for BI/PD damages. Automobile liability insurance includes coverage for such injuries to third parties, and workers compensation/employers liability policies help cover on-the-job injuries to the integrator's staff.
Although other damages may be appropriately included in an indemnity provision, a good starting place in limiting the broad scope of these contract clauses is to match the obligation to the BI/PD coverage that your insurance program already has in place.
Brian Clifford is a member of the automation practice at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP. He can be reached at +1.260.460.1687 or Brian.Clifford@FaegreBD.com
Phoenix Contact engages students with engineering and automation competition
by Steve Newcomer, Channel Specialist - System Integrators, Phoenix Contact
Engineers dream up creative solutions to the world's problems every day, but fewer young people are choosing engineering careers. By getting students involved in hands-on automation projects at a young age, we give young people the chance to design, create and invent - so they can experience the endless possibilities an engineering career can offer. Phoenix Contact has developed several different programs and outreach activities to expose to engineering and automation.
As a part of National Engineers Week every year, Phoenix Contact hosts the Nanoline Contest. Each competing team of middle school or high school students receives a kit of materials, including the Phoenix Contact Nanoline controller, and must incorporate it into a project that demonstrates the capabilities of Nanoline. The winning team receives an all-expenses-paid trip to Hanover, Germany, to present their project at the TectoYou Hall at the Hanover Fair (Hannover Messe) in April. The TectoYou Hall is dedicated to promoting science and engineering careers to students. The contest results in various creative ideas and gives students the chance to practice real world engineering, project management, and team building skills.
This past year, 10 teams competed. Early College EAST from Havelock, N.C., won the 2013 contest with their "Delian One Remotely Operated Vehicle." This unmanned vehicle uses Phoenix Contact's Nanoline Controller to remotely maneuver and explore an underwater environment. The Nanoline controls the Delian One's thrusters, so that it can submerge and maneuver underwater. It also turns the lights and camera on or off.
The team from Early College EAST met the winners of the German Nanoline Contest at the TectoYou hall. Second place ($500) went to Walker Career Center in Indianapolis, Ind., for building an "Automated Hotdog Cooker." The Neptune team from Lower Dauphin High School, Hummelstown, Pa., took third prize ($250) for its "Automated Fish Tank." J.P. McCaskey High School, Lancaster, Pa., came in fourth place ($125) with its "Basketball Return."
A few of the students who worked on the solar-charging station helped unveil the control panel on Earth Day 2013.
Phoenix Contact also has a very active college internship program. Students get real-world experience and have the opportunity to apply the theories they are learning in college. One particularly exciting project was the creation of a solar charging station for electric vehicles, located at Phoenix Contact USA headquarters in Middletown, Pa. The station, designed and built almost entirely by college interns, runs completely autonomously from the power grid.
A few of the students who worked on the solar-charging station helped unveil the control panel on Earth Day 2013. Composed of 12 south-facing solar panels, Phoenix Contact SUNCLIX connectors, and a control cabinet made up almost entirely of Phoenix Contact components, the charging station was designed and positioned for optimal light collection throughout the course of the day. The advantage of a solar-powered charging station over a conventional charging station is that it does not rely on power from a utility company, and therefore puts no additional demand on the grid.
For more information about Phoenix Contact or these programs visit www.phoenixcontact.com or email email@example.com.
Phoenix Contact was a 2013 Executive Conference Platinum sponsor
Rockwell Automation recognized for ethical practices
For the fifth time in the last six years, Rockwell Automation was selected as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute, a leading international organization dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, governance, anti-corruption and sustainability. The 2013 World's Most Ethical Companies are those that embrace ethical business practices and demonstrate industry leadership, forcing peers to follow suit or fall behind.
"The recognition we continue to receive for our commitment to business ethics is something we should all be very proud of. It's because of the decisions our employees make every day that we continue to receive this recognition," says Keith Nosbusch, chairman and chief executive officer, Rockwell Automation. "Integrity is a critical company value, and it is a part of who we are as a company. It's as important as delivering quality products and providing excellent customer service and has to be earned every day, and in every business transaction."
"Not only did more companies apply for the World's Most Ethical Companies recognition this year than any year in the past, which demonstrates that ethical activity is an important part of many of these companies' business models, but we are also seeing more companies be proactive and create new initiatives that expand ethics programs and cultures across entire industries, such as industry-based ethics associations and other activities," said Alex Brigham, executive director of Ethisphere. "We are excited to see the 2013 World's Most Ethical Companies take these leadership positions, and embrace the correlation between ethical behavior and improved financial performance."
Through in-depth research and a multi-step analysis, Ethisphere reviewed nominations from companies in more than 100 countries and 36 industries. The methodology for the World's Most Ethical Companies includes reviewing codes of ethics, litigation and regulatory infraction histories; evaluating the investment in innovation and sustainable business practices; looking at activities designed to improve corporate citizenship; and studying nominations from senior executives, industry peers, suppliers and customers.
Awards like this give system integrators objective information about the vendors they work with. It is important to Rockwell Automation to not only maintain this high level ethics, but to associate with organizations that share our values.
Rockwell Automation was a 2013 Executive Conference Platinum sponsor
Seeking gas industry experts for conference in Qatar
Discount for CSIA members
The Qatar Gas Distribution Projects conference offers several opportunities for CSIA integrator members with gas distribution experience to become involved. Members are invited to:
- Make a presentation at the event
- Organize and conduct a half-day workshop on control system integration for smart gas distribution
- Sponsor the event to have exclusive and unique branding
- Exhibit to showcase your technology/services
Natural gas is considered clean and economic, and it is becoming a preferred choice for providing both household and business energy needs in the Middle East (ME). Although it is transported via underground pipelines, the safety of natural gas distribution and transportation is still a key concern. As a result, building a control system that is able to effectively monitor the status of distributed support equipment and gas pipeline systems is a critical issue for companies that distribute and supply natural gas.
The Oil and Gas IQ Division of IQPC has been working closely with the oil and gas industry in understanding their key challenges, market trends and behaviors and in connecting them with the innovative technology solutions to combat their challenges. Continuing this trend, IQPC has set the stage to discuss the various challenges and possible solutions related to natural gas distribution in the ME with its event "Qatar Gas Distribution Projects," Dec. 8-10, 2013, in Doha, Qatar. This event is co-organized by Marafeq Qatar, the national gas distribution utility company in Qatar.
In association with CSIA, the event would like to promote control system integration systems/services to the oil and gas distribution industry in the region that is expected to spend approximately $50 million USD in the next five years on innovative control systems. The event will provide multiple networking opportunities to meet key representatives from the industry and present business cases.
Note that CSIA members may receive a 20 percent discount to this event as a special offer from IQPC. For more information related to the event and your participation, please contact: Aditya Chopra, project director, Oil and Gas, IQPC Middle East, Aditya.firstname.lastname@example.org; mobile: +971507745247
Save the date for ISA Automation Week 2013
Some of the core competencies of ISA are standards, certifications, and education and training. The good news is that all can be experienced at ISA Automation Week, Nov. 5-7, at the Nashville Renaissance and Convention Center.
The education chairman is Paul Galeski, CEO of Maverick Technologies, a CSIA Certified member. Paul and his committee have designed the education program with six tracks, all applicable to CSIs. Each track offers well-rounded content by considering people, technology, business and safety.
- Industrial Network Security
- Creating Business Value Through Automation
- The Connected Enterprise
- Asset Lifecycle Management and Optimization/Strategies
- Industrial Automation and Control
- Wireless Applications
ISA Automation Week benefits both technical and management personnel so bring a team. Consider getting your subject matter experts involved in standards work, too. Save the date and watch your inbox for more information.
ISA Marketing & Sales Summit
Regardless of how the world's economies shift and sway, connecting with the customer is what it's all about. But customer engagement has changed. Whether you need to get your message out or get your foot in the door, the ISA Marketing & Sales Summit provides you with answers to your questions about the new rules of customer engagement. At the Summit, you will find useful research, lessons learned, and outside-the-box thinking to spark your creativity and help you keep pace with the winds of change.
When: Sept. 11 - 13, 2013
Where: W New Orleans, New Orleans, La.
As a part of our promotional exchange agreement with ISA, employees of CSIA members receive the ISA member discount rate!
"Dispelling the Myths around Big Data" - a panel presentation opportunity is available for you if you can help our industry understand where it fits and how sales and marketing teams can position their offerings as they relate/intersect with big data initiatives. Contact Juliann Grant if interested.