Congratulations to these CSIA Certified members
Baton Rouge, Louisianna
Welcome new members
Oak Park, Michigan
BTB Solutions, LLC
Innovative Engineering Systems, Inc
The JDI 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.
All new! CSIA Webinar Series launched in August
The next two years will be a very exciting time for businesses around the world, including system integrators. While there will be many changes, there will be one overriding issue: the rate of change will be faster than we have ever seen before. This will present huge opportunities for those businesses that can process change quickly and make good strategic decisions to capture opportunity. For others, it will be overwhelming. Businesses that are nimble will do very well; those that are not will be left behind.
We heard the forecast for rapid change from both Alan Beaulieu and Nick Setchell at the 2013 Executive Conference. Strong leadership will be critical for success. Now is the time to invest and prepare to harvest the opportunities of the near future. CSIA leaders have listened and are responding.
To help our members cope, CSIA has developed a seven-part webinar series called "Proactive Leadership in a Rapidly Changing Landscape."
The 2014 CSIA Executive Conference is the final chapter of this webinar series. Since a 45-50 minute webinar provides limited time to cover a topic, the topics will be expanded with a deep dive at the conference. We hope you'll join us for this educational opportunity to develop leaders and a leadership strategy to reap the rewards of rapid change! Following is the webinar schedule and highlights for each session. Gather your leaders and management team for this educational webinar series and prepare for what's coming.
All webinars will be at 11 a.m. Eastern Time US (New York) and are hosted on WebEx by Software Toolbox, a CSIA Partner member.
Aug. 28, 2013
Holistic overview of proactive management
View the archive on the webinar page
Sept. 25, 2013
Organizational culture: Methods for improving performance
Oct. 23, 2013
24-month rolling plan
Nov. 20, 2013
Developing a professional project management team for systems integration
Jan. 29, 2014
People: hiring, leading, coaching and evaluating
Feb. 26, 2014
Performance management program for technical professionals
March 26, 2014
Members praise the first in the webinar series
An appropriate title it was! Holistic overview of proactive management, the first webinar in the seven-part series, officially tied the all-time record for CSIA webinar attendance at 86. Attendees said it was timely and "well worth the hour." If you missed it or want to review it, the recording is archived here.
New Certification Management System
begins this month
The new and improved Certification Management System (CMS) officially begins Monday, Sept. 16. CSIA created the new system to accommodate international growth, ensure consistently high quality of the certification process, and use knowledge gained from aggregate audit results to improve best practices. The new management process also adds credibility to the certification, which CSIA actively promotes in the marketplace.
Some new features include:
- 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
- More clearly defined eligibility requirements for certification
- Improved information sharing to help members select or be matched with an auditor
- 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. The fee will cover the expense of administration and additional services, which include:
- Promotion of CSIA certification to end users in the marketplace
- Training of new auditors located outside of North America
- Executive Director-conducted audits of the auditors
- Internal audits of the CMS to maintain quality and consistency
Scheduling an audit and audit payment remains between the auditor and the member. Current contracts between members and auditors remain in effect.
Beginning Monday, Sept. 16, members who apply for certification or recertification consideration should contact the CSIA office and complete a Member Profile form to start the process.
For more information, contact Bob Lowe, email@example.com, or Emily Petersen, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Certifying remote offices gets simpler, less costly
End-user clients have told us they want the integrator office that serves them to be CSIA Certified. An example is an engineer from Shell Oil. They've learned that it's the integrator's people and processes near them that make or break a project, not those at a home office that's miles away.
CSIA is responding by making it simpler and less costly for branch offices to be audited for CSIA Certification. In October 2013 a program that a volunteer task force designed will be tested at JMP Engineering. JMP's head office has been CSIA Certified for many years and management sees the value in their branch offices being certified also. Namely, it's a marketing advantage and also an internal advantage in that top management has a third party validating the performance of each branch.
With the remote audits, the auditor is physically located at the head office and appropriate technology is used to emulate an onsite branch office audit. The cost per branch is substantially reduced and the outcome should be the same: a quality audit. An article describing success or failure will be in the November newsletter. We're confident it will be a success. We're grateful to JMP Engineering for their collaborative spirit!
|Eduardo Acosta, Omnicon, S.A.; David Quesada, Sistemas IQ, S.A.; and Greta Mattison, CSIA global coordinator|
CSIA participates in Mexican ISA event
CSIA took center stage at the closing session of ISA ExpoControl 2013, held in Mexico City last month. Board member Eduardo Acosta introduced CSIA and the benefits it offers to integrator and partner members and end users. Eduardo's presentation was followed by Jose Aparcio's closing plenary presentation on cybersecurity.
CSIA's participation, made possible by a relationship with the International Society of Automation, is part of CSIA's global growth initiative. Global Coordinator Greta Mattison and Hispano America Advisory Committee member David Quesada also attended the event and staffed an exhibit, created to inform prospective members about the association and educate end users about the benefits of working with CSIA members. The event garnered several new integrator members, partners and many excellent ISA contacts.
These interactions at ISA ExpoControl 2013 will allow CSIA to expand further into Hispano America, as well as strengthen the worldwide industry of CSI.
Peter Blume, Jim Campbell, Bob Lowe, Tony Vento,
Don Roberts, Armando Valim, Rich Brueggman
National Instruments Week report
by Bob Lowe, CSIA Executive Director
"On Alliance Day, we show our Alliance Partners how we have re-energized our Alliance program as well as give them a vast array of training," said Tony Vento, vice president of Systems Assurance and the Alliance Partner Network. "Alliance Day also offers our Alliance Partners the chance to showcase their expertise and collaboration with NI."
National Instruments (NI), a CSIA Partner member, holds an annual conference for integrators, users and others. The above quote from Tony at the conference sums up NI's embracing of their integrator partners as a key to their success. The first day of the conference is dedicated to Alliance Partners. Following are CSIA member award winners at the Alliance Day lunch.
- NI Alliance Partners announced five new products one of which was Averna Technologies for RF Studio RF record-and-playback software for the NI USRP™ (Universal Software Radio Peripheral)
- The LabVIEW Tools Network Awards - top achievements in add-on software and hardware Labview went to Viewpoint Systems for TSVN Toolkit.
For the business value they provide customers based on NI technology and graphical system design there were three categories:
On the second day I arranged a meeting with Tony Vento, Armando Valim, our NI primary contact and Rob Reichmeider, partner program manager, along with auditor Don Roberts and four of our integrator members. NI is excited about their CSIA relationship. The outcome was to have a CSIA booth next year and also have a CSIA-sponsored education track during Alliance Day. The purpose is to help all of their partners, particularly Gold and Platinum Partners, to understand the value of CSIA.
- For their number of NI Architect or Developer certifications visible to customers on the directory
- Optimation - Gold Level
- Bloomy Controls - Platinum Level
- For Outstanding Online Presence (videos, case studies, and datasheets) available to customers through their directory:
- Cal-Bay Systems - Platinum Level
- Regional Partner of the Year as examples of our mutual investments and business relationships:
- Cal-Bay Systems - Platinum Alliance Partner, Americas Region
CSIA is grateful to National Instruments for inviting me to their NI Week event. There is a perception among their Alliance Partners (integrators) that our focus is certification. Attending NI Week provided an opportunity to help them realize the many benefits of membership even if achieving certification is not in their immediate future.
Latest ARC Automation Index is ready for download
The ARC Automation Index is a tool for tracking the economics of the worldwide automation marketplace and is available as a benefit of CSIA membership.
ARC developed the ongoing automation index to summarize the current state of the automation markets, to enable participants to learn from past developments, and to provide a forecast based on major variables such as investment, consumer spending, GDP, and other economic indicators.
ARC bases the index on public data of major automation companies, including published revenues. Each vendor is included within its region of origin. They have removed extreme values, such as those resulting from acquisitions, and seasonally adjusted all raw data. Seasonal changes in financial reports are frequent, due to incentive structures and are usually strong in the last quarter of a fiscal year.
The third JP Morgan and CSIA survey of the CSI industry is coming in September
Adding value for our members is a constant effort by CSIA leadership. To that end, we will partner with JP Morgan for the third survey of the control systems integration industry. The first two were December of 2012 and April of 2013. The survey mutually benefits JPM's effort to forecast business trends and CSIA's desire to better understand our industry. Our vision is to be the global center of the control system integration universe, and having data about our own industry is vital to achieve that vision.
The survey will be sent by JPM mid-September to the primary contact of our Integrator members and also prospective CSIA members. We highly encourage those contacts to complete the survey, or delegate it to another person. Upon closing, the raw survey results will be stored in the Connected Community Survey Results library. However, a detailed report by JP Morgan will be sent to survey participants only. This report is professionally created and is an excellent business tool for understanding industry trends.
Once again, watch for an email from JP Morgan mid-September for this enlightening survey and complete it to get JPM's report.
|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 at email@example.com. 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.
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.
Nine reasons to buy cyber liability insurance
by Paul Barnard, CSIA Insurance Manager
1. Complying with breach notification laws costs time and money.
Breach notification laws exist in 46 states across the U.S. Even if you are lucky enough to be in one of the states that has not yet enacted a law, the chances are you will still fall foul of another state's rules or one of the emerging federal laws. These generally require businesses that lose sensitive personal data to provide written notification to those individuals that were potentially affected. Notices need to be drafted by appropriately qualified lawyers, printed and sent out by physical mail. Expensive computer forensics is generally required to identify the source and nature of the loss. Affected individuals often demand credit monitoring services or an equivalent in order to minimize the risk of identity theft.
All of this can be exceptionally expensive and even the smallest breach can cost several hundred thousand dollars to manage. Cyber policies not only provide the financial resources to pay for these breaches but can also provide access to specialist breach response resources to help you manage and contain the incident.
2. Third party data is valuable and you can be held liable if you lose it.
We all hold more data than ever before and often this data belongs to our clients and suppliers. Nondisclosure agreements and commercial contracts often contain warranties and indemnities in relation to the security of this data that can trigger expensive damages claims in the event that you experience a breach. Increasingly, consumers are also seeking legal redress in the event that a business loses their data. Regulatory actions are also on the rise with significant fines now in place for businesses that place sensitive personal information or medical data at risk.
3. Data is one of your most important assets yet it is not covered by standard property insurance policies.
Most businesses would agree that data or information is one of their most important assets. It is almost certainly worth many times more than the physical equipment that it is stored upon. Yet most business owners do not realize that a standard property policy would not respond in the event that this data is damaged or destroyed. A cyber policy can provide comprehensive cover for data restoration and rectification in the event of a loss no matter how it was caused and up to the full policy limits.
For more information on this and all other aspects of the CSIA Insurance Programs, please contact Paul Barnard at firstname.lastname@example.org or (001)-610-507-6595.
|Mentor of the Month:
Joe Martin, MartinCSI
Tell us a little about yourself:
Hardly passing 12 years of parochial school, a counselor explained that I should learn a trade and get a job because I wasn't college material. Instead, I enrolled in the BsEET program at Ohio Institute of Technology, carried a 3.8 GPA and graduated into a recessionary market. The job I found was in the only subject area of my poorest grades; developing new TTL based industrial controls for a local OEM's aging product line. After 10 years, I moved to a local control systems house as engineering manager, overseeing engineers and projects plus assisting with the startup of a panel shop.
Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, I married a Columbus girl and we raised four children in Central Ohio. Today, our children are grown and gone; three have significant others and one child (still can't use the "g" word). My wife owns and operates a ballroom dance studio where she teaches ballroom dance with a champion ballroom competitor/coach. I am fortunate that my job allows me to travel, connect with other businesses owners and participate in a few ballroom dance competitions during the year.
Tell us about MartinCSI:
Starting in the late 1950's, my dad spent 25 years building one the largest industrial painting and coating contracting companies in the Mid-west. Based on my observations of him conducting business, and my 12 years of post-college experience, I wrote a business plan, quit my full-time and well-paying job to start Martin Control Systems, Inc. One-third of our business is related to the Japanese Automotive industry while another third is related to FDA regulated industries such as pharmaceutical and food/beverage. The rest is in other process related industries and the support of three local OEMs. Besides myself as majority owner, we have four minority principals who have obtained small percentages of ownership. By design we do not have a panel shop and found that gives us a unique quality advantage over many competitors. MartinCSI has completed four certification audits and achieved System Integrator of the Year.
What has CSIA done for you and your company?
We joined CSIA in 1997. Bob Lowe mentored us through our first "registration" (now known as Certification) audit in 2001. Our survival of two recessions can be largely attributed to CSIA in the form of advice and best practices. Without best practices, we would have not coalesced our homebrewed and hodgepodge operations into what it is today. Most of our software systems were either inspired or recommended by fellow CSIA members. And, CSIA has facilitated many opportunities for me to learn from other CSI business owners. The 2004 Executive Conference in Palm Desert, Cal. created an opportunity to form a new peer group and, having added several companies since then, we still meet three to four time a year to cover new ground. Finally, the privilege of serving on the CSIA Board of Directors has provided me with insight and business experience I would never have obtained otherwise.
What can you offer as a Mentor?
As a simple Ohio farm boy turned engineer, and without a lick of business schooling, I've experienced firsthand the benefits of mentoring. I remember what it was like starting out and acquiring my marketing, human resources and accounting skills from two sources: the school of hard knocks and fellow business owners. As a mentor, I would be happy to help a firm though certification, formation of peer groups or simply sharing my thoughts and experiences.
What one piece of advice would you give to a new member?
Use the Connected Community to reach out to fellow members and ask for help; either publicly or privately. No matter how doubtful you are about a response or how embarrassed you might feel, there are no stupid questions.
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 Joe at
Looking for a member mentor? In the Connected Community go to Directory > Find a Member. Check Mentor search box, then Find Members.
Kepware Technologies remains committed to engineering education and company culture
Kepware Technologies, a private software development company focused on communications for automation, is pleased to announce that a continued emphasis on engineering education and company culture has resulted in organizational and revenue growth in 2013.
As of August 2013, Kepware has increased its headcount by 20%, with new hires lending their talents to a variety of departments, including Development, Quality Assurance, Sales, Marketing, and Fulfillment. To accommodate this growth, Kepware has added 3,600 square feet to its Portland, Maine, headquarters.
Get an inside look at the company through Kepware's new Corporate Overview video. Watch Kepware employees describe the company's history, values, and the office culture that inspires Kepware's software solutions.
Brett Austin, Kepware's CFO & COO states, "We are creating a culture at Kepware that invests in the talents and professional growth of our employees. We strive to be a great place to work, and a great company to do business with." In fact, the Maine State Council of the Society of Human Resources Management recently announced Kepware was rated one of the Best Places to Work in Maine for the third year in a row.
Kepware continues to demonstrate the company's commitment to education and the future of engineering by offering three annual engineering scholarships to qualified students through the University of Maine. Kepware also provides four, full-time paid summer internship positions to students in the computer engineering and computer science fields of study.
Meet Kepware at a tradeshow or industry event near you this fall. Tony Paine, Kepware's President and CEO, will present educational sessions at the ENTELEC 2013 Fall Seminar Series and the Rockwell Automation Fair. A full listing of events is available online.
For more information about Kepware Technologies, visit www.kepware.com or email email@example.com.
Kepware was a 2013 Executive Conference Platinum sponsor
The inevitability of change and how to manage it
Successfully managing the inevitable flood of changes on CSI projects requires giving attention to two key contractual dimensions.
The most challenging automation projects are, by their very nature, puzzles awaiting a solution, with CSIs serving as puzzle solvers. How do we get X from Y to Z? Can the process be made more efficient? This should work. Now let's see if it does.
What this means is that CSIs often do not fully appreciate in advance the full scope of what they have agreed to do. Change orders not only are predictable, but inevitable. Naturally, end users, accustomed to paying lump sums or not-to-exceed amounts for well-defined deliverables, are resistant to even the suggestion of open-endedness, whether it is in the form of T&M or scope creep. Conflicts can result.
That's why for CSIs especially - more so than for any other type of engineer or contractor - success in managing automation risk can only be attained if one finds the right means of balancing end user expectations of certainty against the anticipated "flood" of change orders. At least on paper this can be done in two ways:
Control the definition of change. Because the final scope of the software component of an automation project is, in particular, an inherently moving target, it is in the interest of owners and end users to limit the definition of change to a certain threshold or criteria just as it is in the interest of control system integrators and engineering firms to avoid any such limitation while carving out a point where excessive changes are deemed a breach of the contract (in traditional construction parlance, this is known as a "cardinal change"). Include within your contract an explicit description of how integration work is different than pouring concrete.
Control how changes are processed. Owners and end users will want to impose strict notice criteria and tight timeframes for seeking adjustments. Integrators and engineering firms, on the other hand, tend to benefit from relaxed or nonexistent notice provisions and deadlines. You know your business. If you must include a deadline at all for requesting changes, only include one that comports with your past experiences on projects.
Because profound changes are so predictable on automation projects, the importance of addressing changes on the front end cannot be overemphasized.
Mark Voigtmann is a lawyer with Faegre Baker Daniels, a law firm with offices in the U.S., China and the U. K., and the author of The Automation Legal Reference: A Guide to Legal Risk in the Automation, Robotics and Process Industries. His firm is a longtime advisor to the CSIA and many of its members.
Plug & Play machinery: The next step of achieving flexible production
"Plug & Play" devices are well known in the IT world. Everyone uses them. It may be the printer or a screen you attach to your PC, a video camera or a microphone for online communication, storage devices like USB sticks and hard drives, or any input device like a mouse or a keyboard. The bandwidth of plug-and-play technologies is immense, and IT users in a modern world expect that if they plug in a device, it works instantly without any further configuration or installation. This process makes the usability of any IT device easy and fast. So why not "plug & play machinery?" This article from ARC provides a vision into Industry 4.0.
Cyber Security Conference seeks experienced integrators for presentation
Since 2002, the ICS Cyber Security Conference brings together operations engineers and IT professionals to share information on incidents, vulnerabilities and solutions to industrial control systems cyber security. Conference attendees cut across many industries including utilities, chemical, oil and gas, food, transportation, defense, etc. In addition to ICS users and operators, the conference attracts control system vendors as well as security products and services providers. This year's event is held in partnership with the Georgia Tech Research Institute in Atlanta, Oct. 21 to 24.
Do you have cyber security experience? ICS is seeking an integrator with experience in cyber-security considerations for new-system acquisition, from design through go-live, to talk about their experience and present some best practices.
More information about the event, speakers, attendees and exhibitors is available here.
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
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
CSIA at 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.
Bob Lowe, CSIA executive director, will make two presentations in the theater; CSIA Best Practices for Project Management and CSIA Best Practices for System Development Lifecycle.
Are you attending the ISA Marketing & Sales Summit next week?
Is someone from your company attending the ISA M&S Summit? Is your company a member of CSIA? If you answered YES to both of these questions then I have a request for you! There will be a table with CSIA literature, and having someone at the table to talk about CSIA during breaks would be appreciated. Contact Bob Lowe at email@example.com if interested.
Now, about the summit: 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!