In This Issue
2015 Executive Conference planning continues
Risk management webinar now available on YouTube
Partner member webinars are underway
Upcoming webinars
Cybersecurity Task Force.
Training Survey results
J.P Morgan-CSIA system integration industry survey
CSIA goes to Germany for SPS IPC Drives 2014
Playing nice with others: Coordination on a multi-vendor project
OPC Foundation and CSIA: Working together for open standards
Coming soon to an industrial control system near you
A light-hearted explanation of The Netherlands
Insight on Manufacturing IT
Register for ARC Industry Forum, receive 10% discount as CSIA member
CSIA members make headlines
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Quote of the Month

"Leaders realize they are totally responsible for their behavior -- and it's never dependent on the situation, the weather, the economy, or the time of day."

- Ken Edmundson


 The go-to resource for control system integration.  

November 2014  

2015 Executive Conference planning continues

by Bob Lowe, CSIA Executive Director


Lessons from Touching a Hot Stove was a top-rated session at the 2014 conference and has been requested by many for 2015. To offer this, we need members who have had a significant challenge or setback in their company and are willing to tell their story: What went wrong, how the challenge was overcome, and what's been done so it can't happen again. Send me an email if you'd like to be on the panel.


ARC Survey

The results of a survey of end-user clients to be conducted by ARC Advisory Group will provide qualitative data on automation plans and expectations. That data, combined with ARC's quantitative research, will be the basis for a presentation on how system integrators can be successful in key vertical industries. The proposed survey questions are:

  1. What are automation trends within your company?
  2. How does your company assess your automation investments?
  3. What are reasonable ROIs for automation investments?
  4. What does your CEO consider when looking at an automation investment to support strategic growth?
  5. What services will your company seek from system integrators in the future?
  6. What is your company's vertical  industry (e.g., food and beverage, oil and gas)?

Is there a question that you would like to know the answer to, but just can't get a clear response from your clients? Let me know.


When the survey is prepared, our hope is that all members will send the survey link to several of their clients. ARC will post the survey also, but it is mostly for the benefit of our members so please support this initiative.

Finally, do you have a client who we could invite to the conference in Washington, D.C., to explain their expectations of system integrators? Send me an email.

Scroll to the bottom to see how.

Insurance Update

Risk management webinar now available on YouTube

CSIA recently held a joint webinar with the International Society of Automation (ISA). The webinar, entitled Risk Management and Risk Transfer: Important Considerations for Independent Contractors and Control System Integrators - How Insurance Can Help, was well attended with 155 registered attendees from both CSIA and ISA.


The webinar featured a panel that included Mark Voigtmann and Don Roberts, both well known to the CSIA community, and a highly informative discussion about reducing risks in business. The recorded webinar is archived on YouTube.


There will be another joint webinar Dec. 3 at 12 p.m. EST (New York). This one will be slanted more toward control system integration and will build upon the Oct. 29 discussion. Registration information will be published soon.


Finally, we welcome the newest member of our insurance program, Olympus Power and Control, Beaverton, Oregon.


Partner member webinars are underway

CSIA Partner member webinars have begun! The inaugural webinar by Inductive Automation was held in October. With 220 attendees, it was deemed a success by CSIA and Inductive Automation.


These webinars differ from the monthly webinars that CSIA has been presenting for many years in that these provide technical education, not business education. The intended audience is engineers, programmers, and so forth. The intended audience for the monthly business webinars is owners and managers.


Don Pearson, chief strategy officer for Inductive Automation, shared these comments after the webinar:  "We had a great experience working with CSIA on our recent webinar. With their help in promoting it, we achieved a higher-than-usual number of attendees and registration leads. They also did an outstanding job of presenting succinct and impactful information that fit well into the format we developed with them for the webinar. We value greatly the partnership with CSIA and look forward to combined activities in the future that can benefit our integrator community."


All partner members are invited to participate. The Partner Webinar Best Practice document is in the Partner Resources library in the Connected Community so please download it for all the details. The current plan is for webinars to be held on three-week intervals. Please contact CSIA Executive Director Bob Lowe with questions or if you would like to host a technical education webinar.


Coming up!
A Guide to Easy Reports and Dashboards
Thursday, November 13, 2014, 11 a.m., EST (New York)

While technologies such as HMI, historians and analytic tools, have evolved over time, report generators for automation have remained challenging and difficult to integrate. Now, there is a new paradigm for automated report generation and performance dashboards. This webinar explores the features and benefits you should be leveraging.

This CSIA Partner webinar presented by Ocean Data Systems.
Register Now

Industrial VPN Cloud Services - The Future of Secure Remote Support
Thursday, December 4, 2014, 11 a.m., EST (New York)

System integrators and OEMs have always struggled with an easy and cost effective way to support their customers. VPNs for industrial equipment meet that need, but are often difficult for non-IT folks to setup and maintain. This webinar will teach you about an easy and secure service that takes Tech-to-Machine (T2M) support to a whole new level. It will explain the benefits and advantages of using the right technology to troubleshoot, monitor, program, and support remote PLCs, HMIs and other equipment across the country or around the world.

This CSIA Partner webinar presented by Phoenix Contact.
Register Now

webinar series
Surprise! Your Project's in Crisis
Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 11 a.m. EDT (New York)
Daniel Roessler, Owner/Consultant at DANR Consulting

Have you ever contacted your client and started the conversation with "I hate to tell you this, but ...?" This webinar will cover key intra-team and client communcations and review the fundamental aspects of good reporting, including things like frequency, format, content and distribution. When the principles taught in this webinar are applied, a call like that may never have to be made again.

This CSIA webinar sponsored by Software Toolbox.
Register Now

Cybersecurity Task Force

by Bob Lowe, task force facilitator


The Cybersecurity Task Force is developing a whitepaper that will be a guide to help navigate the standards and frameworks addressing cybersecurity for industrial control systems. The whitepaper will not attempt to replace IEC 62443, the NIST framework or any other document, but be an overview with references to them. The current plan is for it to be structured after IEC 62443-2-4. The intended audience of the whitepaper is engineers & programmers (Integrators), procurement personnel (those looking for an integrator with good cybersecurity best practices) and operations personnel (industry clients).


The whitepaper will be integrated with Revision 5 of the Best Practices and Benchmarks manual. It will impact best practices for the integration environment (those internal to the system integration company) and best practices in the target environment (the deliverable to the client). However the initial focus will be the "integration environment" because target environments are quite varied so are complex.


The task force consists of people from six integrator members and six Partner members. We are grateful for their contribution. Currently the table of contents is being refined, with content to follow. Completion is expected in the 1st quarter of 2015.


Training Survey results:
Project management ranks highest

CSIA staff and board of directors thank the 14 members who completed the survey. The survey asks our members about their approach to training and their wishes for CSIA to provide training. Following are some of the survey findings. The point system is relative within each question. There were several other questions but these were considered most important for this article. The full survey is in the Survey Results library in Connected Community.


The most desired training: project management (38); leadership (24); cybersecurity (23); CSIA Best Practices (20); system development lifecycle (16). Note: the 2015 CSIA Executive Conference will address all of these except SDL.


Barriers to training: loss of production (43); cost of travel (38); cost of the training (25).


Preferred training delivery methods: nearby training centers (59); online interactive (e.g., GoToMeeting with screen sharing) (57); at your company (57); webinar by instructor (50); remote in-person (e.g., near major airport) (34).


Send comments to Bob Lowe, CSIA executive director.


J.P. Morgan-CSIA system integration industry survey

The fifth system integration industry survey cosponsored by CSIA and J.P. Morgan was a grand success with 156 respondents. It provided a good understanding of the past, current and future data and trends for our industry.


CSIA staff and leadership express our gratitude to J.P. Morgan and all of the survey respondents. Respondents who wanted a copy of the data and J.P. Morgan report should have received them. Partner members do not complete the survey but can get a copy by emailing the CSIA office.


The next survey will be in March 2015. It's somewhat abbreviated compared to this October version. All system integrators are encouraged to complete it. There is value in the survey for the integrator, CSIA and J.P. Morgan.


CSIA goes to Germany for SPS IPC Drives 2014

The SPS IPC Drives 2014 show in Nuremburg, Germany, Nov. 25-27, will be attended by Executive Director Bob Lowe and Global Coordinator Greta Mattison. Our European Advisory Committee recommended this event as an opportunity to meet the European counterparts of many of our partner members.


We know many partner member representatives in the U.S. but expanding the awareness of CSIA in Europe is important to our growth of system integrator members in Europe. If you are a CSIA partner member and would like Greta and Bob to meet with a European representative of your company, please let them know.


We will be located in the OPC Foundation booth. CSIA extends its gratitude to Tom Burke and Stefan Hoppe of OPC Foundation for their support.


Playing nice with others:
Coordination on a multi-vendor project
by Brian P. Clifford, CSIA Attorney

In some respects, the new development of, or substantial upgrade to, an automated facility is like a typical construction project - it can involve multiple firms retained by the project's owner, all performing work simultaneously in the same area, and all dependent on the work of others for the proper performance of their own services. When working on such a multi-vendor project, there are many considerations that should be addressed in your contract to be sure that everyone "plays nice" with each of the other project participants. These include:

Coordination of the firms: Which entity is responsible for the coordination of the services among the separate firms? Is it a "general contractor" or other project manager professional? Or is the owner performing this service itself? (If nothing is said in the agreement on this topic, this is likely the owner's obligation.) Does that entity have the expertise and experience to handle such coordination issues, including scheduling the sequential and logic performance of the services and addressing conflicts and gaps between the multiple vendors' scopes of work?

Review of work of others: Are you required to "sign-off" on another firm's work prior to commencing your own services? Project owners will often include a provision in their agreement forms that states that, by starting your services, you acknowledge that the previously performed services of another firm are "fit and proper" for your performance. This can include an obligation for you to integrate your deliverables into the hardware and systems provided by others, even if it is unknown at that time whether or not such systems are free from defects and properly operational. These provisions add significant risks to an automation firm's project responsibilities.

Responsibility for damage: What happens if another project participant damages your in-progress deliverables at the project site? Are you stuck with the "risk of loss" until the owner accepts such items, or is there a mechanism for you to obtain an increase in your contract price to cover necessary repairs or replacement? What about jobsite injuries? Are you covered as an "additional insured" on the liability policies of the other project participants whose operations may cause injuries to your employees? Likewise, are you responsible for delay costs and other expenses incurred by another project participant arising from your performance?

Brian Clifford is a member of the automation practice at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP. He can be reached at +1.260.460.1687 or

OPC Foundation and CSIA:
Working together for open standards

by Thomas J. Burke, OPC Foundation President and Executive Director


Control system integrators frequently don't have the luxury of choosing what products are to be used, but they have the responsibility of making the products work together in a seamless fashion. It's for this reason that CSIA and the OPC Foundation are working together.


The letters OPC used to stand for "OLE for process control." OLE was the acronym for object linking and embedding. The OPC Foundation is a nonprofit international standards organization dedicated to providing the best specifications, technology, certification and process to enable the OPC community to develop and use OPC products that provide interoperability in industrial automation and related domains. OPC specifications and technology provide multivendor, multiplatform, secure, reliable interoperability for moving information from the embedded world to the enterprise for industrial automation and related domains.


The OPC Foundation technology portfolio includes OPC classic (provides interoperability standards for data acquisition, alarming and history on Microsoft platforms) and OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA), which is a series of interoperability standards that are multiplatform that extend the functionality of OPC classic and provides a rich set of information modeling services and a service-oriented architecture to maximize interoperability.


OPC Foundation also provides a complete infrastructure to certify OPC products and also provides interoperability workshops that allow vendors to test their products with other vendors for total interoperability.


Frequently, a control system integrator gets the "opportunity" to retrofit an existing manufacturing facility and make installed products work with new products. The goal of OPC is to provide an interoperable infrastructure to allow the control system integrator to have products from multiple vendors interoperate. The "opportunity" is sometimes perceived by the integrator as being more complicated because of open standards, and because a single vendor does not necessarily know what other products their product will be connected to.


To eliminate the complications, system integrators should insist that the vendors build products based on the new OPC UA technology, which then allows them to use off-the-shelf products to maximize their integration in automation of manufacturing processes. It's in the best interest of the system integrators to have open standards, and have the vendor community build products that adhere to the open standards and the products are certified for interoperability. CSIA members are in the driver's seat to promote the OPC technology to the vendor community and insist that the vendors certify their OPC-enabled products.


OPC Foundation and CSIA will work together to provide the best technology that meets and exceeds the demands of the end users and that our control system integrators will easily be able to use for reliable robust interoperability solutions. Stay tuned for exciting announcements from both organizations with respect to the partnership and exciting training programs that we will be putting together to help our control system integrators to maximize their effectiveness of using products from the OPC community.


Note: The OPC Foundation is hosting CSIA's exhibit at the SPS IPC Drives 2014 show in Nuremburg, Germany, this month


Coming soon to an industrial control system near you

by Adam Kennedy, Kepware Technologies

In the past six months, I've had the opportunity to travel the globe and speak with thought leaders from all aspects of the Automation Industry-from discrete manufacturing to Internet of Things (IoT) and everything in between.

Across these disciplines, it's become clear to me that there are massive challenges facing our industry and an increasing number of diverse solutions being developed to address them. Working at Kepware directs my focus towards the communications layer, but throughout my travels it seems like the demand for reliable and easily accessible data is more critical than ever. The question is, how do we want to obtain and consume the data?

End users are demanding information and control through a growing landscape of platforms and from a myriad of devices. How can data acquisition be accomplished efficiently with "future-proof" solutions? Concepts such as machine-to-machine communications continue to generate interest and enthusiasm, but without a clear industry architecture for deployment, can they be effectively maintained? And where does the data "live" when collected? Can industrial applications reliably operate in the cloud? Is the importance of your operating system now taking a backseat to your web browser and Internet connection? Will open protocols like OPC continue to serve as the backbone of industrial communications?

Today, the questions outnumber the answers. (Just try and get a unanimous definition of IoT the next time you're in a room full of experts. I guarantee the results will vary!) Regardless, there is no doubt that the data from all our devices will be an essential aspect of how the companies of the future will operate. It's exciting working at a company that specializes in a communications platform poised to support the data solutions of the future.

I would love to hear what challenges and changes you foresee affecting our industry. What scares or excites you the most? How can vendors like Kepware make things easier for you and your end users? I'm anxious to hear what you think the future of automation holds!

Adam Kennedy is director of sales at Kepware Technologies, a Platinum Sponsor of the 2014 CSIA conference. Learn more about Kepware Technologies on the Industrial Automation Exchange.

A light-hearted explanation of The Netherlands

by Bob Lowe, CSIA Executive Director


I recently received a request from a company that needed system integration services near The Netherlands. They wanted to know if I could help. So I forwarded the information to our four members there and referred to their country as Holland, not The Netherlands. One of our members replied with an informational and humorous explanation of their country. It made me laugh so thought I'd pass it along. It was encouraging to learn that I wasn't the first person to get it wrong.


Insight on Manufacturing IT

We thought you would find this article on Manufacturing IT helpful because it looks at automation and IT challenges from your client's perspective. For a system integrator or supplier to help them, you must first walk in their shoes. Although the article describes manufacturing, it no doubt applies to process industries as well. 

Register for ARC Industry Forum, receive 10% discount as CSIA member


"Industry in Transition: The Information Driven Enterprise for the Connected World" is the theme of the 19th annual ARC Industry Forum Feb. 9-12, 2015, in Orlando, Florida. This international event attracts 600-plus end users, system integrators and suppliers. New information technologies such as Internet of Things, predictive analytics, wireless, additive manufacturing, cloud computing, mobility and 3D visualization are beginning to disrupt and radically change the way industrial enterprises do business. Therefore, it is critically important for system integration company managers to stay abreast of the technologies impacting the decisions of their clients in plant and facility automation.


With CSIA being a trade association and an ARC client, CSIA members receive a 10% discount on registration for this unique forum in which integrators and suppliers can more fully appreciate the challenges of their clients, network with prospective clients and get a peek at the future of industrial automation. To register for the ARC Industry Forum 2014 in Orlando and receive the discount, contact Paula King at 781-471-1110 or There are no comparable events anywhere in North America. For our members outside of North America, ARC hosts these forums in several countries.

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