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International Society of Automation to stimulate growth in manufacturing

By advancing the science of automation and developing the capabilities of automation professionals, the International Society of Automation (ISA) is poised to play an active and vital role in initiatives to stimulate growth, innovation and collaboration in worldwide manufacturing.

That was the principal message delivered by Patrick Gouhin, ISA’s Executive Director and CEO, speaking recently at the World Manufacturing Forum 2012, an invitation-only conference in Stuttgart, Germany where more than 400 manufacturing executives, experts and policy-makers from 44 countries offered and discussed solutions to global manufacturing challenges.

Amid the backdrop of a worldwide economic slowdown, conference participants explored strategies for energising worldwide manufacturing activity and encouraging cross-border collaboration and innovation.

“ISA is extremely excited to be actively involved in this international dialogue,” states Gouhin. “We are convinced that automated, intelligent and digital manufacturing systems in the capable hands of well-trained, knowledgeable automation professionals throughout the global industrial supply chain can be powerful assets for companies looking to increase efficiency and boost innovation.”

As global value chains become increasingly linked, and competition for limited energy resources and raw materials mount, technological innovation combined with a skilled workforce are regarded as critical to fostering sustainable economic growth around the world.

“Automation technologies enable manufacturing firms to realize maximum value through return on investment, and increased throughput, productivity, quality, resource management and safety,” Gouhin says.

The World Manufacturing Forum focused on improving five manufacturing technology platforms: sustainable manufacturing and occupational safety; energy efficiency; key technologies; standards and interoperability; and education.

“ISA can contribute to improving each of these technology platforms,” Gouhin notes. “Through our involvement at this event, we hope that our capabilities will receive greater global exposure, which will in turn lead to new opportunities and collaboration.”

By developing worldwide automation standards, certification, publications and training, ISA is a prime technical and supportive resource for industry and manufacturing within all countries.

“We want to help drive the next wave of global manufacturing,” Gouhin indicates. “Of course, having a skilled, educated workforce will be essential.

"Here again, ISA is taking a leadership position by establishing the Automation Competency Model (depicted below) and recommending degree programs at both two- and four-year academic institutions.”

The Automation Competency Model framework was developed through a collaborative effort involving the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and industry experts from the Automation Federation.

The Automation Competency Model is a formal description of the knowledge, skills and abilities required to become an automation professional.

Founded in 1945, the International Society of Automation is a global, nonprofit organization. ISA develops standards, certifies industry professionals, provides education and training, publishes books and technical articles, and hosts conferences and exhibitions for automation professionals.

In Australia, the Institute of Instrumentation, Control and Automation (IICA) offers accredited courses by ISA certified trainers.

ISA is the founding sponsor of the Automation Federation.

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