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EMAIL INTERVIEW – Jacob Jackson and Ken Sinclair
Jackson is the director of ISA’s
Building Automation Systems Division.
His firm Assurity Design Group works on integrated and intelligent building design and startup services.
Sinclair: Why has ISA created a division for Building Automation Systems?
Jackson: ISA’s Building Automation Systems Division focuses on using ISA’s 66 years of automation knowledge, experience and standards and applies them to the building automation systems. Our methodology harnesses the best from the many different industries represented within ISA in order to assist all of them. It allows the building automation community to create a common base to improve productivity, training, certifications, and to advance the Automation profession.
ISA focused on industrial and manufacturing?
Sinclair: What does ISA have to offer building automation today?
systems security standards is just one among many.
Building automation are more similar to industrial automation security
needs than versus say information technology. With respect to some of
the other great organizations that support building automation, control
system security is in no way related to electrical or mechanical
engineering. ANSI/ISA-99 covers security of critical infrastructure,
and automation firms are some of the main drivers of its components. As
critical infrastructure is being required to be secured, it’s easier to
use one standard for all systems than to attempt to reinvent one for
each vertical market, and then to be faced with integrating them.
Some others that have peaked interest in the industry are ISA 5 – Documentation, ISA 18 – Alarm Management, ISA 95 – Enterprise Integration, ISA 105 – Factory Acceptance Testing, and ISA 101 – Human Machine Interfaces. So, ISA has been around for many years and has developed standards for much of the systems we see today in high performance building design. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel as we see many new and emerging organizations attempting to do.
ISA also offers professional certifications, such as the Certified Automation Professional, CAP. Many don’t know it, but the team that worked on that certification had a large group from the Building Automation market segment involved. So while it’s a generic certification for automation, the test includes questions about the Building Automation to ensure balance of knowledge for what a professional should know about the automation industry as a whole.
Sinclair: How do people participate? What is the benefit for them?
are currently looking for volunteers to work on two
Technical Reports. The first is applying ISA – 18 Alarm Management to
Building Automation. Specifically the group needs volunteers who
understand that standard, or are willing and able to learn it, and also
understand the building automation industry. These volunteers will
consider how the industry addresses items such as Alarm Storms, Root
Cause, etc, and also how those are tied to some terms we are more
familiar with such as Fault Detection and Diagnostics, Monetization,
and other building management tools.
The second is applying ISA 95 – Enterprise Integration, which is the standard that creates models for how an automation system communicates with enterprise systems. What’s really needed here is the model definition for building automation, and a system for defining the extensions. Since that standard has been in use it makes it far easier to define, for example, the interface between a building and energy management system implementation on a campus and the enterprise accounting and facility management systems, because the standard defines large portion of the interconnection and then uses the model to define the process being controlled.
It will really benefit the participants to learn from their peers, and to come to a consensus on what is practical – what works and doesn’t work in this industry. It will also focus everyone in the group as to what are the issues that need our attention. Another bonus available for those who need them is that volunteers will receive professional development hours towards license or certification renewals.
Sinclair: Is there anything else the division will be focused on?
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