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The International Society of Automation offers basic automation training in person and online

The International Society of Automation offers basic automation training in person and online

During one of Matt Rothkopf’s trips to Alaska’s North Slope, he decided he might as well hike to the training area in the morning. His hosts told him he was unsure of walking, and he thought they feared he might freeze to death. “No,” replied his host. “Polar bears will eat you first.”

Rothkopf is the Director of Learning Consulting with the International Society of Automation (ISA).

ISA offers hands-on, vendor-neutral training, certifications, and publications to prepare the automation workforce to meet technological changes and industry challenges. ISA offers training for automation professionals worldwide; at corporate headquarters in Durham, North Carolina; and remotely. In fact, the ISA has provided training on every continent except Antarctica.

“We are a mission-driven organization that strives to serve as a valuable resource for automation professionals,” Rothkopf said.

Hands-on training on any brand of equipment

“Our interns aren’t just sitting in classrooms,” Rothkopf said. ISA has portable labs so that trainees can learn in a hands-on environment from almost anywhere in the world. Vendors frequently donate equipment to ISA for use in trainings. ISA training opportunities are unique because trainees can generally learn about any brand of equipment they use in their factories.

Fig. 1: ISA Headquarters has a variety of instruments available for hands-on training.

“No one will teach you how to use a specific device better than the company it comes from, but what people appreciate about ISA training is that we teach how different parts fit together into a complete system,” said Rothkopf. He explained that the ISA provides basic training that is necessary to master before understanding the specific “bells and whistles” of the equipment.

New instrumentation technicians and control engineers must both master the fundamentals and understand the specifics of automation equipment. Therefore, extensive training services aimed at specific devices and manufacturers can be helpful. For example, in the fall of 2021, ISA announced a collaborationtion with instrumentalist Endress+Hauser offers extensive training services. “We consider Endress+Hauser training to be very specific to our devices, models, features, options and courses for those who have purchased and installed our devices,” said Jerry Spindler, Customer Training Manager at E+H , “whenreas ISA has a broader scope and covers topics in which we are not specialized, which is naturally a very complementary offer to ours.

High quality training available almost anywhere

ISA offers training at ISA headquarters, regional locations, on company premises and online. It all depends on what is best for the customer. A wide variety of learning opportunities are available, including classroom courses, instructor-led online courses, self-paced modular courses, on-site courses, boot camp courses, labs handy laptops and virtual classroom training.

“Some clients really appreciate the face-to-face interaction during training, but others appreciate virtual classes because they don’t have to travel,” Rothkopf explained. ISA can ship portable labs across the United States and many other countries around the world to use for on-site trainings and has a global roster of trainers to provide in-person instruction.

ISA is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). It is ANSI/IACET compliant, an internationally recognized standard of excellence in educational practice. All ISA Instructors must have at least 10 years of active related industry experience in the field of the course and experience in teaching adults.

ISA Instructor Scott Sommer, PE, CAP, has over 40 years of experience in automation, instrumentation and process control design and applications. During his career, he has worked for large and small manufacturing companies and several engineering firms, including a systems integration firm of which he was the main owner for nearly 10 years. He has been an ISA instructor since 2008.

“As automation engineers, we must never give up the desire to learn or deepen our knowledge of devices and systems,” Sommer said. “Technical training is the mechanism by which we cultivate our own path to lifelong learning. For me, this has led to a passion for developing and training the next generation of automation engineers.

ISA’s most popular formation

ISA offers a wide selection of training opportunities in many sectors such as chemicals, energy, manufacturing, cybersecurity, oil and gas. Some of ISA’s latest course offerings include Technician Boot Camp, Cyber ​​Security Design and Implementation, Alarm System Management, and Batch Control using ANSI/ISA88 standards.

Many of ISA’s most popular courses are related to cybersecurity. Courses that support Certified Control Systems Technicians (CCST) are also popular. CCST courses provide crucial information that an instrumentation and control technician needs to operate effectively.

Fig. 3: Mark Weisner, technical supervisor of ISA’s training lab in North Carolina, says industrial cybersecurity training is particularly popular.

“My favorite training is the Technician Training Boot Camp (TTBC),” Rothkopf said. This practical five-day course is recommended for technicians with a good level of experience. “TTBC technicians already know how to do the job, but the course refreshes them in the right ways to do it.”

TTBC bundles a multi-week program into a 5-day hands-on training. Rothkopf said the ISA created the TTBC course because over the years the workforce has shrunk, becoming leaner and more efficient, and companies cannot spare workers 4-6 weeks for training.

One intern said his company now requires everyone to complete the TTBC as the annual plant maintenance shutdown has been reduced from two weeks to 4.5 days thanks to the strategies they learned while attending Training.

Learn more about ISA training offerings on the website or email [email protected].

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