We have been strong supporters of CSIA’s (Control System Integrators Association) certification program since even before we received our first certification in 2002. In a January 2018 post, we wrote about the process and the benefits we believe result from CSIA certification. But certification is only one way that CSIA is working to make control system integrators better.
Following the philosophy that better integrators produce better industrial automation and control system integration projects for their clients, CSIA maintains an ongoing progression of valuable hour-long, no-cost webinars for their members. Some examples of the subjects addressed this year include the following:
- Reliable Enclosure Cooling Without Refrigerating Industrial Control Systems
- Benefits of Secure Cloud Connected Solutions
- Taking Complexity Out of Field Instrumentation Selection, Configuration, and Engineering
- Cyber Security for PLC Installations
- Industrial Network Infrastructure
Additionally, they also do more intense one-day training programs on important subjects. Their next such session in October is “Project Management for Automation and Control System Integration.” These sessions do have a fee associated with them, but they are a great value. The annual CSIA conference provides executives an opportunity to learn and network with their peers in relaxed environments, and attendees universally praise the value they receive from their participation.
Another way that CSIA helps integrators be better informed is through their Open Forum platform. This on-line space provides members an opportunity to pose questions, both technical and business-related, to their peers and provide answers to others’ questions. Or they may make requests for input on specific issues. Posts made are shared across all subscribers to encourage engagement.
There is also a regular podcast, “Talking Industrial Automation”. It allows key players across the industrial automation business spectrum to introduce themselves and their companies and to talk about issues they consider important to the industry. This podcast is available to members and non-members alike.
The foundational piece of the organization’s education process remains their “CSIA Best Practices & Benchmarks Manual”. It is periodically updated to keep pace with changes in our industry and is now in Version 5. This manual has been the guiding light for system integrators for almost two decades, giving SIs the objectives they need to pursue in order to qualify their businesses for certification. It is at its core an aspirational document.
Those of us performing automation and control system integration want to be the best we can be. We want that because that ensures we’re delivering the best projects possible for our clients. CSIA wants the same for us because they believe in helping SIs have quality, long lasting businesses that deliver quality services