Automation publication changes ownership

01/09/2010

Andrew Bond

We have praised and recommended Andrew Bond’s Industrial Automation Insider over the years and have used some of his material in this blog and in Read-out, our print publication. It is typical of the man to arrange for a competent takeover of his publication to an almost equally well known journalist in Britain in the person of Nick Denbow.

I have known Andrew for many years now and have the greatest respect for him as a person and for his knowledge and expertese in the business. He is a guy who always knows the pertinent question to ask and equally he is unafraid to say things as he sees them.

We wish him well in his future ventures.

He sent this valedictore statement to his many subscribers.

“After nearly 14 years as Editor of Industrial Automation INSIDER, the first four under its original title of SCADA Insider, and more than 11 as owner and publisher, I am passing over both the editorship and ownership of the title and its associated web site to Nick Denbow with effect from the September 2010 issue. Nick takes over complete responsibility for the editorial content, production and distribution of the title and fulfilment of existing subscriptions with immediate effect, although I will continue to provide advice and some editorial input on a consultancy basis.

“Nick, like me, is a Cambridge University engineering graduate and also, unlike me, a Chartered Engineer and a member of the Institute of Measurement and Control. He also, again unlike me, brings the benefit of 25 years of actual practical experience in the industry, notably with Bestobell Mobrey and Platon, to INSIDER as well as more recent experience in marketing, PR and as the founder editor of the pioneering ProcessingTalk web site.

“To ensure continuity Nick has since January of this year been playing an increasing role, both contributing editorially and representing us at a wide range of industry events. As a result I am confident that he will not just maintain but enhance the quality and breadth of coverage to which INSIDER subscribers have become accustomed.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank subscribers for their generous support over the years and, in some cases, since the very first issue in January 1997, and urge them to show the same level of support and encouragement to Nick in the coming months and years.”

Nick Denbow

We have also known Nick Denbow for many years and as Andrew says above he has the experience and knowledge of the industry with the added bonus of actual practical experience in handling hardware with Bestobell and Platon. His groundbreaking work with Processing Talk made his name almost universally known in the virtual world of social media.

We wish him well in this new responsibility and look forward to continued incisive analysis of the automation industry both in Great Britain and throughout the world.

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More on wireless

07/07/2010

Yokogawa snubs WirelessHART users at the launch of the “World’s first” ISA100.11a wireless transmitters.

van Loon snubs WirelessHart!

by Andrew Bond, Industrial Automation Insider

“ISA100 is the standard that has been developed by the user community, and expresses the wishes of the users, rather than the approach imposed by vendors, as exemplified by WirelessHART,” said Joost van Loon, Yokogawa Europe director of industrial automation. “Additionally ISA100 is technologically superior to other approaches, in that it can cover all the wireless solutions that might be required. Users have also requested just one standard, so in the Yokogawa view this should be ISA100.”

Van Loon was speaking at the launch of a range of ISA100.11a pressure and temperature transmitters and associated system interfaces at the 5th Yokogawa User Conference, held in The Netherlands from 24-25th June. He was supported by Penny Chen of Yokogawa global marketing, who is also vice chair of the Wireless Compliance Institute (WCI). In response to a query about possible changes to ISA100.11a when the ISA100.12 committee on convergence presents its findings later this year, she asserted that “It is very unlikely that any changes would be allowed to ISA100”. The Yokogawa Q+A sheet issued alongside the releases commented on convergence issues further: “In fact, end users are not choosing WirelessHART. The ISA100.12 committee has been advised by user input that there is “no need for backward compatibility with WirelessHART as there is no significant installed base”. Quite a snub for the existing users of WirelessHART systems!

Yokogawa excludes WirelessHART

In listening to the user community, Yokogawa is aware that there has been a request for one global wireless standard, and therefore stresses that their offering includes “openness and interoperability” as prime objectives at the heart of ISA100. However “the ideal scenario is unlikely to occur, with two wireless standards in use” and the Yokogawa interoperability does not extend to including WirelessHART in their plans.

The other major player in the ISA100 camp is, of course, Honeywell, and news releases came thick and fast around the Honeywell User Group meeting held in Phoenix (AZ US), from 13-17th June: several of these related to improvements to digital video monitoring and field instrument wireless networks, that are designed to be compliant with the ISA100.11a standard. Most of the questions at the interviews, and the HUG discussions reported, related to the topic of ISA100, and whether this standard will be modified in the near future to include IEC62591, now the WirelessHART standard.

ISA100 panel: user discussions continue
From a panel discussion on the convergence of ISA100 and WirelessHART, Pat Schweitzer of ExxonMobil, also co-chair of the ISA100 committee, had been trying to establish what users would want a combined standard to offer, and said NAMUR would issue a report on this topic in late June (NE133). Meanwhile Schweitzer reported that the ISA100.11a- 2009 standard is being corrected, and will be re-issued by December. Schweitzer also commented that the convergence discussions headed by the ISA100.12 committee also hoped to report by December.

The Honeywell corporate view of wireless monitoring and control is not restricted to Honeywell Process Systems: their wireless business is cross divisional – it is a corporate initiative to drive wireless across the whole business, whether this is aerospace, health and safety, life safety or process solutions. In an interview (podcast) with Walt Boyes of CONTROL Global, Ray Rogowski, business leader for their wireless initiative, stressed that they see a far larger potential for the OneWireless applications in addition to monitoring field sensors. Add to this that the Honeywell OneWireless system is really a combination of up to five wireless systems: the Honeywell approach is to create a wireless infrastructure that will support multiple wireless networks, multiple applications, with specific sensor developments to feed in, possibly on different types of wireless system – an example of this is the support for Wi-Fi devices in addition to the field sensor network.

The inevitable conclusion is that Honeywell would have no problem with running two wireless systems into their networks, WirelessHART and ISA100, if that is needed. The Matrikon acquisition reported last month will enable the integration of third party systems into the Honeywell system via an OPC link, again possibly over OneWireless. In the theme of following the Emerson THUM and the ABB FieldKey, Honeywell showed a new OneWireless Adaptor that connects to wired HART devices, and transmits the full diagnostic info to host systems via an ISA100.11a compliant wireless network, without any significant modification to the conventional 4- 20mA loop field wiring. Yokogawa also suggested that they would be supplying such an adaptor, sourced from a suitable third party supplier.

Support for ISA100 and WCI
With the new Yokogawa products compliant with ISA100.11a and GE and Yamatake joining the Wireless Compliance Institute board, alongside Yokogawa and Fuji, Honeywell and ISA100 have gained valuable support recently. However, their spokesmen continue to stress that any ISA100 standard must be based on the total customer requirement, and that these customers are requesting a single wireless standard.

But is that what they’re really asking for? Maybe Nivis has the answer. They have now launched a new wireless gateway capable of simultaneously working on both ISA100.11a and WirelessHART protocols. Confusingly, it’s just called the “Nivis WirelessHART Gateway”, presumably because there were only really WirelessHART sensors available when they named it! Nivis were one of the major suppliers of equipment for the original Arkema ISA100 trials (YouTube Video).  Trae Harrison, vp of sales and marketing, explained: “The addition of the WirelessHART Gateway to the Nivis product line enables customers to utilize either ISA100.11a or WirelessHART using the same platform: it is exactly what the marketplace is asking for.”

You can’t halp feeling that ISA, WCI and Yokogawa have been talking to a different lot of customers, unless, of course, they’ve only been asking the questions that give the answers they want to hear! Maybe we’re fast approaching the point where users will simply adopt WirelessHART and ISA100.11a as appropriate to their particular applications.

This article first appeared in the July 2010 issue of Industrial Automation Insider


Where’s the automation?

19/06/2010

ABB’s Houston party may have invited the automation community . . . but in the event it was all about power

By Andrew Bond (Industrial Automation Insider)

The ABB Automation and Power World event, held in Houston (TX US) from May 18th to 20th, gave an impressive display of the total ABB capability: it was the second time that ABB had joined Automation and Power together, presented as a complete complementary product package. The event was impressive, in logistics and size, with around 4500 delegates from 40 countries, listening to a selection of 500 hours of seminars and workshops, plus visiting the 100,000 sq ft of product exhibition area. Attendance at the main public days from customers and press was up 35% on last year: these three days were sandwiched between two busy weekends of ABB sales conferences and meetings, also covering the 800 staff from their distributors and sales partners, so a lot of leverage was added on top of the customer event. From the 1500 ABB staff present in Houston, the most regular comment – even from the power side – was that they had never realized just quite what a broad range of products was indeed available from ABB – but this was always made with a nod towards the power transmission products. (See also our blog Power, Energy and er Automation? last May)

What about Automation?

Peter Terwiesch - more power for major population centres

Well the word is right in there, in the title of the event. This was right where it stayed, in the ABB Automation and Power World Daily Blog from Malcolm Shearmur, from ABB’s corporate communications. Shearmur says he is “particularly interested in the energy challenges facing the world in the 21st century”. Rather than a total blanking of automation news he did include two relevant paragraphs at the end of one report, on a presentation by Peter Terwiesch, ABB’s chief technology officer, mentioning the trend towards wireless measurement: obviously automation is not Shearmur’s main interest. The major topic of Terwiesch’s excellent, and balanced, presentation was the world need to deliver more power to the major population centres, while reducing emissions and using additions from renewable sources, such as hydropower. High Voltage Direct Current transmission (HVDC) is offering the technology to transmit huge amounts of power, over long distances, and not just for power links to offshore platforms. For example ABB is helping to build the 200km 800kV o v e r h e a d transmission line from the Xiangjiaba hydro power plant, in southwest China, over to Shanghai, to deliver 6400MW of power (which is almost as much as used by Switzerland, admits Shearmur).

This project exceeds previous technology levels, providing twice the power rating and using a 33 percent higher voltage than all existing installations. ABB has invested in the new equipment development, manufacturing and testing facilities to enable this new technology to be used commercially. This ABB equipment has been under successful test operation at 850kV DC since 2006, at the STRI Laboratory in Sweden. US Investment in HVDC ABB see this as an area of major opportunity: Enrique Santacana, head of ABB in the US and North America, announced at a press briefing in Houston that they plan to invest about $90m to build a new highvoltage cable factory, in the USA. This is to meet the strong growth in demand for high-voltage direct current (HVDC) applications, in overlay grids being developed to complement the AC grids in use in Europe and the USA.

The Terwiesch presentation did pay particular attention to the convergence and commonalities between power and automation systems. Back in 2004, ANSI, IEC and the main vendors adopted an Ethernet-based global standard for communications and system architecture in substation automation and power distribution systems, providing interoperability between intelligent electrical devices (unfortunately given the acronym “IED”), engineering tools and a flexible and open architecture. And so IEC allocated the next number in their standards list, and called it IEC61850, uniquely – so that industries will not be confused with other standards, for example the functional safety standard, which is of course IEC61508.

Having developed the electrical interfaces to substations and switchgear to IEC61850, an interface module built for the AC800M controller allows the standard System 800xA to provide operator control of process electrification, substation automation and power management. ABB reports the supply of over 800 substation automation projects based on IEC61850. More important is that the same 800xA system can use another standard interface module in the AC800M to communicate with instrumentation fieldbus networks, and provide process control as well. One common 800xA-based operations console can deal with both power and process control, and plant events from either side are recorded on one centralized historian and archive, which also helps track event causality, being on one timeframe.

Twenty projects to date
ABB has combined process and power control systems in this way on over 20 projects to date, primarily in oil and gas plants, but also in mining and minerals, as well as power generation plants. Although overall a small number so far, there was a considerable geographical bias towards such projects in Brazil and South America – coincidentally, the next Automation and Power World event is scheduled for a location in Brazil, in August.
Johan Hansson, the manager of the Control Systems Electrical Integration Centre of Excellence in Sweden, explained some of the advantages of combined control systems in oil and gas plants, where the integral power management system initiates load shedding according to an operator managed priority table, in less than 100msec, whereas previously the selection was hard wired, and much slower. Petrobras have not yet established operational cost savings, but already have saved 20% on training costs by combining the process and power systems: in Petrobras the protection and control relays are a mixture of ABB and Schweitzer IEDs, all to IEC61850.

. . . And so to Instrumentation
ABB in total spends $1bn annually on R&D, employing 6000 scientists. Terwiesch mentioned their recent development of an optical calliper for measurements in the paper industry, monitoring web thicknesses equivalent to 1/ 50th of a human hair, at 60mph. They are also working on energy scavenging techniques for powering wireless enabled sensors, using energy sources such as vibration, solar power, fluid flow, and temperature differences. The major instrument product launch announcements at Houston centred on wireless sensors, with the main product being the loop-powered FieldKey WirelessHART upgrade adapter, which mounts into any available cable gland on an existing HART instrument. As such it follows the same principle as the Emerson THUM adapter (INSIDER, December 2009, page 2 and also Conquering Complexity on this blog) but claims a “small footprint” as it is indeed a smaller package and antenna than the Emerson unit. ABB see the FieldKey as providing the capability to unlock the stranded information held within the 90% of the 3 million HART instruments already installed, whose systems cannot access their intelligence. The data can be accessed, and the devices remotely configured (if needed) using asset management software in 800xA, or with an Asset Vision Professional standalone product. The FieldKey adapters form a self building mesh network, and working to WirelessHART standard specifications can be accessed via any WirelessHART Gateway: ABB demonstrated their system with a new Pepperl+Fuchs gateway, which is shortly to become available. FieldKey is currently submitted for hazardous area approvals, and ABB are still interested in further field testing, for example in European sites.

FieldKey is a basic building block for ABB to incorporate WirelessHART connectivity in various new product developments: so also presented in Houston was an ABB pressure transmitter that has been adapted to become a wire-less transmitter, by incorporating the radio board and a 5 year life battery within the normal transmitter housing, plus a FieldKey antenna mounted in one of the standard conduit connections.

Vibration sensor?

Such battery-powered wireless transmitters are likely to be developed as needed: an example occasionally on display, but mostly kept under wraps, was from the oil and gas development group. This was a prototype of a battery powered vibration monitor, presumably an accelerometer rather than an acoustic emission sensor, built into a housing no bigger than a standard FieldKey. However, the main emphasis of corporate research appears to be focused onto alternative power scavenging techniques to power such wireless sensors, using heat, vibration, solar or process flow energy. Obviously this vibration sensor is work in progress, but judging by the size of the Perpetuum Free Standing (vibration energy) Harvester (68Ø and 63H, delivering 4mA at 5V), launched in May and to be on-show at the Sensors Expo in Illinois in June, ABB will find it difficult to incorporate vibration energy scavenging into the current package size.

Energy scavenging using Peltier techniques was the example featured in a demonstration sensor for temperature monitoring, explained further by Philipp Nenninger from the corporate research labs in Karlsruhe (D). Previously shown at the Hanover Fair this year, a temperature difference of 30K between the process fluid and the electronics housing can create the power to drive the temperature monitoring circuit, and the WirelessHART data transmission. Included within the housing is a standard non-rechargeable battery, which allows the sensor to continue functioning and transmitting data even as the process goes into shutdown, when the temperature difference might drop below the 30 degrees required. While process requirements for this type of specification are difficult to postulate,Nenninger quoted some keen interest in certain applications. Slowly beginning to think like ABB, the deduction is that the planned applications have to be in temperature monitoring of power transformers, or other power industry duties where wired connections are not possible.

Five year average age
Greg Livelli, US Marketing Manager for Instrumentation, presented a review of the total ABB offering, from pressure transmitters right through to sophisticated spectrometers and ion analysers. Several common themes emerged in the product design concepts, which have been rolled out as a result of the continuous investment and development effort, which will result in the average product age being reduced to five years by 2011. The programming format across all microprocessor instrumentation uses the same style, and the operator keypad follows the principles of the mobile phone, resulting in a common and intuitive look and feel, reducing the need for extensive reading of new manuals for each different instrument: learn one and the rest follow. Equally all diagnostics follow the NAMUR NE107 format, whether on a flue gas analyser or a magnetic flowmeter. Significantly most of the more unusual instrumentation from ABB is dedicated to power industry applications, whether these are for trace iron, aluminium, silica or manganese in boiler feed-water, or for SF6 gas emissions monitoring from HV switchgear.

System 800xA
Roy Tanner, global marketing manager for System 800xA, explained the reasoning behind the recent developments to be launched in Version 5.1 of System 800xA in June. “The System 800xA is designed to meet the challenges produced by the emerging trends in the process industries, such as consolidation of control rooms, intelligent field devices, monitoring and reducing energy consumption and unplanned shutdowns. We need to finally end the ‘islands of automation’ and provide information access for all disciplines. You need more than a DCS. The combined automation and power projects we’re doing have seriously increased the number of I/O and tags required.”

So Version 5.1 will run on Windows 7 and Windows 2008 Server, with double the present system capacity, and introduces the new AC800M PM891 field controller with twice the performance, eight times the memory and three times the clock speed of the PM866 version. Advanced alarm management systems will hide alarms to stop alarm overloads: new Alarm Analysis functions are natively accessible to operators based on Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) graphics. A new “Point of Control” feature in this release allows an operator in a remote location to request permission to control an area or unit from the responsible operator. Once approved, operation is transferred to the requesting operator and captured in the audit trail: any system alarms occurring in that transferred unit are only flagged up to the remote operator. “We now have interfaces for Profinet, DeviceNet via Ethernet IP and WirelessHART. Our Foundation fieldbus interfaces also support EDDL, and we have connectivity to all ABB legacy systems, and to Provox and TDC3000 systems, that act just like a natural part of the 800xA system” said Tanner. Since introducing System 800xA, ABB now claim to have sold over 5750 systems, with 37,500 AC800M controllers and over 24,500 operator workplaces.

Tanner also mentioned the 800xA safety architecture, with the TÜV-approved logical separation of functions between safety and control qualified up to SIL3 (INSIDER April 2010 page 7). Kristian Olsson of the Process Automation Safety Center of Excellence in Norway explains that he has the ideal situation of the SIL3 approval of 800xA and 19 Safety Execution Centres (ie engineering centres capable of delivery and implementation of safety system projects in accordance with international industry standards). In April the centres in Beijing, Shanghai (CN), Bangalore (IND) and Buenos Aires (ARG) were reported as gaining TÜV certification, joining Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, the UK and Singapore in the ABB listing: ten further centres are in the process of applying for the certification, including those in Canada, the USA, Brazil, Taiwan and South Korea. With more experience and engineering resources available than any other supplier, Olsson is looking to expand this activity into other markets and critical safety areas, maybe even as far as machinery safety systems, he suggested.

Acquisitions
The ABB Low Voltage Products Group, exhibiting a few feet away from the System 800xA presentations, was the source of one of the A+P World acquisition announcements, confirming the February acquisition of Jokab Safety International AB, a supplier of innovative products and solutions for machine safety, with 120 employees worldwide, 50 in the USA. We’ve clearly reached that point in the economic cycle where those who’ve survived and have the cash are in a position to make significant acquisitions, though nobody seems prepared as yet to go for the big one. Nevertheless ABB is deploying another $1bn of that fabled cash mountain to buy Atlanta, (GA US) based energy network management software provider Ventyx from venture capitalist Vista Equity Partners. ABB is paying approximately four times Ventyx’s annual revenues of $250m for the company whose portfolio includes solutions for asset management, mobile workforce management, energy trading and risk management, energy operations, energy analytics and planning and forecasting of electricity demand including renewables. ABB CEO Joe Hogan described Ventyx as “a cashgenerating acquisition in an exciting growth market.”

Meanwhile, ABB Process Automation has added Louisiana-based K-Tek, a manufacturer of liquid level detection and measurement systems, to their Measurement Products Business Unit. Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of the Process Automation division, commented that “K-Tek is well established, particularly in the oil and gas industry, which is a growth area for ABB”. K-Tek is quoted as being recognized as a global leader in magnetic level gauges, magnetostrictive level transmitters and laser level transmitters, with sales of $50 million and 250 employees.

This article appeared in the June 2010 issue of IAI


Are you paying attention?

06/04/2010

This blog has been on-line for twelve months now and we have been looking at the stats over that period.

"You pays your money...."

We have two blog presences one on the Blogger platform and this one on the WordPress system. We use the blogger presence for recording press releases as we get them with little editing other then some tidying up. This WordPress blog is used however, for material we write ourselves, or those written by guest authors. Reports on technologies, events, applications, company news and what we think are interesting topics to do with the automation field all find their way here.

Because it is a fairly new venture for us we were not sure what to expect. What sort of reaction we would get. Who, or how many would visit.

The Read-out Instrumentation Signpost is the principal and oldest presence of Read-out, Ireland’s journal of instrumentation, control and automation, on the world wide web. It is visited by between 4000 to 6000 unique visitors during each week. (When we started gathering statistics around ten years ago this figure was around 500!).

So what has happened in the last twelve months on this blog site?

The stats show that almost 4500 visitors visited the blog during the period, the bulk of which occured in the final six months. The first two months showed less that 70 visitors per month but then showed a steady rise up to the current average of 400 per month. Whether that is good or bad is difficult to say and it is also difficult to analyse these figures to decide why certain topics are more popular than others. One thing that is interesting is that visits occur to different pages through the period and not just at the time they go on-line.

There are also those people who are “followers” who visit each time there is a new posting (roughly once or twice a fortnight) and that is reflected in the large percentage (ca 20%) recorded as visiting the “home page.”

Perhaps surprisingly the most visited post visited was a piece about a presentation on Industrial Security which featured at the ISAExpo’09 with about 6%. The report on the actual show itself was way down in the ratings in 16th place. The next most frequented page was the report on a press event hosed by Emerson in the Netherlands in December. This report was narrowly pipped at the post by 4 visits by the Security feature. Other Emerson events also feature in the top ten, the User Group Meeting in October at fifth and Andrew Bond’s article on their CHARM launch also in October at seventh. This probably reflects the open attitude to social networking displayed by Emerson and their customers, when compared with some other automation entities.

A very close number three on our top-ten is the report on the splitting of GE Industrial Platforms and Fanuc (August’09). This was followed by a report on what Walt Boyes has identified as the “coming together” of Invensys in July’09, a report on the re-organisation of this giant in the automation world after a traumatic decade.

At number six is an item on Longwatch’s progress towards the “HMI revolution” with their integrated video into HMI systems (November 2009). We had reported the launch of this one our other blog in September’09.

Our personal favourite!

Number eight is our own particular favourite and was a critique on a book that we came across and which was recommended by Jon DiPietro of Bridge-Soft at ISAExpo’09. The book was called Meatball Sundae by a guy called Seth Godin. This easy to read book made an impression and this posting outlined some of his ideas.

Number nine was a surprise to us as it was the one item that last year attracted the most consistent viewings. Why? Because it talked about AN1H1 or “Swine flu”. It talked about an IR measuring system which could measure body temperature at a distance and thus be used in airports and other ports of entry and identify possible sufferers before they contaminated others. We suspect that this is so high because people googling for AN1H3 or Swine Flu would find this in their search.

Number ten is one that is fast moving up the list. This is John Saysell’sTop Ten Tips for the Industrial Trainer” which was posted in January of this year.

Most referrals not surprisingly came from our own website – read-out.net – but not a few came from Longwatch, MCP Europe and Emerson as well as various twitter and other social-networking referral sites.

Obviously many of our visitor clicked on the various links from the site. These do not we feel have great significence since there are too many variables like how many times they are mentioned in various blogs etc. But top of the list is ControlGlobal’s story of the split-up of GE & Fanuc, followed by Jim Pinto’s pages, Industrial Automation Insider and Jim Cahill’s Emerson Proicess Experts.

Top searches during the period were “GE Fanuc Split”, “AN1H3”, “INVENSYS”, and various Emerson personalities it would be too invidious to mention!

We posted 107 articles and we received 17,337 messages of which 75 were legitimate and 17262 were Spam Messages (protected by Akismet, the stop comment spam used by WordPress – phew!).

A graphical representation of twelve months viewing!


ANSI wireless rejection

13/01/2010

Wireless ball back in ISA’s court

This is an extract from the January 2010 issue of Industrial Automation Insider

Britain's only independent subscription newsletter providing industrial measurement and control systems users and suppliers with a monthly update on the continuing evolution and convergence of systems technologies.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) confirmed to ISA shortly before Christmas that it must hear the appeal filed by CONTROL magazine editor in chief Walt Boyes and others against the ratification of the ISA 100.11a wireless standard back in August 2009. It was ISA’s handling of what is now widely referred to as “the Boyes appeal” which resulted in ANSI failing to accept ISA 100.11a at its regular meeting in November (INSIDER, December 2009, page 1).

In a letter to ISA’s Industrial Automation Standards manager Charles Robinson dated December 15th, Anne Caldas, the secretary of ANSI’s Board of Standards Review (BSR), said that, in BSR’s view, ISA had failed to follow due process as set out in ANSI’s own Essential Requirements which requires that anyone with a legitimate interest should be able to express a view, have that view considered and have a right to appeal.

As had been reported earlier, the Boyes appeal, which, ironically relates to whether the ISA had followed its own procedures correctly, was lodged with ISA either one or two days before the expiry of the 30 day appeal period but ISA’s James Tatera did not respond, indicating that the appeal lacked the necessary detail for consideration, until two days after the expiry date, thereby rendering it impossible for the detail to be supplied before the deadline.

Misleading
Caldas’ letter not only questions ISA’s implementation of its own appeals procedure, pointing out that there doesn’t appear to be any provision for an appeal not being valid, but it raps ISA’s collective knuckles for misleading the appellants over ANSI’s procedures as well. ISA had, apparently, attempted to wash its hands of the Boyes appeal by suggesting that that it could be taken direct to ANSI whereas, in fact, as Caldas explained, it is only possible to make a procedural appeal to ANSI once the appeal has been concluded at the standards developer, in this case the ISA, level.

Sweeping aside both the suggestion that there is any such thing as a guaranteed route to approval as an ANSI standard and what appear to be hints of misconduct on the part of those making the appeal, the BSR offers ISA a stark choice. Either address the BSR’s concerns and hear the Boyes appeal or have the BSR consider the existing submittal with the obvious implications that, with its concerns unaddressed, it will vote it down. ISA would then have the right to appeal first to the BSR and then to the ANSI Appeal Broad but it’s clear the process would be lengthy and the outcome uncertain. It looks as if the ball and the Boyes appeal are firmly back in ISA’s court.

● Readers may recall that the concerns of Boyes and his colleagues go back not just to last summer but to June 2008 when the first draft of ISA 100.11a was approved by a narrow margin, in part because, they argued, of ISA’s procedures permitting those balloted to vote ‘Yes with comments’. In all more than 2000 comments were received and part of the concern related to whether those comments had been fully and adequately addressed.