Manufacturing Execution Systems and scholarship awards

May Image

For printable flyer with maps, click here.

May Topic:
Manufacturing Execution Systems

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) automate the information loop between the shop floor and enterprise information systems. An MES makes up-to-the minute shop floor information available companywide, which allows a swift response to conditions and requirements. MES is the ideal application to collect data needed by any other system in the organization, providing a real-time database for traceability as well as information for continuous improvement in operations. Because these automation systems can be so critical to long-term improvements, manufacturers often have a long-term vision yet want to start with small “prove-out” projects. This presentation will cover key steps in developing and implementing MES plans and projects, short-term and long-term.

May Speaker:
Dirk Sweigart, CISSP, PMP, MES Solutions Manager, Applied Control Engineering

Dirk has 30+ years experience planning, developing, and implementing control systems, MES and business systems. He has been a Software Developer, Plant Engineer, IT Manager, Business Systems Analyst, Business Development, and M&A Specialist.
A Senior Member of ISA, Dirk is Certified in ISA/IEC 62443 Cybersecurity Fundamentals and Risk Assessment. A SCADA and cybersecurity professor at Wilmington University, Dirk has a BSME; BS Computer Science; and an MBA

Additionally, at this meeting the section will announce and award one $2500 and two $500 scholarships. For more information Link

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March Victory Brewing social event

March 2017 Section Meeting
Victory Brewing Social Event

For a printable copy, click here.


Appetizer – Breaded and Fried Wings, Mini Sandwiches (roast beef, turkey, and ham)
Entrée – Chicken Piccata, Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Eggplant Parmesan
Sides – Roasted Seasonal Vegetables, Herb Roasted Potatoes
Dessert – Assorted Cookies
Note: – Cash Bar

Plenty of time to socialize and view/discuss displays from our sponsors (to come).

“Self guided tour” available.

DATE & TIME: Wednesday March 15, 2017: Event takes place from 6:00 PM until 10:00 PM

Preregister by March 8th.

LOCATION: Victory Brewing Company facility at 3127 Lower Valley Road, Parkesburg, PA 19365. []

DIRECTIONS: Victory Brewpub is on Route 372 which will be reached by most from Route 30 West then left onto route 10 South (Church Street )to Route 372 West (right onto 1st Street) or Google directions from your location.

COST: Note: $25.00 – Please register by Wednesday, March 8th, by E-mail: REGISTER. To have an appropriate head count, YOU MUST PAY IN ADVANCE via

Membership not required for this event, but New Members will have the $25 Victory Brewing Social Event registration fee waived!

Don’t Forget:
Applications for the $2,500 scholarship must be submitted by April 15, 2017!  There will be (2) runner up Scholarships of $500. Download printable information here. Also, be aware that the various ISA Divisions offer scholarships to applicants nominated by members. For example, the ISA Process Measurement & Control Division (PCMD) offers scholarships with a deadline of March 31. For information click this link.


Reviewing ANSI/ISA-101.01 HMI standard for process automation

Mike Lennon, P.E.

Lennon points to example of Level 3 HMI graphic

Michael A. Lennon, P.E., Operations Manager at Applied Control Engineering, presented an informative talk on upgrading HMI screens. He covered tackling upgrades of existing systems as well as new projects. The meeting, held at Rumsey in Conshohocken on January 18th, attracted about 20 attendees. Mike noted that his presentation overviews recommendations of ANSI/ISA-101.01 Human Machine Interfaces for Process Automation Systems, a standard published in 2015.

Mike said that when upgrading an existing system, often the current HMI:

o follows the P&ID graphic
o has no common guide for style
o assigns colors inconsistently
o shows no indications of trends to provide context.

Despite these shortcomings, management and operators may resist dramatic changes. The best approach is to implement change incrementally, concentrating on what works, colors, and navigation. It’s important to include input and buy-in by operators.

Mike said that the standard recommends primarily a gray screen where bright colors attract attention only to developing process problems. A bar of buttons at the bottom of the screen can be used to navigate to a new screen with details of an alarm condition. Graphics to avoid include gratuitous animation such as spinning motors, moving conveyors, and splashing liquids.

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Upgrading the Human Machine Interface

January Image

January 2017 Section Meeting
Topic: Upgrading the Human Machine Interface

This presentation focuses on upgrading existing HMI applications to use the concepts discussed in ISA101. It offers implementation strategies for controls engineers with existing system(s). Development of the upgraded HMI graphics may be taken in stages to allow for initial improvements to the system.

Speaker: Michael A. Lennon, P.E.,
Operations Manager, Applied Control Engineering, Inc. (ACE)

Mike’s professional experience has been primarily with batch processing, including the bulk/commodity chemical, specialty chemical, and pharmaceutical industries. He has also applied his control systems experience in electrical power generation, oil & gas, and food & beverage industries. Mike holds a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Delaware and is currently the Vice President of the Delaware Association of Professional Engineers.

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Pursuing the connected enterprise

Dave Kang, Industrial Networking Specialist at Rumsey Electric, spoke at our Novemember 2016 meeting, held at Ives Equipment in King of Prussia and attended by about 20. He noted early on that his background is primarily related to IT, which is dominated by standard Ethernet, protocols and cables. Industrial plants, on the other hand, often have proprietary networks, protocols, and cables. How do we connect the two?

The priorities of the two worlds differ. Plant operations key on network availability, integrity, and confidentiality, while in IT these priorities are reversed. Both want to protect against threats. The question is: what is a logical framework for finding ways to converge the two network worlds.

Challenges are numerous in the industrial plant settings. Examples include budget restraints, aging infrastructure and equipment, and a resistance to change. The scope of changes needed may seem overwhelming. Continue reading