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The ISA Food & Pharmaceutical Division (FPID) is planning a 10-11 February 2015 Symposium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Food & Pharmaceutical Automation Technology Update:

Control, Optimization, Measurement and Serialization

The symposium will bring together experts, suppliers, and end users in a two-day symposium to cover the current and emerging automation technologies and their impact in the food & pharmaceutical industries. Several new technologies have modified the landscape in those industries, and our speakers and papers will provide you the latest trends and examples for you to successfully integrate those technologies in your facilities. Participation in the ISPE Delaware Valley Chapter Annual Exhibition with key note speaker is also included at this event.

The symposium will soon put out a call for papers that will draw upon the following topics:
• Serialization
• ISA Standards
• Process Control
• Paperless Automation
• Instrumentation: Calibration,Wireless
• Alarm and Data Management
• Usage of Cloud for Automation
• Batch Management & MES
• Virtualization
• Internet of Things in the Pharma & Food industries
• Impact of disposable tecnology on Automation
• Automation Security
• Applications & case studies
For more information contact:
Bill Dugary ( or Andre Michel (

Dave Ross (1917 – 2014)

By Jim Talbot, ISA Philadelphia Section secretary

Dave Ross, 97, a former president of the ISA section (1961) died Saturday, July 19,2014. Dave, along with other former section presidents and close friends, Horace Richter (1959) and E. Ross Forman (1960), added much to the dimensions of the emerging Philadelphia ISA section which began three years before the national organization. Particularly the efforts under their leadership were the setting of standards for equipment and educational development of the individual members. Many of those ideas are now incorporated in that now the international organization.

Dave had a major effect on my life. I first met Dave in 1972. He worked for the Philadelphia Lewis & Gilman ad agency in public relations. I worked at North American Publishing as an editor of Data Processing magazine. He was calling on me to talk about a new client assigned to him–Computer Hardware Consulting & Services. His new client sold add-on memory for IBM 360 mainframe computers, so I was an appropriate editor he could call on and take to lunch.

We hit it off almost immediately as we had much in common. He was a chemical engineer who had worked for several instrumentation companies — Brown Instrument (acquired by Honeywell in 1934) and Fischer & Porter in Warminster. I had been an instrument engineer with Rohm and Haas Chemicals and an editor with the ISA Journal (now InTech, the journal of the International Society of Automation) in Pittsburgh. He was a seasoned 55, I was a novice 33.

His two other clients at Lewis & Gilman were American Meter and Leeds & Northrup — both instrumentation companies. He was hard put to handle all three clients. He recommended that Lewis & Gilman hire me as his assistant, which it did. He became my mentor, helping me transition from technical journalism to technical publicity and agency politics.

At the beginning we shared the three clients, writing trade press articles and press releases. In the 70s clients had the wherewithal to send us all over the North America to interview client customers, tour manufacturing and power plants, and supervise photography for the articles. It was quite an education. Soon I had my own clients for this work, and Dave and I worked more as close associates than as mentor and apprentice. At Lewis and Gilman Dave was famous for his comprehensive filing system and long memos.

He was always more of an extravert than I was, and enjoyed taking clients to dinners, concerts, and the theater. Lewis & Gilman always encouraged entertaining clients. I often tagged along and tried to do the same for my clients.

He was always very musical. He could sight read music and had a piano and organ in the living room of his home in Huntingdon Valley. Every summer he and his wife Doris hosted a big barbecue for his neighbors, usually ending in a sing-along with him at the piano.

In 1983, Lewis & Gilman became Lewis, Gilman, & Kynett when it was sold to Foote Cone & Belding in Chicago. Dave decided to retire. While Leeds & Northrup was no longer a client, he had kept in touch. In retirement he reconnected with L&N as an independent contractor, doing the same kind of work. I soon changed to another agency, Al Paul Lefton, continuing in technical publicity. But occasionally Dave would ask me to help write an article when he had more work than he could handle. He had a knack for attracting and keeping very loyal clients.

One of his new clients was a spin-off of Leeds & Northrup that manufactured and sold their Distributed Control Systems (DCS) called MAX Controls, a division of the now Metso Automation. He was working with the new marketing communications manager, Rob Mapleston. Rob later went on to become the marcom manager for ABB, which had acquired the latest iteration of Fischer & Porter (previously bought by Elsag Bailey) in Warminster. In about 2003, while I was still with Lefton, Dave asked me to help with his account, ABB. His eyesight and hearing were beginning to fail him. With Dave’s creative development of magnifying the computer screen and his talking watch, Mapleston agreed to work with the two of us.

In  2005 I decided to retire from Lefton. I worked out a deal with Lefton to continue working on one of my accounts. I also continued to help Dave with ABB, but now on a more active basis. So I followed in Dave’s footsteps as a retiree, working as a technical publicity independent contractor.

We worked as a team on ABB. When we had an ABB client meeting, he would take the train from Lansdale, where he lived with Doris in the Mennonite Dock Woods assisted living facility, to Glenside. I would pick up him and takeout lunch and drive to Warminster for our meeting. Then drive him back to Lansdale.


Dave finally retires

ABB’s Rob Mapleston awards Dave Ross with a trophy as a star marcom performer on his final FINAL retirement in December of 2008.

But Dave’s eyesight continued to deteriorate, making it hard to type on his increasingly dated computer without making typos, which he hated and which Mapleston tolerated as long as he could. By the end of 2008, Dave reluctantly decided to completely retire. In December of that year ABB gave him a trophy and a little retirement party. I took over as a technical publicity writer for ABB, working with Rob Mapleston, which I continue to do today.

Rob Mapleston is now Director of Marketing Communication at the international level. He admits he learned a lot from Dave when he was a new Marcom Manager for MAX Controls and later with ABB. He often asked about Dave and (maybe thinking the end was near) suggested that we meet him for lunch at Dock Woods last March. I’m glad we did. I was surprised to learn Dave was competing in a talent contest that day–playing the harmonica.

Until recently Dave continued to attend Phila ISA member meetings (and Ol’ Honeys retirement luncheons) thanks to Sam Herb, who picked him up and drove him home for about eight years along with Ross Forman, Phila ISA president and Education Chairman and Ed Gregg, another notable Phila ISA educator and consultant.
Sam met Dave at Leeds & Northrup where he convinced Sam to write articles on a wide variety of technical topics that were placed in various trade magazines. Dave had quite a wide reach and reputation among editors. He understood very well what those editors needed for their respective publications.

Sam and I are both sorry to lose Dave–a good associate and a good friend.

Jim Talbot


Notices — 1 Comment

  1. Please Add me to Meeting notice list. I think Lynn and I are interested in Getting active again in the section

    Bob Swan

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