Special Show Coverage

Newly reunified ISA 2001, Sept. 10-13, in Houston, Tex., will feature more than 700 exhibitors, technical and emerging technology conferences, applied motion control and sensors-for-measurement symposia, and product pavilions.

By Jim Montague, CONTROL ENGINEERING September 10, 2001

Keywords: Trade shows | Process control | Productivity, management, control | Flow, sensing measurement | Batch control | Actuation, sensor networks

S imilar to a pair of binary stars rotating in each other’s gravity until they slowly merge into some new form, the Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society (ISA, Research Triangle Park, N.C.) has recombined its annually rotating exposition and technical events into one show.

Expected to draw more than 25,000 visitors to more than 700 exhibitors, ISA 2001 will be held on Sept. 10-13 at the George R. Brown Convention Center (Houston, Tex.). Highlights of this year’s combined edition will include:

  • a 100-session, 23-track ISA 2001 Technical Conference. Tracks topics include automatic control systems, analysis, safety, computer technology, electro-optics, management, process measurement and control, robotics and expert systems, standards development and publications, device-level interfaces, networking and wireless communications, and test and measurement.

    “This year’s tracks are organized by industry, rather than by several broad technology areas. This gave us more tracks that were better defined,” says Alan Wegener, ISA’s associate executive director for meetings, exhibits, and corporate services.

  • an Applied Motion Control Symposium and Product Pavilion, sponsored by the Association of International Motion Engineers (AIME). It will feature advances in digital signal processing, control algorithms, and PC and open system designs. The symposium also includes a Motion Control Forum, where visitors can discuss the industry’s future with representatives of 10 motion companies, including Automation Intelligence, Mannesman Rexroth Indramat, Parker Hannifin’s Compumotor division, and Rockwell Automation’s Motion Control division. Products in the motion control pavilion will include machine and motion control, drives, motors, software, and communications; and

  • 20 speakers from eight countries presenting IMEKO’s Special Millennium Sessions, which will be held in cooperation with the International Measurement Confederation (IMEKO) over three days.

Emerging technologies

Though organized with a separate registration and admission fee, the simultaneous ISA Emerging Technologies Conference (ETCON) will focus on the future of instrumentation, systems and automation, and will feature 40 presentations in four tracks by research and development and academic professionals on product design, development issues, and technical strategies. Track themes include advanced communication and security; advanced control and automation; advanced manufacturing and design; and sensors for measurement and control symposium.

Registrants for ETCON will be able to visit any ISA 2001 conference session; have free admission to the larger show’s exhibits; and can talk one-on-one with industry experts about recent technology developments.

ETCON will also include a Measurement and Analysis Symposium and Product Pavilion. Its speakers will focus on sensor developments and uses. Presenters will review designs and provide current research results on optical and imaging technology, MEMs, bio-instrumentation, and other new technologies.

Innovations, training, job fair

Supplementing its extensive exhibits, ISA 2001 will also hold its Innovators Center and New Product Showcase events to further highlight exhibitors’ solutions and services.

In addition, Rockwell Automation will stage a Complete Automation pavilion with exhibits incorporating Encompass program partners on the convention center’s third level.

In conjunction with its traditional training and education program, ISA will offer 30 of its most popular courses during ISA 2001. These will cover wireless communications, Fieldbus, Ethernet and TCP/IP, enterprise integration, and other topics.

Engineers and technical professionals seeking new or better jobs will be able to visit ISA 2001 Career Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 11 at the convention center. Attendees will be able to meet face-to-face with representatives from national and regional manufacturing companies recruiting various levels of instrumentation, systems and automation professionals. ISA members can upload a resume for review by potential employers before and during the event.

Exhibitor constellation

Pressure transmitter adds FOUNDATION fieldbus capability

Recently enhanced with FOUNDATION fieldbus, ABB Automation ‘s (Warminster, Pa.) 600T pressure transmitter consists of integrated electronic field instruments that measure pressure, including gauge, absolute, and differential; flow, level, and volume. The series has circuitry for fault current protection that automatically disconnects the device if current consumption is over 16 mA. The 600T can serve as a Link Master Device that can maintain live fieldbus operations. www.us.abb.com Booth 1253

Hazardous location enclosures are UL certified

Hazardous location junction boxes from Fibox (Elkridge, Md.) are suitable for Class 1, Zone 1 locations, and feature UL certification as AEx e II T6 and Ex e II T6. They are molded of high-impact resistant polycarbonate into 22 models from 4 x 3 x 2.5 in. to 22 x 15 x 7 in. www.fiboxusa.com Booth 851

THZ Smart HART temperature transmitter twice as accurate

Located in the HART Communication Foundation ‘s exhibit, THZ Smart HART temperature transmitter from Moore Industries (North Hills, Calif.) reportedly achieves twice the accuracy of comparable transmitters, and has long-term stability permitting five years between scheduled calibrations. It also has flexible Worm spring-loaded RTD or T/C sensor that slides out of its thermowell. Using its software, THZ sets up in a minute or less, handles nearly every available RTD and thermocouple sensor, and provides an isolated 4-20 mA or digital HART output. www.miinet.com ; www.hartcomm.org Booth 1059

Managed Ethernet switches increase performance

Phoenix Contact ‘s (Harrisburg, Pa.) Factory Line managed Ethernet switches enable easy implementation of industrial-grade Ethernet networks on the factory floor. Factory Line switches can be mounted to a DIN rail, and feature a redundant Ethernet backbone that eliminates downtime caused by broken cables or short circuits. The backbone connection delivers a choice between 100BASE-T twisted pair and 100BASE-F fiber-optic connections. Accurate switching of the five built-in 10/100BASE-T ports increases network performance and reduces reaction time by eliminating network collisions. www.phoenixcon.com Booth 245

Compressed air flowmeter unaffected by temperature, pressure

Sierra Instruments ‘ (Monterey, Calif.) Model 640S compressed air flowmeter provides accurate mass flow measurement under varying loads, and ensures traceability in compressor audits because it can confirm the meter’s calibration. This model has a programmable transmitter that can be configured with an RS-232 port. It also permits configuration of the flow range, totalizer, alarm settings, time response, zero flow cut-off and a calibration correction factor. Calibration can be adjusted for different gas composition or flow range. www.sierrainstruments.com Booth 2137

RSBizWare connects clients to enterprise systems

Expanding its enterprise integration capabilities, Rockwell Automation (Milwaukee, Wis.) recently introduced its Rockwell Software RSBizWare version 2.1, the newest software package in its Manufacturing BusinessWare suite of products. The new version includes three new programs designed to enhance integration of data between the shop floor and the rest of the enterprise: RSSql Gateway for SAP; RSBizWare Scheduler Gateway for SAP; and the RSSql Enterprise Connector for COM+. www.software.rockwell.com Booth 4301