# Free ISA Standards, was Source for ISA standard

W

#### Walt Boyes

We can certainly print up standards with, say, Fisher-Rosemount's name on them...if FRCO wants to pay for it. Or they can license the thing and print them themselves. We can do that.

But Al, it isn't true to say the companies already support the lions' share of standards activities.

In the first place, it isn't true. ISA's other revenues do that, to something like 65% of the support costs. In the second place, company sponsorship is so far down that it is fair to
say that over 50% of the people involved in standards work are doing so _despite_ the _un_support they receive from their companies.

Companies do not support ISA. Some companies advertise in ISA publications. Most instrument companies do not support their personnel in ISA activities. Most user companies are not supporting ISA either.

I give you an example.

The ISA Section in Austin, Tx, (the Bluebonnet Section) went dormant twice during the 1980's. Why is this an example of company non-support? Look at who else is in Austin. FRCO world headquarters, National INstruments, Weed
Instruments, AMP connectors, CarrollTouch, Danaher Controls, Schlumberger, TN/KSI and ThermoElectron Instrument Division, Antx, Motorola, IBM, The University of Texas, and the JJ Pickle Research Institute, Sematech, and the
Fieldbus Foundation. There are actually more instrument companies and large users than that...I just stopped naming names.

How many ISA members does it take to support a section? How many potential members are there in the Austin area, who do not belong because their
companies do not pay for it? Let alone sponsor them in time-consuming and labor-intensive standards activities.

Walt Boyes

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Al Pawlowski [mailto:[email protected]]
> Sent: Monday, November 06, 2000 8:15 PM
> To: [email protected]
> Subject: Free ISA Standards
>
> I wonder if any equipment manufacturers/suppliers would be willing to
> provide free copies of ISA standards for free if they were allowed a
> non-exclusive distribution license. Seems like it could work similarly to
> distribution by ISP's, and others, of "freeware". ISA might even
> be able to
> structure some type of deal to cover (at least partially) lost sales
> income. Certainly, ISA's "publication" expense would be
> minimized. Many of
> the companies already support the lion's share of the standard process
> anyway by providing employee resources.

T

#### Tom Fisher

Walt,

I don't know where you got your figures, but they certainly don't jive with my standards experience (i.e., SP88, SP95, SP84).

First, the biggest contributor to the costs of developing standards comes from the companies who send their people to standards meeting. The SP88 Committee did an estimate of the amount of money that companies contributed to the development of the S88.01 standard for travel,expenses, employees' time. That estimate, as I recall, was 4 to 5 million dollars. ISA's support costs for that committee were only a fraction of that amount (a small fraction). I would expect SP95 and SP84 to be similar.

Second, I'd be hard pressed in these committees to think of anyone who attends meetings who doesn't have company support. The real problem is that most of these attendees are from vendor companies. ISA really needs to address the problem of getting more user companies involved.

Tom

>We can certainly print up standards with, say, Fisher-Rosemount's name on
>them...if FRCO wants to pay for it. Or they can license the thing and print
>them themselves. We can do that.
>
>But Al, it isn't true to say the companies already support the lions' share
>of standards activities.
>
>In the first place, it isn't true. ISA's other revenues do that, to
>something like 65% of the support costs.
>In the second place, company sponsorship is so far down that it is fair to
>say that over 50% of the people involved in standards work are doing so
>_despite_ the _un_support they receive from their companies.

E

#### Ed Mulligan

From this, it appears that companies don't think the ISA provides value to them. What can be done to convince them otherwise? It looks like our
fighting over a few dollars for a standard isn't the area that we should be concerned about.

I'm learning a great deal about the standards making process through this discussion.

Ed

Speaking for me, not for Starbucks. . .

W

#### Walt Boyes

Well, Tom, if what you say is true, then I am completely wrong and there is no excuse for ISA not providing standards for free. And you must know. Is that what you're saying?

Walt Boyes

H

#### Hullsiek, William

The issue on ISA standards, is not they are free, but the process in which they are developed, and then distributed.

Both Unix and IP were developed by the academic community largely, before they become popular in the market-place.

The expectation for communication standards, for most software people is that there is some source-code available, so that you can understand how to implement them.

For instance, when I spend $100 on Doug Comer's book IP protocol suite, (Vols, 1,2,3) I get a CD-ROM containing the RFC's, and source-code. The book is readable, and I can plan with the source-code. (Improve on-it, make it faster, cheaper, and ROM-able). But I do not have to start from square one. Another good example albeit dated, is the book Software Tools by Kernighan and Plauger. Read-able text, good examples from source-code, etc. You can actually deploy their code since it is relatively robust. Another good reference is Kermit by Frank daCruz. His book provides the protocol in C. (Which allowed me to port Kermit back in the serial-days over to qnx-2 and to a Modcomp Classic IV). So perhaps, the ISA needs to work with the academic community, and have some in-expensive graduate students implement Industrial Automation protocols and then make the source-code available with the standard. Let the automation companies make the code fit into their environments. - Bill Hullsiek R #### R A Peterson > The ISA Section in Austin, Tx, (the Bluebonnet Section) went dormant twice > during the 1980's. Why is this an example of company non-support? Look at > who else is in Austin. FRCO world headquarters, National INstruments, Weed > Instruments, AMP connectors, CarrollTouch, Danaher Controls, Schlumberger, > TN/KSI and ThermoElectron Instrument Division, Antx, Motorola, IBM, The > University of Texas, and the JJ Pickle Research Institute, Sematech, and > the Fieldbus Foundation. There are actually more instrument companies > and large users than that...I just stopped naming names. > > How many ISA members does it take to support a section? How many potential > members are there in the Austin area, who do not belong because their > companies do not pay for it? Let alone sponsor them in time-consuming and > labor-intensive standards activities. Maybe they just decided that the results were not worth the effort. I remember once some time ago I belonged to an IEEE section. Total waste of time. I let my membership lapse. Why spend time and money on something that is of dubious value. BTW - I am a big fan of ISA standards, at least the ones I have used. They are generally well thought out and pretty consistent, although I really wish some of the thinking that went into the standards was published as part of the standard. Sometimes the wording is not as clear as it could be, and maybe a bit of narrative would make it easier to use. I realize its not a how-to book, or a reference for beginners, nor should it be. But sometimes I will read something (ISA standards are not unique in this regard) and wonder what the heck that says. T #### (TECO) David Bergeron You bring up an important point. I think engineers like ourselves believe that ISA provides great value with their standards, magazines, and books. However, I think the short sighted managers that make the decision if an engineer can take time to work on standards or go to meetings don't realize the value. David Bergeron, P.E. Thompson Equipment Co. Phone: 504-833-6381 Fax: 504-831-4664 www.thompson-equipment.com ======================================== R #### Ralph Mackiewicz > First, the biggest contributor to the costs of developing standards > comes from the companies who send their people to standards meeting. > The SP88 Committee did an estimate of the amount of money that > companies contributed to the development of the S88.01 standard for > travel,expenses, employees' time. That estimate, as I recall, was 4 > to 5 million dollars. ISA's support costs for that committee were > only a fraction of that amount (a small fraction). I would expect > SP95 and SP84 to be similar. I agree that many companies support standards. My small company spends a very significant portion of our overall R&D budget on participating in industry standard activities. However, lets examine these numbers: S88.01 development cost: USD$4,000,000.00
ISA cost (small fraction say 5%?): USD $200,000.00 So how is the ISA supposed to recover USD$200,000.00? My membership dues are around $50 (from memory). It would take the dues of 40,000 members to cover this cost. Even a small fraction of$4,000,000 seems like a pretty sizable chunk of change to me. Even 1% of the total would require the dues of 8,000 members.

Regards,
Ralph Mackiewicz
SISCO, Inc.

T

#### Tom Fisher

Actually, Walt, that's not what I said. I was just disputing the idea that ISA pays the largest share of the costs of developing standards. I don't believe that is the case. I'm not disputing the fact that ISA spends a significant amount of money supporting the standards development effort.

You asked for a good reason why ISA should give standards away for free. One good reason is that is what the ISA volunteers requested. When we had our brainstorming sessions several President's meetings ago, free standards was one of the top vote getters for the standards
session.

I know that ISA is trying to resolve this problem through the renewed efforts of the Instrument Standards Foundation. I don't know how
successful they have been. But I do believe that this points to one of the fallacies with the current system, i.e., that every activity that a non-profit organization, such as ISA is supposed to be, does has to be a profit-making activity. If you take standards development away from ISA, you lose one of the main benefits of having ISA.

Tom

W

#### Walt Boyes

The easiest way to make standards free, even easier than Curt's proposed GNU-type "anarchist standards organization"...is to contribute to, and get your companies and your customers to contribute to, the Instrument Standards
Foundation. If we can _endow_ the underwriting of the costs of standards, we can make them a member benefit. I would not want them to be free to nonmembers, but for \$65 and free standards???

I have dedicated the next two years as Vice President of Publications, to re-orienting the Publications Department to be able to produce publications, books and periodicals that do a better job than we do now of supporting,
explaining, and complementing the standards activity of ISA. To that end, I have proposed that the Online activities of ISA be broken out of the Publications Department and set up as a separate Department all their own. That way, we can concentrate on _publishing_, and not the medium.

There already is a vehicle. It is built, is ready to roll. All it needs is fuel.

Come on, friends, let's fill 'er up.

Walt Boyes

G

#### Grenville Spearpoint, Nestle South Afric

I have attended many local and international seminars on Automation and almost with out fail the lack of international industry standards is named as one of the principle problems in developing and acceptance testing of control systems.

The lack of UNIFIED methods for preparing and controlling specifications, designs, documentation and treating each design as a one off stand alone basis will result in control systems whose quality varies and are very likely to be more difficult and costly to change, maintain and integrate into existing systems.

Given these problems I would think the availability of ISA standards is a 'God Send' what ever their price which on the scale of total costs is very little.

Grenville Spearpoint
[email protected]

D

#### Diana Bouchard

> BTW - I am a big fan of ISA standards, at least the ones I have used. They
> are generally well thought out and pretty consistent, although I really wish
> some of the thinking that went into the standards was published as part of
> the standard. Sometimes the wording is not as clear as it could be, and
> maybe a bit of narrative would make it easier to use.
>
> I realize its not a how-to book, or a reference for beginners, nor should it
> be. But sometimes I will read something (ISA standards are not unique in
> this regard) and wonder what the heck that says.

This is *precisely* why ISA is now looking at publishing books that provide the "how-to" and the "reference for beginners" as well as some of the background thinking behind the standard. The original standards document aims at technical
accuracy and completeness. It must, that's its raison d'etre. It will not necessarily be easy to read or understand, although I'm sure the guys on the standards committee do their best. The book (or books, for different target audiences -- engineers, technicians, managers, ...) will aim to make the good stuff in the standard more accessible and usable.

Hey, Ralph, wanna write a book? I'm serious. Which of the ISA standards you have used would, in your opinion, benefit from the kind of book I have described? Contact me off-list if you're interested (my ISA affiliation is below and as you see, I am shamelessly biased). And that applies to any other A-listers reading this post. Some of the people who have been saying "ISA standards are great, but they're hard to understand" -- could you be the authors who help us make them easier to understand? Think about it.

Diana Bouchard

*******************************************************************************************************
Diana C. Bouchard
Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada (Paprican)
Process Control Group Chair, Books Advisory &
570 St Johns Boulevard Oversight Committee
Pointe Claire Quebec H9R 3J9 Canada VP Elect-Elect
phone: (514) 630 4100 x2376 fax: (514) 630 4120 ISA Publications Department
email: [email protected]
*******************************************************************************************************

W

#### Walt Boyes

> We can certainly print up standards with, say, Fisher-Rosemount's name on them...if FRCO wants to pay for it. Or they can license the thing and print them themselves. We can do that.

But Al, it isn't true to say the companies already support the lions' share of standards activities.

In the first place, it isn't true. ISA's other revenues do that, to something like 65% of the support costs. In the second place, company sponsorship is so far down that it is fair to
say that over 50% of the people involved in standards work are doing so _despite_ the _un_support they receive from their companies.

Companies do not support ISA. Some companies advertise in ISA publications. Most instrument companies do not support their personnel in ISA activities. Most user companies are not supporting ISA either.

I give you an example.

The ISA Section in Austin, Tx, (the Bluebonnet Section) went dormant twice during the 1980's. Why is this an example of company non-support? Look at who else is in Austin. FRCO world headquarters, National INstruments, Weed
Instruments, AMP connectors, CarrollTouch, Danaher Controls, Schlumberger, TN/KSI and ThermoElectron Instrument Division, Antx, Motorola, IBM, The University of Texas, and the JJ Pickle Research Institute, Sematech, and the
Fieldbus Foundation. There are actually more instrument companies and large users than that...I just stopped naming names.

How many ISA members does it take to support a section? How many potential members are there in the Austin area, who do not belong because their
companies do not pay for it? Let alone sponsor them in time-consuming and labor-intensive standards activities.

Walt Boyes

B

#### Bob Peterson

Perhaps it is because in many respects the ISA has done things that are making it irrelevant, particularly at the local level. In many respects to me it appears to be an organization dedicated to supporting expensive status quo instruments and systems, rather then state of the art stuff.

It also appears to me to be in the business of protecting the jobs of a very few people at the expense of a lot more people.

Bob Peterson

C

#### Curt Wuollet

Every once in a while, you and I are in complete agreement. I wish that was an organization that could accomplish the good things ISA does yet remain _user_ focused and vendor blind. Of course, I'd also like an Automation magazine with some actual content that wasn't advertising of one sort or another and at least a plausible level of objectivity. The hyperproprietary hypercompetitve zeal makes for poor and very predictable reading. All the advertisers are excellent.

Regards

cww

L

#### Law, Gary $EPM/AUS$

FYI

Emerson do pay for membership - so it can't be that. (they also have several employees I can think of who are heavily involved in Standards, including FF, SP84 etc, with company support)

In my case I gave up out of sheer frustration. I re-joined after a period of absence. I received a few Intech after enquiring why I hadn't received any - actually all back issues Then it stopped. I could not get it started again - don't get me wrong the people on the phone were polite and helpful - just not able to get it working again.

Then one day someone rang me to ask was I getting everything I needed from my membership - so I explained the problem with Intech... I was told someone would get back to me--Still waiting (6 months or more now) So I let the membership expire again.

If ISA wants members then it needs to show VALUE for the membership - and maybe deliver on what they promise.

Gary Law
Speaking for myself and not Emerson