ISA Transactions 52 (2013) 2–5 Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect ISA Transactions journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/isatransEditorialISA transactions 50th year recognition—And some perspectives1. Introduction was a huge advance over the time to key-punch a deck of cards, to have them courier-delivered to the mainframe operators, and a ISA Transactions recently completed its 50th year as an paper printout delivered back. In 1963, an article discussed theengineering journal. From humble beginnings, ISA Transactions remarkable advances (speed, capacity, and noise) of magneticis now a strong international journal, and the historical articles tapes. Today, some ISA Transactions articles describe autonomoustrace the interesting evolution of techniques for control, famous wireless sensor and transmission systems, representing anothernames, and society trends. stage in the remarkable improvement in data ﬁdelity, speed, ISA started as the Instrument Society of America in 1945, with capacity, power, and reliability.a focus on creating control standards for the U.S. industry. Early articles also represented the mechanical-pneumaticHowever, ISA has evolved into the International Society of Auto- devices for controllers, square root extractors, ﬁltering, and papermation with a world-wide focus and representation. stripcharts for trend recording. To me, the internal mechanical Paralleling the organizational changes, ISA Transactions started operations of those devices are as clever, intricate, mysterious,in 1962 as a quarterly repository of the best papers selected by the and romantic as pendulum clocks and steam locomotives.editors from ISA conferences within the U.S. Then, most articles Other articles in the early 1960s introduced the critical ﬂowwere from industrial authors, revealing the applicability of new factor for valve sizing and a universal gas sizing equation forproducts. Now, ISA Transactions has grown to offer six issues per control valves. Interestingly enough, what we take for grantedyear. It also has a world-wide reputation, with most authors today as best practices in sizing and specifying control valves waspresenting methodology innovations from the research and devel- introduced in the 1960s, more than a century after the periodopment community, and each manuscript vetted with a critical termed the industrial revolution, more than 100 years after thereview by several subject matter experts. Although the focus has widespread use of control valves in steam power.shifted from devices to methodology, and although manuscripts In the late 1960s, articles introduced optical, spectroscopic,reveal more equations; articles retain the practical and applica- and radiographic methods for on-line analysis – also dating an erations aspect that characterized our beginning. of signiﬁcant technology advance. The growth is in both quantity and quality. The ﬁrst ISA The late 1960s also revealed the short-lived period about theTransactions volumes contained about 30 articles and 375 pages promise of analog computers, which became hybrid analog-per year, now it is nearly 90 articles and 900 pages per year. In digital in the early 1970s. Articles about analog computers lasted2000, the Impact Factor (a measure of how frequently articles are through the late 1970s, but the writing had been on the wall,cited within a few years after by subsequent articles) was about ‘‘Digital is here. All else, move over.’’ An early article about the use0.3, in 2011 it was a bit over 1.1. A decade ago the paper-based of digital methods for data recording and control appeared in thereview process took about 2 years, now readers have access to 1965 issues. By the 1990s, all articles describing techniques forfully reviewed and revised papers about 8 months after submis- data processing, uncertainty, optimization, communications,sion. In the past 5 years the number of ISA Transactions articles e- safety, process analysis, and decision making had shifted to digitaldownloaded by readers doubled. Quantity has more than doubled, methods.and quality and speed have tripled. It is a success story. It was in the early 1970s when I bought my ﬁrst electronic calculator, and stored the sliderule I had used daily as a practicing engineer for the 3 years prior. Digital computation revolutionized2. History of technology all aspects of engineering. Then an explosion of techniques was revealed. In the 1999– From a historical perspective, ISA Transactions is an interesting 2005 period, articles described applications of Generalized Pre-story where its articles trace the early days of automation dictive Control (GPC), H-inﬁnity, Linear-Quadratic Regulatorstechnology. One article from 1962 described the use of key- (LQR), sliding mode, robust, Model Predictive Control (MPC),punch tape, a paper tape, about 1-inch wide, with holes punched intelligent, sensor fusion, de-convolution, Kalman ﬁlters, ﬁeldbus,into patterns that represented data or simple computer programs. Neural Networks (NN), Fuzzy Logic Control ( FLC), self-tuning,Fed to a teletype machine, the data could be transmitted over adaptive, Integrated Statistical Process Control (SPC), multivari-telephone wires to a remote time-shared mainframe computer for able, Predictive Functional Control (PFC), wavelets, Global Posi-processing. Results were eventually transmitted back to be noisily tioning Systems (GPS), Neuro-Fuzzy, Genetic Algorithms (GA),typed on paper, or more tape. It could take several minutes to Internal Model Control (IMC), Markov-Chains, and more. Yes, onetransmit each message, and several hours for a response. But, this thing is obvious, ‘‘Digital is here,’’ and it opened the ﬂoodgates for0019-0578/$ - see front matter & 2012 ISA. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.isatra.2012.11.003
Editorial / ISA Transactions 52 (2013) 2–5 3techniques that could ﬁnally be practically implemented. Many of articles introduce and discuss the tools we use including compu-those techniques had been conceived in the decades earlier and ters, networks, supervisory optimization, and calibration devices;needed widespread computer systems and implementation cred- as well as the methods for managing the control and instrumentibility to permit adoption by practitioners. The new techniques systems.also included sensor fusion, local-area data networks, tomogra- The breadth of topics in the ISA Transactions articles revealsphy, genetic algorithms, pattern recognition, performance assess- the pervasiveness of automation applications and the range ofment, fractional order methods, Petri nets, communication packet essential tools and techniques. This variety of both applicationsdropouts, and many more. and techniques extends beyond the scope of any mainstream A dynamic matrix control article appeared in 1982, represent- undergraduate engineering program, revealing the need for post-ing one of the ﬁrst publications of what has become known in graduate specialization training in Control Systems or under-academic circles as MPC and in industry as Advanced Process graduate programs in Automation Engineering to prepare indivi-Control (APC). duals for such careers. In the late 1990s, ISA Transactions articles described the One particular article in 1980 caught my eye, and revealed acommercial use and promise of Neural Networks and Fuzzy Logic, non-technical trend – females in the workforce. In the late 1960s,technology that was described in test-bed situations in the late it was rare to ﬁnd a female student in a North American1980s. Looking at the date of publication and the period of engineering program. Now Chemical Engineering programs inindustrial use for these and many other techniques that were USA are nearly 50% female. This demographic change led to aconceived within the research community, it seems that it takes signiﬁcant increase in diversity of the workforce, and in 1980, anabout 10, or so, years from proof-of-concept to commercial article in ISA Transactions was dedicated to appropriately mana-product and initial industrial acceptance. It also seems that it ging the new trend in professionals. After several decades of beingtakes about 10 years from the technology vision to the proof-of- accustomed to strong involvement from both genders in controlconcept stage. I have often heard from my academic friends that engineering, I had forgotten what it was like when the commu-‘‘Academe is 20 years ahead of the practice.’’ However, when nity was all male. Seeing the title of that article recalled the goodI look at the techniques that were invented in industry, and the old days and their contrast with today. I like today better.timing of their widespread analysis and frequent visibility inacademic publications, it is obvious that, ‘‘Industry is 20 yearsahead of Academe.’’ Consider MPC/APC, today’s commercial ver- 3. Editorship and editorial trendssion using the dynamic matrix to represent the multivariableprocess. It was conceived and developed within industry in the ISA Transactions has had stable leadership from dedicated1970s and commercialized in the 1980s, but it was not until the editors. A listing of Editors-in-Chief, afﬁliation and service periods,1990s for it to be a popular topic by academic authors. So, there reveals their diversity and commitment.seems to be a 20-year gap in both directions – between when anidea is embraced by one community and when the other com- Loren E. Bollinger, Editor-in-Chief, Ohio State University,munity widely accepts its importance. 1962–1966 Current Editor-in-Chief Ahmad Rad writes, ‘‘This delay Gerald E. Dreifke, Editor-in-Chief, St. Louis University thenbetween the industrial and academic communities is inevitable Union Electric Company, 1967–1989as industry looks for immediate answers for implementation and Gerald E. Dreifke and Spencer Bloor, co-Editors-in-Chief, 1982–commercialization, and academia generates ideas and theories 1986that at the time may not be viable for implementation.’’ Parrish N Hirasaki, Advising Editor, ISA, 1990–1992 But, the delay hinders progress. If the separateness of the Fred Alsup, Editor, 1993 (Retired)academic and industrial communities could be diminished, then Thomas G. Fisher, Lubrizol, Editor-in-Chief, 1994–1997good industrial practices would be taught in the classroom earlier R. Russell Rhinehart, Oklahoma State University, Editor-in-and published in textbooks sooner. Practice relevance would steer Chief, 1998–2011academic creativity, and practical academic ideas would be Ahmad Rad, Simon Frazer University (Canada), 2012–presentdeveloped to fruition at a faster pace and commercialized sooner.Human welfare would beneﬁt at a faster pace. In seeking to The role of the editors changed with the ages. In the periodbalance theory and practice, ISA Transactions represents one from 1962 to 1968, co-editors were assigned to types of articles,mechanism which is seeking to bridge the academic–industry with themes including measurement apparatus, data handlinggap and contribute to rapid technology development and and computation, automatic control systems, measurement appli-commercialization. cations, and surveys and reviews. In the 1969–1976 period, Consider, for example, application areas represented in ISA content and editors represented the ISA Divisions of Test Mea-Transactions, interestingly, bio-applications of sensors and con- surement, Analysis Instrumentation, Aerospace, Biomedicaltrol appear throughout the ﬁve decades of publications. Topics Sciences, Maintenance, Power, Process Measurement and Control,ranged from control of artiﬁcial muscles to biomedical measure- Pulp and Paper, Mining and Metal, and Chemical and Petroleum.ment of blood pressure, to ultrasound sensors, to cell growth There was a return to topical issues from 1989 to 1990, with themodeling, to tracking the Florida Manatee, to biomimetic simula- themes of Artiﬁcial Intelligence and Expert Systems, Fiber Optics,tion of the ultrasonic ﬂight guidance of bats. Batch, Manufacturing Automation Protocol, Futuristic, Program- That there are bio-application articles in ISA Transactions mable Logic Control (PLC), Training, Calibration, Statistical Processshould not be surprising, for the scope of ISA Transactions articles Control (SPC), Distributed Control System (DCS), Marketing,has always remained wide. Throughout the 50 years, application Safety, Environmental, Human-Machine Interface (HMI), Totaltopics related to nuclear, ocean, ﬂight, vision, space, robotics, Quality Management (TQM), and Measurement and Controlchemical processes, power transmission, health care, ballistics, handled by issue editors.manufacturing, and the human-machine interface (HMI). Further, There are several positive aspects of having such a wide scope.the scope of techniques has also had considerable range, including The journal represents a comprehensive overview of the automa-spectroscopy, data reconciliation, safety, optimization laser, fault tion ﬁeld, with broad applicability and relevance, cross fertiliza-analysis, sensors, and algorithms. Additionally, ISA Transactions tion and stimulation, and deﬁnes the scope of control practice and
4 Editorial / ISA Transactions 52 (2013) 2–5its techniques. However, there are negatives, too. A broad scope needs to be grounded in reality – not assumptions, allowances,means that there is not strength-of-allegiance by a deﬁned, considerations, possible realizations, admissions, ‘‘can be’’s, andnarrow community, who publish on a single topic, which leads such. By contrast, when papers simply show application results,to higher self-citation and the consequential ‘‘Impact Factor’’. The they do not provide the grounding that establishes fundamentalImpact Factor has become a dominating aspect to the establish- rightness or propriety or credibility for other users. Neither doment of many academic careers, and although the value of ISA they reveal implicit limitations of the application, nor details ofTransactions has substantially increased to a competitive level, its the methodology so that it can be improved upon. For articles toImpact Factor has a median value among quality journals. Con- be useful to both the advanced practitioner and R&D commu-sequently, ISA Transactions leaders need to continue to be nities, authors need to reveal the underlying analysis, as well ascognizant of such metrics and also continue to promote the credible experimental or simulation results. ISA Transactionsalternate quality metrics that are relevant to an applications- guides authors to reveal both. Further, this balance has beenoriented engineering journal. preserved in the selection of editors, the review process, and To support the editors, the Editorial Advisory Board was materials and information.created in 1996, and remains today as a 12-member committee Explicitly acknowledging that balance, starting in 2011, manu-to provide advice to the editors in maintaining quality and scripts were organized into sections labeled Research and Practice.relevance. Members have staggered 3-year terms and are However, it is relatively easy to expand on an equation or addappointed by the Editor-in-Chief to provide a balanced perspec- a new possibility to an academic exercise and rapidly generatetive of industry, academic research, and international diversity. sequential publications that increase the Impact Factor. By con-Vic Maggioli, an original EAB member, writes, ‘‘I have been trast, aiming for a substantive impact on the practice community,involved with process sector automation-related projects since seeking application relevance, and requiring articles to be1953. The knowledge and guidance provided by articles in ISA grounded in credible demonstrations, has a downside in theTransactions has helped me stay abreast of emerging technologies Impact Factor a valid, but limited measure of quality that controlsand in understanding the latest best practices. Thank you.’’ the careers of academics. Credible demonstrations take more time Starting in 1998, ISA Transactions made a signiﬁcant step than just deriving something theoretically. Even so, the growth oftoward its present role as an international research and develop- the Impact Factor is remarkable. Elsevier publishes ISA Transac-ment journal with open submissions from the community that tions along with many other journals. In 2009 the impact factorare critically reviewed for technical content. Today, nearly 500 for ISA Transactions made the largest relative increase of all theexperts are engaged in reviewing articles and providing signiﬁ- Elsevier journals related to measurement and control.cant and helpful feedback to the authors. The workload has Editor-in-Chief Rad comments, ‘‘The growth of ISA Transac-increased with the growth, and in 2005, ISA Transactions added tions is all the more remarkable when one recognizes that 50associate editors to assist with the review process. Now six years ago there were only handful of journals devoted to controlassociate editors and a deputy editor support the Editor-in-Chief and automation. Now, there are numerous journals (both tradi-. The Editor-in-Chief (Ahmad Rad), Deputy Editor (Qing-Guo tional and open-source) competing to earn respect in terms ofWang), and six associate editors (YanQuan Chen, Rickey Dubay, impact factors.’’Mohammad Haeri, Karlene Hoo, Jeff Peiper and Didier Theilliol),are all volunteers, and represent the countries of Canada, Singa-pore, USA, Iran, and France. Today’s Editorial Advisory Board 5. Best papersmembers represent the countries of Venezuela, Italy, Germany,Russia, USA, Korea, China, Croatia, United Kingdom, Poland and In 2008, ISA Transactions initiated a best paper award for eachNew Zealand. See the inside front cover for a listing of their year’s publications, to honor and promote the values of:names. Preserving our theory–practice balance, half of the EABmembers are from industry. All of these professionals have 1. quality and clarity in the manuscript,demonstrated signiﬁcant career success, quality, balance, and 2. degree of utility and applicability of the technique,commitment to ISA Transactions; and are striving to continue 3. completeness and comprehensiveness of the work, andits relevance, quality, and growth. 4. expected impact of the work on the research, development, or The main title of the publication has always been ISA Transac- practice community.tions, but the sub-title has changed to help place the journalwithin its times and content. Sub-titles have been: Papers from editors and editorial board members are not eligible since those 20 individuals select the best paper. 1982–1984 – A Publication of the Instrument Society of The winners have been: America 1990–1992 – The Quarterly Journal of ISA 2011 – ‘‘An impact source localization technique for a nuclear 1993–1997 – Journal of the Instrument Society of America power plant by using sensors of different types’’, volume 50, 1998–2011 – The Science and Engineering of Measurement issue 1, January 2011, pp. 111–118 . The authors are Young- and Automation Chul Choi, Jin-Ho Park and Kyoung-Sik Choi. The ﬁrst two 2012–present – The Journal of Automation authors are from the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute and the third author is from Korea Aerospace Industries, Republic of Korea.4. Theory and practice balance 2010 – ‘‘Design and implementation of an automated second- ary cooling system for the continuous casting of billets,’’ ISA Transactions sustains its commitment to balance theory volume 49, issue 1, January 2010, pp. 121–129 . The authorsand practice. The combination is important. In many journals, the are Subhasis Chaudhuri, Rajeev Kumar Singh, Kuntal Patwari,theoreticians build on prior theory, and head in a direction of Susanta Majumdar, Asim Kumar Ray, Arun Kumar Singh, andpossibilities built upon idealizations and other possibilities, and Nirbhar Negoi. All authors are from the Research Develop-seem to lack awareness of the impracticality of what they are ment Centre for Iron and Steel, Steel Authority of Indiaanalyzing. For theory to be useful to engineering applications, it Ltd., India.
Editorial / ISA Transactions 52 (2013) 2–5 5 2009 – ‘‘Model-based monitoring and fault diagnosis of fossil fascinating area. ISA Transactions – the Journal of Automation power plant process units using group method of handling with the mandate of bridging theory and practice aspires to data,’’ volume 48, issue 2, April 2009, pp. 213–219 . The authors provide a balanced and measured view of new developments in are Fan Li, Belle R. Upadhyaya, and Lonnie A. Coffey. The ﬁrst both domains through introduction of explicit research and two authors are from the Department of Nuclear Engineering at practice sections.’’ the University of Tennessee, and the third author is employed My ﬁrst association with ISA Transactions started in 1993. by Combustion Consultants, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. I was an author seeking a refereed journal with an application 2008 – ‘‘A model-based approach to the evaluation of ﬂame- focus and have returned as an author several times. Looking at protective garments’’, volume 47, issue 2, April 2008, pp. other articles that are published in the journal, I remain very 198–210 . The authors are Matej Gasperin, Dani Juricic, Bojan proud to have my work appear in the Transactions – a journal with Musizza, and Igor Mekjavic. All are from the Jozef Stefan a reputation of vitality, relevance, quality, growth, and impact. Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia. The past progress was the result of many individuals, including hundreds of authors and multi-hundreds of reviewers each year,Pleasingly, the authors are from a variety of countries; represent who join the editors and EAB members to volunteer signiﬁcantacademe, laboratories/institutes, and industry; and the manu- time and effort. Staff at both ISA Headquarters and Elsevierscripts cover a broad range of both applications and techniques. (current publisher), and the American Institute of Physics (former publisher) have also been energetic, helpful, and a pleasure to work with. Knowing who our ISA Transactions leaders are today,6. Closing I am sure that the legacy of excellence and growth will continue into the future to have impact on the development and applica- Current Editor-in-Chief Ahmad Rad writes, ‘‘ISA Transactions is tions of automation.now placed among premier journals in the area of automation.Reﬂecting back, one cannot help but be overwhelmed with thescale by which the notion of automation has changed in the last R. Russell Rhinehart nﬁve decades. The complexity of automated systems, stringent School of Chemical Engineering – 423 EN, Oklahoma State University,reliability and robustness requirements, environmental and social Stillwater, OK 74078-5021, USAimplications, efﬁcient use of diminishing energy resources, E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org communication networks, and unprecedented interac-tion of man and intelligent machines have created a labyrinth of Received 14 November 2012conﬂicting constraints and challenges to all involved in this Available online 13 December 2012 n Tel.: þ1 405 744 5280; fax: þ1 405 744 6338.