Second meeting of European associations of users of automation technology in the process industry in Brusselsfrom 2013-10-15
Associations intensify cooperation
Board members and directors of the European user associations of automation technology in the process industry (EI, EXERA, WIB and NAMUR) met on 9 September 2013 in Brussels for the second time.
The discussion which commenced the previous year was continued here, and further steps towards closer cooperation of the organisations (representing over 200 end user companies) were taken.
Following a brief update on current developments in the organisations, the strengths and weaknesses of the present organisations were compiled in a SWOT analysis conducted by all those involved. In addition to potential fields of mutual activity, current obstacles were also addressed. The intensive discussion which ensued demonstrated the level of trust which had already developed among the participants.
The status report on mutual areas of cooperation, which had already been identified, was also an important part of the meeting, as it indicated that an intensive exchange had already taken place at an operative level. A common paper on "Functional Safety" is being prepared, and a steering meeting on "IT Security" has been held. The exchange of experience on the selection of flow meters was successfully concluded. Influence was exerted on international standardisation in the case of "Alarm Management".
The list of mutual topics was expanded. Cooperation was confirmed in the areas of "Effective Engineering Tools", "Final Elements" and "Process Control". In the case of MES and Basic Process Control Systems the intention is to bring new contact partners together to establish mutual working groups.
It was agreed that a mutual cooperation agreement should be drafted for the associations to underscore efforts to achieve closer cooperation – sure evidence that all partners are convinced of the benefit to be gained from bundling international strengths and representing the interests of users of automation technology in the process industry together.
EI: Evaluation International was first established in 1962 as the Sira Instrumentation Panel (SIREP). EI now collaborates with WIB and EXERA and the three associations have a total of about 100 instrument user member companies across Europe. The combined EI/WIB/EXERA database contains over 1,500 reports of instrument evaluations and surveys carried out since 1982. EI itself has about 30 member companies in the UK and Sweden. Most of EI's current members have interests in the nuclear/energy industries and EI's work programme is devoted to the evaluation of instruments and safety systems to meet these members' requirements. For further information, please visit: www.evaluation-international.com
EXERA: Established in 1974, EXERA is a French-Italian association of 40 entities using automation and instrumentation. Its 20 technical committees conduct evaluations of instruments (flowmeters, analysers, units, etc.) or make studies in fields such as functional safety, MES or industrial transmissions, issuing around 20 reports annually. EXERA also maintains a win-win dialog with the most important manufacturers and organizes technical days open to any interested party. Fully private, EXERA also maintains fruitful relations with the French government and European commission. For further information visit: www.exera.com
NAMUR: The "International User Association of Automation Technology in Process Industries" was founded in 1949 in Leverkusen and currently has 135 member companies. NAMUR contributes to the increased value of companies by pooling the competences of users of automation technology in process industries in installation and operation in order to gain efficient, sustainable and safe processes and further develop the use of automation technology. For further information visit: www.namur.de
WIB: The Dutch-based international Process Automation end-users' Association, established in 1963 as a mutual-interest group to carry out joint instrument evaluations. Present focus is directed at intensifying members' contacts in 9 topical working groups to share experience and information and develop study projects and reports on Automation subjects of common interest. Further reference: www.wib.nl