The Society for Automation, Instru- mentation, Measurement and Control’s (SAIMC’s) aims to advance the standards of theory and practice in the fields of measurement and control remain a high priority.
In June, this year, four senior members of the SAIMC delivered technical papers to an audience of students, technicians and engineers at the Advanced Industrial Instrumentation and Process Control (AIIPC) workshop, in Johannesburg.
The delivery of technical papers included an overview of industrial instrumentation by past SAIMC president Dick Perry; the importance of a practical approach to closed loop control by senior SAIMC member Michael Brown; flow instruments and measurements by past SAIMC president Vivian MacFadyen and an introduction to tank gauging by SAIMC president Johan van Jaarsveldt.
One of the benefits of this programme was that the students were made aware of the important aspects of safety to themselves and the public in potentially dangerous pro- cesses. Should the instrumentation fail in a plant producing chemicals or petroleum, the results could become a national disaster, says Van Jaarsveldt.
He adds that process and instrumentation control technology evolves rapidly and that companies should be encouraged to take advantage of lessons learnt at workshops, such as the AIIPC, which are helpful in providing a solid background to the latest trends in advanced technology.
Effective instrumentation and advanced process control practices are taught to enable engineers and technicians to achieve optimal plant performance and thus reduce operating costs.
Further to the society’s aim of advancing the standards of theory and practice in the measurement and control industries, it is also encouraging recruitment in these fields by motivation through a ‘Careers in Measurement and Control’ booklet launched by the SAIMC.
The booklet is aimed at high school students interested in mathematics and science. It highlights career opportunities available to students within the measurement and control industries and outlines the steps that should be followed to pursue the desired career path.
Van Jaarsveldt believes that not enough emphasis is being placed on mathematics and science in schools. He hopes that the booklet will make students aware of the importance of these subjects when applying to universities and technikons.
The booklet also encourages students to apply for apprenticeships with participating companies within the industry. Van Jaarsveldt says that the students acquire valuable practical skills and knowledge through this mentorship-style training.