One Idiot

“Compound interest is the eight wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t …pays it.” Albert Einstein

Having started my first blog on a famous book “Richest man in Babylon” which focus on reducing debt and investing,

this post/video  will focus  one aspect of this.

In this well-directed movie, Amole Gupte inspires youth to save money at young age and enjoy in experiences rather than


Enjoy this movie with your family

Bravo Amole !!!

Automation Competency Model

“Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder”   Dr. Laurence J Peter

Automation Federation has done fantastic work on competency required in Automation.

A must for every hiring manager to prepare job profile and for every Automation Professional to evaluate his skills and compare with this one for self development.

Another great resource is from ISA  which describes various domains in Automation and explains knowledge and Skill set required.

Click to access CAPClassificationSystemWEB.pdf

From my experience I have learnt that knowledge of various disciplines like Process, Electrical , Information technology, Mechanical, Project Management is required to excel in Automation.

Finally, I would like to quote Charlie Munger, “You’ve got to hang experience on a latticework of models in your head”. Because then only we learn an apply all the theory.

Keep learning, keep applying and keep succeeding …

Standards for Automation

“Standards are like DNA. They are the basic building blocks for all technology and economic systems.”

D.E. Purcel

Standards play a key role for an Automation Professional as a  useful tool and  that’s why I thought to write an article on it.

Those of you making use of the Modbus, Devicenet or Fieldbus/Profibus would have faced the problem of making them communicating with the DCS/PLC.

Imagine if there would not be any standard, would we have succeed ever?

From a simple nut & bolt to a complex system in the Spacecraft ,  use of standards to make plant/Equipment  Safe, Reliable , Efficient and ultimately economical.

Apart from above benefit , they provide:

  • Quality Improvement
  • Fit for Purpose Design
  • Simplicity for execution and Implementation
  • Providing a platform for sharing information and creating knowledge which can be utilized who are unaware
  • Promote Globalization and ultimately value creation

OGP ( International Association of Oil & Gas Producers) has created an excellent report on Standards used in Automation.

OGP has distilled this knowledge and here is the link to download for Free.


I am really thankful to this organization and it’s members and wish that all us of make use of this report and the standards listed to make this world a safe place to live with use of these standards.

With refreshing thoughts , I would like to write about the job search in Canada for Instrumentation & Control Professional mainly in Oil and Gas industry. This post discusses industries (EPC, Vendor & client) and  places ( Alberta province) type of jobs,  for finding right  job in  the Canada.

The story starts in the year 2000. I had applied for Immigration to the Canada. I was searching for the skills which are in demand for the Instrumentation and Control  professional. ISA came to my rescue. I wrote an e mail to Ram ( I didn’t knew him at that time. Now he is a good  friend of mine) an ISA member who was residing in the Calgary. He gave me good idea of skill set required for I&C Professional. Later help came from   Dipak Kataria and Kalpesh Patel. Thanks to Ram, Dipak and Kalpesh for giving right advise for finding the job  the Canada.  Now, I am giving back to our community which will be helpful to aspiring immigrants to Canada.


These are the typical jobs  in the EPC ( Engineering Procurement & Commissioning) industry (Like Fluor,Jacobs, Bantrel etc..)


The job mainly involves Specify, Selection and Sizing of Instrument including Control Valve and Procurement. Some Engineering companies calls as Commodity Specialist .The Skill and Knowledge  in

(1) P &ID Development

(2) Selection of Flow, Level, Pressure, Flow  Control Valves and ON/OFF valves & Sizing of Orifice and Control Valve.

(3) Procurement (Request for Quote, Technical Bid Evaluation and Purchase Order )

(4) Preparation of Instrument Index , Control Narrative , Cause & Effect and  Datasheet

(5) Interface with Process for Data, Mechanical for mainly for Type of Material and Nozzle size etc.., Electrical for type of contact , cable Procurement etc..


There is a Design component in EPC and the Knowledge and Skill set required are

(1) Intools – now known as Smart Plant Instrumentation. This will involve Understanding various modules like Instrument Index, Calculation, Loop drawing, Installation Drawing etc..

(2) Field design which includes Calculation of Cables, Junction box , Marshalling Cabinets, Instrument Location etc..

(3) Drafting – Mainly on Autocad or Autoplant for drafting all the drawing such as P &ID, Instrument Location Plan, JB drawing, Marshalling drawing etc..


They are responsible for

(1) Generating I/O Count for DCS, SIS, PLC etc.

(2) Specify,Selection, Sizing and Procurement of DCS, SIS, PLC,Plant Historian, Remote Instrument House/Enclosure

(3) Defining System Architecture including servers, Consoles and various Interface to Business Systems like SAP

(4) Generating enough information on Control Philosophy, Graphic Guidelines, Alarm Management Philosophy, Detail Control Narrative & Cause and Effect Diagram required by DCS/SIS/PLC programmer.

(5) Testing which includes  FAT and  SAT.

(6) Defining and producing enough information for Programmer for Communication Protocols like Profibus, DeviceNet,Modubus,OPC. This involves interface with Electrical, third party PLCs.

(7) Functional Safety related activities like Preparation of Safety Requirement Specification, Defining SILs and Verification. This may be done by separate Safety Specialist if the project is big.

(8) Reviewing FDS (Functional Design Specification) generated by Automation (DCS/SIS ) vendor.

(9) There may be a separate Specialist/Engineer for third party packages like Vibration Monitoring, Anti Surge Control, Vendor packages for process like Air  Compressors etc.,

(10) Process Fire & Gas which includes System selection (SIS), Detectors like Gas, H2S & Fire. There may be a separate Fire & Gas Specialist if the project is big.


Resposible for:

(1)Specifying, selecting and procuring various Analyzers like Gas Chromatographs, CEMS (Continous Emission Monitoring System) including Analyzers shelters

(2)Review of Sample Conditioning system.

(3)Specify,Selection and Procuring of LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System)


He is responsible:

(1) Managing all of the above Engineers/Specialist/Designer

(2) Creating Manpower requirement, schedule and progress report on Deliverables

(3) Review of the Deliverables like P &ID, Datasheets, Guidelines, Technical Bid Evaluation

(4) Coordinating within his team and with other disciples like Electrical, Process,Mechanical, HSE and Project Management.

JOBS in Client

These are the typical jobs  in the Client ( Manufacturing Facilities  like Suncor, Imperial Oil, Encana, Conoco Phillips ) industry

I would like to segregate these on two accounts. One for Project and second for Manufacturing facility (Plant).

For Projects mainly there is a requirement of  Lead Engineer and Specialist who may over sees , review and Interface with EPCs.  There may be or may not be  a separate Instrumentation Engineer or Control Engineer.  The skill set and Knowledge required are

(1) Preparation and Review of Guidelines and Specifications such as Control Philosophy

(2) Guide EPC & Vendor and provide recommendation where ever there is a Technical clarification.

(3)Define scope, man power requirement and schedule requirement from I &C perspective

(4)Provide input to HAZOP and SIL Assignment

(5)Ensure Deliverables like P&ID, Datasheets, Configuration are in Compliance with Standards and Guidelines .

(6) Coordinate with key stake holders within organization such as Operations and Maintenance, Project and outside organization such as EPC and Vendor.

For Manufacturing facilities , mainly there is requirement for Commissioning  Specialist when the plant is being started. In Running plant there is a requirement for Instrument Supervisor who manages Instrument Technicians – who troubleshoots field Instrument related problems. There is also Control/Automation Specialist who does the System job which includes DSC, SIS, PLC programming and modify the Control schemes for on going Sustainable projects. There is a Lead Automation Specialist/Engineer also who manages these Specialist and participates in HAZOP/SIL and other reviews. The Lead also look after Sustainable project review and it’s implementation at site.

Having discussed the industries, another important thing to consider is the place. This post mainly focus on Alberta province. There are mainly three cities to focus – Calgary for EPC, Edmonton for EPC and clients and Fort Mcmurray for clients companies.

Hope this post will add some value for the job seekers looking for a great career in the Canada.

This is a “Last Lecture” given by Dr. Randy Pausch.  Very Inspiring and he tells us how to live life, full of fun and joy.

Worth listening.
Steve tells three stories. First one is about Connecting dots and how he was dropped off College and use his skill of Calligraphy for creation of Mac. Second story is about passion. He was fired from Apple and he created Pixar and he returned back to create iPod.
Third is about death. Live life-like you are going to die today. That forces you to make choices which are important.
This is an inspiring speech which tells us that to become successful one has to have passion, vision and dreams. The Education is enabler but not requirement in the your success. Believe in yourself.

Image by Digitalbob8


The Internet has changed the way we upgrade our knowledge. It has provided various avenues that  never existed earlier like E- mail discussion list of ISA (International Society of Automation, www.isa.org), LinkedIn groups, RSS  (Really Simple Syndication) Reader such as Google Reader, You Tube and Knowledge Networks. In this post, I will discuss  how I am using these tools to increase my knowledge and add value to the client.


Dr Covey tells a story in his book ” The Seven habits of highly effective people” about a young man who was given a job to cut trees. On the first day he cut seven trees and subsequent day with same effort he could cut fewer trees. When, he asked owner why he was not productive, the owner asked him if he sharpen the saw. We tends to be driven in urgent and routine work and pay less attention to such proactive activity as “Sharpen the saw” which is the seventh habit of his book. The tools  discussed here will help us to make us proactive and productive.


ISA has an E-mail list and the popular ones are “Instruments”, “Controls” and “Safety”.  You can subscribe to these E- mail lists. The advantage is that you can ask a question and get reply from experts from whole world. Even, if you just read the discussion, it will be helpful. I would like to acknowledge  contribution  from active contributor like Walter Driedger and so many others to these forums. You can subscribe them at:


Additionally, Foundation Fieldbus has a forum at: http://forums.fieldbus.org/  .  There are some great presentation on FF technology.

http://www.control.com/ is also online community for Automation professionals for sharing knowledge and updating.


Google Reader is the RSS reader,  I use for keeping myself updated to latest and greatest in our field. I was introduced to RSS by  Jim Cahill of “Emerson Process Experts” blog.  You can subscribe to the blogs, word specific search and then read in Google Reader. This is like customized newspaper. Hence, you do not go for searching content but, it is delivered to you by RSS.

You can import my subscription by importing this file. Go to Settings>Import/Export and then, Upload


Rename this file as .xml  from .doc as I cannot attach file with extension xml.  Also, unsubscribe to the subscription you do not want to read by going to Settings>Subscription and then, select the one you want to unsubscribe and click “Unsubscribe”.


One of my friends Ravi Tata sent me an invitation to the  LinkedIn and I joined that. However, after reading Guy Kawasaki’s blog about LinkedIn, I was into it.  Linkedin is a professional network site and is not only helpful for networking and job searching but, also for Professional Development.

Here is the link to Guy Kawasaki about ” How to use LinkedIn?”


You can join Linkedin by filling your name and  Email at : http://www.linkedin.com/home

Then, create your profile highlighting your skill and experience. Later, join the groups related to Automation like  ISA, Intools, Process Control , Automation Engineer, Process Safety Management etc…You can start discussion by creating asking questions and replying if you know the answer. There are vendor specific groups also like Delta V also.

Include all the companies you worked for and the Educational institutions you studied in your profile. This will help you to network with your colleagues and co-workers.  LinkedIn is one of the most powerful tools in the world of social media.


You Tube has revolutionized the way  we see video. Let’s say if you want to know the principle of Magnetic flow meter, just type in the search and you will see a video explains that. Whether, you are interested in product knowledge or theory behind any principle , just search You Tube. Even, lectures of prestigious IIT ( Indian Institute of Technology ) are found at You Tube.


During my tenure at Cegelec & Honeywell, I was introduced to the concept of Knowledge network. Basically, a company community to share the Knowledge. Then, I joined Fluor. It has one of the best Knowledge Network and  is ” Global Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises”.


Use this network to learn and share knowledge. It provides relevant , useful and specific  knowledge pertaining to your company.  Read all the Specifications, Guidelines your company provides. Be the Knowledge Champion in your area of expertise.


Having these tools in arsenal, it really useful. However, not all the information on the Internet is correct. One should know the source and use judgment before using that. The best way it can work for you is to ask for expert opinion on new product or technology you are introducing in your company or clarify interpretation on clauses of a standard or maintenance strategy etc. . Do not ask an information which you can get directly from  a vendor or by googling.

Hope, you enjoy reading this post and start using these tools if not used earlier. This post is an expression of my gratitude  to Inst. & Control Community. Always remember to give back to the world in whatever way and capacity you can. Nothing is insignificant.