• Standards

ISA’s Standards & Practices (S&P) department publishes 15 to 20 new or revised standards and technical reports annually that improve the safety, cybersecurity, and efficiency of industrial processes. Each year the department’s governing body, the ISA S&P board, selects and presents department-level awards to recognize outstanding efforts that have resulted in ISA standards or technical reports or in significant outcomes for an ISA standards committee.

This year five individuals have been selected for the awards, according to Nicholas P. Sands of DuPont, 2015–16 vice president of ISA’s S&P department. Sands, who also serves as co-chair of ISA18, Instrument Signals and Alarms, was an award winner himself in 2015 for his work on the development of ISA’s first human-machine interface (HMI) standard, ANSI/ISA-101.01-2015, Human Machine Interfaces for Process Automation Systems.

The 2016 winners are:

Johan B. Nye, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, and Kevin P. Staggs, Honeywell Connected Systems Technology Center, for their leadership, technical contributions, and efforts to promote the advancement and adoption of the ISA-62443 security standards.
Darwin E. Logerot, ProSys, Inc., and David Strobhar, Beville Engineering, for their leadership and technical contributions as co-working group chairs in the development of ISA-TR18.2.2-2016, Alarm Identification and Rationalization, described below.
Michael Medoff, exida, for his leadership and technical expertise as chairman of ISA99 working group 4, task group 6, in the development of ISA-62443-4-1, Security for Industrial Automation and Control Systems – Secure Product Development Lifecycle Requirements.

New ISA alarm management technical report

ISA has published the latest in a series of technical reports that support the understanding and application of the widely used ANSI/ISA-18.2, Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industries.

ISA-TR18.2.2, Alarm Identification and Rationalization, addresses alarm identification and rationalization for facilities in the process industries for such purposes as improving safety, environmental protection, product quality, equipment protection, and plant productivity. The methods described are applicable to batch and discrete processes as well as continuous processes.

Identification and rationalization covers the processes to determine the possible need for or a change to an alarm, to systematically compare alarms to the alarm philosophy, and to determine the alarm set point, consequence, operator action, priority, and class. Activities include, but are not limited to, identification, justification, prioritization, classification, and documentation. Previously published ISA18 technical reports that support the ISA-18.2 standard include:

  • ISA–TR18.2.3-2015, Basic Alarm Design, provides guidance on implementing the practices set forth in ISA-18.2. Following the life-cycle model of ISA-18.2, the document assumes that alarms to be addressed in basic alarm design have completed rationalization where attributes such as alarm set point and priority have been defined.
  • ISA-TR18.2.5-2012, Alarm System Monitoring, Assessment, and Auditing, provides guidance on the use of alarm system analysis for both ongoing monitoring and periodic performance assessment. Monitoring, assessment, and audit are essential to achieving and maintaining the performance objectives of the alarm system. These activities can identify improvement opportunities in the other life-cycle stages, such as philosophy, rationalization, detailed design, implementation, operation, maintenance, and management of change.
  • ISA-TR18.2.4-2012, Enhanced and Advanced Alarm Methods, helps users to evaluate when to use enhanced and advanced alarming methods, what benefits they can achieve, and what challenges and costs to expect. Per ISA-18.2, enhanced and advanced alarm methods typically go beyond the basic methods and techniques that are usually, or at least initially, applied. Although significant improvement in alarm system function and performance can usually be made by following the basic alarming methods and principles, in some cases they may not be sufficient to achieve the goals for performance and operator guidance stated in the alarm philosophy.
  • ISA-TR18.2.6-2012, Alarm Systems for Batch and Discrete Processes, covers the application of alarm management principles in ISA-18.2 to batch and discrete processes. The general principles and techniques described are intended for use in the life-cycle management of an alarm system based on programmable electronic controller and computer-based HMI technology. Following the guidance will help to identify and address alarm specification, design, implementation, and management opportunities that are important to batch and discrete processes. It will also help minimize the generation of nuisance alarms that could complicate and frustrate an operator’s awareness, understanding, and response to abnormal situations.

For more information, contact Charley Robinson of ISA Standards, crobinson@isa.org.

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