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In early November, the Geneva-based International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) held the first meeting of a new IEC systems committee on smart manufacturing in Frankfurt, Germany. An IEC systems committee is intended to set high-level interfaces and functional requirements that span multiple work areas across the IEC and its partner, the International Organization of Standardization (ISO), to achieve a coordinated standards development plan.

The definition of smart manufacturing to be used by the IEC systems committee is:

Manufacturing that improves its performance aspects with integrated and intelligent use of processes and resources in cyber, physical, and human spheres to create and deliver products and services, which also collaborates with other domains within an enterprise's value chain.

Performance aspects within that definition can include agility, efficiency, safety, security, sustainability, or other indicators. Enterprise domains, in addition to manufacturing, can include engineering, logistics, marketing, procurement, or sales.

Major supplier and government organizations from across the globe were well represented at the Frankfurt meeting, but participation from end users in industrial processing and manufacturing was noticeably low. ISA's long-standing focus in its consensus industry standards on end-user performance, safety, and security, however, will be important in filling that void, as evident already in widely used IEC standards that are based on original ISA standards:

  • ISA-99/IEC 62443: Industrial Automation & Control Systems Security
  • ISA-95/IEC 62264: Enterprise-Control System Integration
  • ISA-88/IEC 61512: Batch Control
  • ISA-84/IEC 61511: Functional Safety
  • ISA-18/IEC 62682: Management of Alarms
  • ISA-100/IEC 62734: Wireless Systems for Automation

ISA's participation will be facilitated through an organizational liaison with the IEC by which ISA standards and technical reports, both published and in development, can be directly circulated and reviewed within the systems committee as appropriate.

For information about participating in ISA Standards or on the IEC Systems Committee on Smart Manufacturing, contact Charley Robinson, ISA Standards,

Have an idea for an ISA standard, book, training course, conference topic, or other product or service? Send it to

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