ISA-101.01, Human Machine Interfaces for Process Automation Systems

Released in 2015. As told by Maurice Wilkins.

ISA-101.01 was being cited even before its release. It is now the go-to standard for HMIs for process automation systems, especially in North America. ISA-101.01 has helped people to move away from classic HMI designs toward more intelligent, high-specification HMIs. Guidelines from the Abnormal Situation Management (ASM) Consortium and the Engineering Equipment and Materials Users Association (EEMUA) in the U.K., including the latest edition of EEMUA 201 – Control Rooms: A Guide to their Specification, Design, Commissioning and Operation, cite ISA101 in several places. Greg Lehmann and I have contributed to the review process.

I joined the ISA101 committee in 2008 as a basic committee member and became cochair with Joe Bingham in 2009. Joe was later replaced by Greg Lehmann. We needed some “glue,” so Greg and I—with the help of a wonderful group of ISA108 clause editors (Bridget Fitzpatrick, Dale Reed, Tracy Laabs, Dawn Schweitzer, David Lee, Beth Vail, Mark Nixon, Nicholas Sands, Ian Nimmo, and John Benitz)—developed a life cycle for the proposed standard based on ISA-18.2 and ISA-84. This helped us to organize the standard, and things flowed from there. We received many thousands of comments as the standard developed, but we eventually decided to make it the “what” and removed all the “how” into proposed technical reports. The standard was successfully released in July 2015. After that, four working groups were set up—Philosophy and Style Guide; Usability and Performance; HMI for Mobile Platforms; and HMI for Machine Control. The purpose of the working groups is to develop technical reports (TRs) intended to show how to implement the standard.

The initial standard had said that mobile/small platforms were excluded, but by the time the standard was released, these platforms had become ubiquitous. David Board and Ruth Schiedermayer drove the development of the Usability and Performance technical report (TR) on a fast timeline, doing most of the work themselves. That TR was released in 2018 and provides a very good companion to the standard. The other TRs are at various stages of development. The standard itself is now out for a reaffirmation vote, with the plan to submit it to IEC for development as a global standard.

ISA-101.01 was approved for development/adoption as an IEC standard in early 2020, which will enable it to become more globally accepted. The IEC standard is being developed by TC65/SC65A WG19, HMI for Process Automation Systems, and the standard will become IEC 63303. I am co-convenor along with Dave Board. The draft is being developed from ISA-101.01, and the ISA101 committee has an IEC C liaison with WG19. This will allow ISA101 to be involved in the development of the IEC standard. ISA101 Co-chair Greg Lehmann is the liaison coordinator. We anticipate this joint ISA/IEC work to be completed in late 2021.

This article is part of September/October 2020 InTech—the ISA 75th Anniversary Special Edition