ISA-18.2, Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industries

First published in 2009. As told by Nicholas P. Sands.

ISA-18.2 changed the world—a very small piece of the world, but a piece, nonetheless. Some companies had alarm management programs prior to the standard. Many more companies have programs now. The control system suppliers have improved the alarm functionality as well, adding shelving functionality, for example. That small part of the world has changed, and it has been kind of cool to be a part of it.

My role in ISA18, along with Donald Dunn, has been as cochair of the ISA18 committee and organizer of chaos. We started in 2003 by rebuilding the committee with real-world experience in alarm management. We added world-class experts like Ian Nimmo, Bridget Fitzpatrick, David Strobhar, and Bill Hollifield, as well as industry experts like Joe Alford, Todd Stauffer, Graham Nasby, Lieven Dubois, and Kevin Brown. We got advice from members of the ISA84, ISA50, and ISA88 committees, and we got to work. After ISA-18.2 was published in 2009, Donald and I shifted from leading the development of the standard to coaching the working group leaders and publishing the work of the committee. We also started working to publish the IEC version of ISA-18.2, IEC 62682.

My involvement with ISA-18 and my role at DuPont have grown together, so I have even become an expert in some areas, using my experience to contribute to standards, and my understanding of standards to improve the practices in my company.

Being a working group and committee leader for an industry-wide global standard has dramatically broadened my perspective. So many people participate from different companies, industries, and countries, and they all bring valuable perspectives.

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