Revised ISA alarm management standard approved by ANSI

  • April 26, 2016
  • Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

ANSI/ISA-18.2, Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industries, changed the world of alarm management when first published in 2009 with the introduction of activities grouped into the alarm management lifecycle. That lifecycle has since become globally recognized as the standard has been adopted by the International Electrotechnical Commission and found wide use across the process industry sectors.

Drawing on knowledge gained from six years of extensive application throughout industry, the ISA18 committee has completed an updated version of the standard that has been approved by the American National Standards Institute as ANSI/ISA-18.2-2016. This revision was led by ISA18 co-chairs Donald Dunn, Director of Engineering in the Amarillo Division, Phillips 66, and Nicholas Sands, Global Alarm Management Leader for DuPont and a Manufacturing Technology Fellow for DuPont Protection Solutions.

Among the key changes in the new version of the standard, point out Sands and Dunn, are stronger requirements for control systems to have the functions to support good alarm management practices, new requirements for package systems such as compressors and heat trace systems, and clarifications in some terminology. 

The ISA18 committee has published and continues to develop ISA technical reports that provide guidance and support in using the standard. Three new ISA18 technical reports are expected to be published this year—covering Alarm Philosophy, Alarm Identification and Rationalization, and Alarm Management for Utilizing Packaged Systems. Previously completed technical reports cover Basic Alarm Design; Alarm System Monitoring, Assessment, and Auditing; Enhanced and Advanced Alarm Methods; and Alarm Systems for Batch and Discrete Processes.

For information about viewing or obtaining ANSI/ISA-18.2-2016 and the supporting ISA18 technical reports, visit For information on ISA18, contact Charley Robinson,

About ISA

The International Society of Automation ( is a nonprofit professional association that sets the standard for those who apply engineering and technology to improve the management, safety, and cybersecurity of modern automation and control systems used across industry and critical infrastructure. Founded in 1945, ISA develops widely used global standards; certifies industry professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; hosts conferences and exhibits; and provides networking and career development programs for its 40,000 members and 400,000 customers around the world.

ISA owns, a leading online publisher of automation-related content, and is the founding sponsor of The Automation Federation (, an association of non-profit organizations serving as "The Voice of Automation." Through a wholly owned subsidiary, ISA bridges the gap between standards and their implementation with the ISA Security Compliance Institute ( and the ISA Wireless Compliance Institute (