Automation Engineer should know these ANSI ISA and IEC Standards

Automation Engineer should know these ANSI ISA and IEC Standards

An Automation Engineer should be familiar with these ANSI, ISA and IEC Standards. These standards will help Automation/ Instrumentation/ Process Engineers with designing, testing of PLC/HMI Automation Control Systems and controlling the process plants professionally and safely. After receiving an overwhelming response on the previous post-Free PLC and HMI Automation Courses from my LinkedIn connections, I decided to make a post on this topic.

ANSI/ISA Standards

First, we'll look at the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and the ISA (International Society of Automation) standards related to Automation/ Instrumentation/ Process.

ANSI / ISA 5.1 to 5.6

  1. ISA 5.1 Instrumentation Symbols and Identification: This standard highlights procedures for users who need to identify and graphically depict measurement and control equipment/systems. The most recent revision was published in 2009.
  2. ISA 5.2 Binary Logic Diagrams for Process Operations: It is intended to symbolize the binary operating functions of a system in a way that can be applied to any class of hardware, whether it be electronic, electrical, fluidic, pneumatic, hydraulic, mechanical, manual, optical, or other.
  3. ISA 5.3 Graphic Symbols: This standard satisfies the requirements for symbolically representing the functions of distributed control/shared display instrumentation, logic, and computer systems. The instrumentation is generally composed of field hardware communication networks and control room operator devices. This standard is applicable to all industries using process control and instrumentation systems.
  4. ISA 5.4 Instrument Loop Diagrams: This standard will provide guidelines for the preparation and use of instrument loop diagrams in the design, construction, start-up, operation, maintenance, and modification of instrumentation systems.
  5. ISA 5.5 Graphic Symbols for Process Displays: A system of graphic symbols for process displays that are used by plant operators, engineers, etc. for process monitoring and control. Resulting benefits are intended to be as follows:
    1. A decrease in operator errors
    2. A shortening of operator training
    3. Better communication of the intent of the control system designer to the system users.
  6. ISA 5.6 Functional Requirements Documentation for Control Software Applications:
    1. Covers Functional requirements specifications for control software documentation that covers the classes of industrial automation equipment and systems consisting of distributed control systems, programmable controllers and industrial personal computers.
    2. Provide techniques for documenting control system software. The software to be generated is a function of the computer system chosen for a particular project. The documentation procedure set forth in this standard is independent of the hardware/software system that is chosen.
    3. Provide a basis for validation of run-time application software after it is developed and tested to ensure that the initial requirement specification has been met.
Courtesy ISA

ANSI/ISA 18.2 Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industries:

This standard addresses alarm systems for facilities in the process industries to improve safety, quality, and productivity. It is intended for use in the lifecycle management of an alarm system based on programmable electronic controller and computer-based Human-Machine Interface ( HMI) technology. Implementation of this standard should consider alarms from all systems presented to the operator, which may include basic process control systems, annunciator panels, safety instrumented systems, fire and gas systems, and emergency response systems.


The purpose of this standard is to promote uniformity in instrument specifications Specification Forms for Process Measurement and Control Instruments, Primary Elements and Control Valves. It:
  1. Assists in the preparation of complete specification by listing and providing space for all principal descriptive options
  2. Facilitates quoting, purchasing, receiving, accounting and ordering procedures
  3. Provides a useful permanent record and means for checking the installation
  4. Improves efficiency from the initial concept to the final installation.

IEC Standards

These IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) are helpful for Engineers, Operators and Process Industry in building a thorough understanding of PLC Programming Languages. Plant Start-up/Commissioning, Cybersecurity and Alarms Management.

IEC 61131

This IEC standard consists of Nine parts (IEC 61131 1-9), meant for Programmable Controllers. The most important Part IEC 61131-3 focuses on syntax and semantics of a unified suite of below 5 Programming Languages for PLCs:
  1. Ladder Logic LD
  2. Functional Block Diagram FBD 
  3. Sequential Flow Chart SFC
  4. Structured Text ST
  5. Instruction List IL

IEC 61508 and 61511

Both of these IEC standards deal with Functional Safety of Electrical/ Electronic/ Programmable Electronic Safety-related Systems. IEC 61508 is for manufacturing industry while IEC 61511 is for system integrators/ end users specifically for the process industry.
IEC 61508 is considered an umbrella standard for functional safety.

IEC 62337 Commissioning

This international standard defines specific phases and milestones in the commissioning of electrical, instrumentation and control systems in the process industry.

ANSI/ISA 62381 (IEC 62443 modified) Testing Automation System

This standard, published in 2012, defines procedures and specifications for  Factory Acceptance Test (FAT), Site Acceptance Test (SAT), and Site Integration Test (SIT) for Automation Systems in the Process Industry.

IEC 62382 Electrical and Instrumentation Loop Check

It describes the steps recommended to complete a loop check, which comprises the activities between the completion of the loop construction (including installation and point-to-point checks) and the start-up of cold commissioning. This IEC standard is applicable for the construction of new plants and for expansion/retrofits (i.e. revamping) of E&I installations in existing plants (including PLC, BAS, DCS, panel-mounted and field instrumentation).

ISA/IEC 62443 Cyber Security

This IEC 62433 series of the standard is developed by the ISA99 committee and adopted by IEC. It provides a flexible framework to address and mitigate current and future security vulnerabilities in industrial automation and control systems (IACSs).

Courtesy IEC

IEC 62682 Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industries

This standard addresses the development, design, installation, and management of alarm systems in the process industries. Alarm management includes multiple work processes throughout the alarm system lifecycle.
IEC 62682 is adopted from as ISA 18.2 published in 2009.

Final thoughts

You should also study IEC 61449 (Function Blocks for Industrial Process Measurement and Control Systems), IEC 60529 (Enclosure IP rating), ISA 100 (Industrial Wireless Communication), ISA 95 (Enterprise Control System Integration), IEC 60079 (Hazardous Area for Electrical Equipment), ISA S88 (Batch Process Control System), IEC 60870 (controlling Electric Power Transmission Grids and other Geographically widespread control systems and communications), ISA 101 (design, implementation, and maintenance of HMI, under development).

Am I missing any Automation related standard? Let me know in comments. Please don't contact me for the standards, you can buy from ANSI/ISA and IEC online shops.

Post Lies Under:


Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your time!