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Alarm Management Goes Global with the Release of IEC 62682!

| Alarm Management

IEC 62682

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has just published the first edition of IEC 62682 “Management of alarm systems for the process industries,” a global standard on alarm management. This new global standard was developed based on the ANSI/ISA-18.2 standard of the same name, which was published in 2009. This means that a common document now exists for alarm management that can be used around the world.

ISA-18.2 vs. IEC 62682: Similarities and Differences

To solidify the importance of the guidelines defined in IEC 62682, many of the recommendations from ISA-18.2 were removed or changed to requirements. Therefore comparing the two documents, one will find more requirements in IEC 62682 than in ISA-18.2. For example, alarm shelving (manual suppression), was changed from a recommendation to a required capability that shall be provided by DCS suppliers. On the other hand, recommended alarm deadband settings were removed as material that would be more appropriate for a technical report. Other similarities and differences of note include:

  • There were no changes to the alarm management lifecycle or to the operator response model. 
  • There were no new topics added to the standard, but some topics were deleted (e.g., the process condition model).
  • Some content was modified to improve simplicity (e.g., latching alarms were removed from the alarm state transition diagram)
  • Some of the training requirements for Highly Managed Alarms were extended to all types of alarms.
  • Significant effort was put into ensuring a consistent use of terminology throughout the document
  • Selected alarm system performance metrics / KPIs were removed.

You can purchase a copy of the IEC 62682 standard here.

Here in the US, the ISA-18 committee has begun work on the second edition of ISA-18.2.  As might be expected the update process will consider the differences from IEC 62682 as well as the lessons learned from its first five years in circulation.

Tagged as:     Todd Stauffer     IEC 62682     ANSIISA-18.2  


Todd Stauffer, PE, is responsible for exida’s alarm management products and services (training, consulting, SILAlarm™ rationalization software). He is an editor and voting member of the ISA-18.2 standards committee on alarm management and currently is the co-chair of ISA-18.2’s Working Group 3 (Basic Alarm Design). He is an instructor for ISA’s training class “Introduction to the Management of Alarm Systems”. Todd is also exida’s representative on the EEMUA 191 committee. Todd has experience leading alarm philosophy development workshops for clients and performing alarm philosophy gap analyses. He has published and presented numerous papers on alarm management. Recent works include “Implementing an Effective Alarm Management Plan” and “Benchmarking the Use of Alarms as Safeguards and IPLs”. His article “Don’t be Alarmed: Avoid Unplanned downtime from alarm overload“ was selected as Intech magazine’s best article of the year in 2007.

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