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.