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ISA 88

ISA 88

The ISA88 Standard

ISA 88 is a standard for batch controlled production environments. It indicates how a production system is set up in order to create the highest possible equality and copy ability for all parts of the system. The production environment is divided into logical blocks based on modules. The intention of the standard is to realize functionality based on these blocks, which can be reused in other parts of the production environment so that only one part needs to be designed.

Procedural and Physical model

A number of models are defined within the ISA 88 standard. The 2 most important are the procedural and physical models. These define how the plant is physically arranged, ie where the valves and pumps form a filling system or a cooling system. And a procedural model that says what steps need to be taken to activate the cooling, or the steps to do a fill action. These models start with the smallest level of description and work towards ever-increasing parts in a factory.

Procedural model

The procedural model works together with the physical model to model the factory. The procedural model defines the steps that the module must go through to get an action done. The details of the steps vary per module. Within the procedural model we have the following modules:

  • Procedure – Controlled a Process cell, is usually created in a batch program
  • Unit Procedure – Controlled a Unit, is a collection of operations
  • Operation – Controls an Equipment module, an action such as filling, emptying, cooling, heating
  • Phase – Controls a control module, actions such as open, close, start, stop

Physical Model

A production environment naturally includes many physical elements, valves, pumps, tanks, coolers and mixers, for example. These elements are brought together in a physical model so that more complex elements can be built up from basic elements (control modules). Bringing together these control modules, for example, creates a tank with a function. This tank can then serve as the basis (template) for the following equal tanks. In this way, only 1 complex element needs to be designed and described. The entire structure of the physical model is as follows:

  • Site – A factory site, for example, production location Y.
  • Area – Part of a site where a process cell can be located, building X.
  • Process Cell – Part of a factory with different Units
  • Unit – A part of a factory where a certain product undergoes a change.
  • Equipment Module – A collection of control modules that perform a task, fill, cool, and mix.
  • Control Module – A valve, pump, motor.

iAUTOMATION solution

At iAUTOMATION we have a lot of experience with ISA 88 methodology, design and implementation. We apply this standard on a daily basis in our projects, because we design and implement many batch processes. We have also given regular workshops on this way of working and what the ISA 88 standard can mean for your projects in URS / FDS / SDS implementation but also in an engineering workflow.

Project Assistance

We explain to your engineers in 2 workshops what ISA 88 is.

Help with your project for:

  • ISA 88 layout of the factory
  • Writing documentation
  • Engineering of software
  • Implementation of Batch environment


Modeling of physical model

Modeling of Procedural model

Implementation of Procedural model

Implementation of a Batch system

Project Consultancy

An iAUTOMATION consultant oversees ISA 88 modeling during:

  • The design
  • The Documentation
  • The Implementation
  • The Batch design