Intelligent device management

As IIoT pervades systems, the path to standardization is increasingly clear

By Ian Verhappen

We recently started a conversation on how asset management and IIoT are linked, requiring common definitions of the associated machine language for data transfer and, of course, preferably some way for we humans to be able to follow as well for troubleshooting purposes. These broad criteria require significant effort and accompanying standards to achieve them. We need to define not just the coding but also associated work processes for the full lifecycles of all the assets involved. ISA-108 and IEC SC65E WG10 are working to develop these standards through a series of Intelligent Device Management (IDM) documents.

The final series of standards will identify activities for managing intelligent devices through the facility lifecycle without implying a particular environment, communications protocol, asset management tool or set of those tools.

The first document, "ISA-TR108.1, Intelligent Device Management Part 1: Concepts and Terminology,” was issued by ISA as a technical report (TR) in 2015. TR108.1 was then offered to the IEC as the basis for an international TR document scheduled for publication as IEC-63082-1 i n 2018. As part of the IEC process, there have been a number of changes made to the document, and for this reason, a formal relationship has been established to enable adoption of the IEC document by ISA as soon as it’s published by IEC.

The Part 1 document lays the groundwork for future work; in particular in the areas of:

Organizational structure describing how different elements within and outside an organization are affected and need to change to make effective use of intelligent device data.

IDM programs that are the overarching organizational elements, ensuring consistent application of IDM across an enterprise and economy of scale by sharing and implementing best practices.

Work processes: how work for different skill sets changes as a result of using IDM for all stages of the different lifecycles (i.e. devices including firmware revisions, software, facilities, etc.), and how to align these lifecycles with different stages of a project from conception through operations and decommissioning.

Procedures: The way work will be done during each phase of the lifecycle from engineering design, where the tools and equipment need to be identified and developed, through commissioning/turnover to operations and maintenance, including turnarounds and decommissioning.

Tasks: The lowest-common-denominator element of any activity, and how this can change through effective use of intelligent devices.
The final series of standards will identify activities for managing intelligent devices through the facility lifecycle without implying a particular environment, communications protocol, asset management tool or set of those tools. Achieving the targeted results will require hardware and software tools to support the identified work processes and procedures, but specification of the tools is not a part of ISA-108 or IEC 63082

The presently identified series of documents have been broken down as follows: Part 1 provides basic knowledge to understand the concepts of intelligent device management necessary to implement an IDM program. Part 2 will provide normative requirements for IDM, and therefore will be an International Standard. Part 3.x will provide guidelines for achieving the requirements of Part 2. Part 4.x will provide several implementation examples for different industries and device types.

2017 State of Technology Report: oil & gas applications

In addition, Parts 1, 3 and 4 are presently planned as TRs because they will not have any normative elements.

The committee is presently reviewing comments received on the latest draft document. There are also three ISA-108 Working Groups developing the Part 2 document, with each group focusing on an element of the lifecycle based on their expertise: Engineering Design, Facility Operations, and Enterprise/Corporate, describing how technology, tools and requirements are implemented as part of an IDM program.

To learn more or get involved, visit here, or contact me directly at Ian.Verhappen@cima.ca.

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