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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Standard for Process Control and Electronic Equipment Receives First Update in 25 Years

After more than three years of effort, a widely used standard for the protection of industrial process control hardware in corrosive environments has been updated for the first time in more than 25 years, and extended to include IT and datacom equipment.

Cover of materiel describing ISA 71.04, published in 1985. Credit: ISA

Cover of  document describing ISA-71.04, published in 1985. Credit: ISA

Together with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the International Society of Automation (ISA) Standard 71.04-2013, Environmental Conditions for Process Measurement and Control Systems: Airborne Contaminants, classifies airborne contaminants that may affect electronic hardware, such as process measurement and control instruments; IT, telecommunications, networking, and data center equipment; and electronic office equipment. It also covers contaminants that affect heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment.

The 2013 edition of the standard has several new features and includes updates due to the changes that have been required for electronic equipment based on the Restrictive of Hazardous Substance (RoHS) directive, which mandates lead-free manufacture of electronic hardware. Users of ANSI/ISA-71.04 can obtain more information on www.isa.org/findstandards by selecting “71″ from the drop-down list.

According to Chris Muller, chair of the ISA71 Committee, and technical director for Purafil, which makes gas-phase and biological air filtration systems and corrosion reactivity monitors, the impetus to update the standard came from studies linking greater IT equipment failure rates due to corrosion after the implementation of RoHS regulations in 2006. Some of the more common materials used as replacements to lead-based materials are said to be more sensitive to common atmospheric pollutants.

While ANSI/ISA-71.04 was intended for manufacturers of industrial process control equipment, leading IT OEMs such as AMD, Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM, Sun Microsystems, and Intel have adopted it in their product warranties in recent years to mitigate product corrosion claims. The revised standard will allow them to align to a single, unified air quality goal.

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