More Organized Projects Using the S88 Standard

by | May 17, 2006 | Industry, Life Sciences & Medical, Services, Consulting & Training

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Editor

S88, short for ANSI/ISA-88 is a standard for addressing batch process control. This design philosophy for software, equipment and procedures provides a consistent set of standards and terminology for a batch automation project.
I spoke with Christie Deitz who coauthored a paper entitled, Writing a Functional Specification for an S88 Batch Project.
Christie believes that S88 provides many benefits for the project team and project stakeholders. It starts with establishing common structure and terminology for clear communications between the automation, quality control, manufacturing, and the management teams. The nature of the modular standard facilitates object-oriented, class-based designs. This helps minimize documentation by defining requirements only once for the entire class. It also helps improve the consistency of the design. By streamlining many instances into one class it means that design, implementation and testing efforts are reduced which help the project stay on schedule.
She stresses that the key is to use S88 early during the requirements definition. According to GAMP (Good Automation Manufacturing Practice), the functional specification defines the process automation requirements and becomes the basis for the design specifications. The functional specification may include a process description, piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs), process flow diagrams (PFDs), and an instrument list.
Christie encourages process manufacturers to make sure automation or other S88 knowledgeable people are involved early in the process design to make sure the advantages of a modular approach are built into the project. It’s also a good idea to include stakeholders from automation, process engineering, production and quality into the creation of the functional specification. This front end work will minimize changes due to misunderstandings by the project stakeholders. These changes become more expensive the later they occur in the project schedule and can delay the startup date.
Process manufacturers have many choices in how to organize the specifications. Christie’s experience is that functional specifications should be created for each area, which allows classes to be described within a single document. There are typically five to ten process areas within a process. This allows for a limited number of documents to manage.
By taking this approach Christie and the experts in our Life Sciences organization have helped deliver projects ahead of schedule, which means faster payback on the project.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.