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ISA-88 or S88 is a standard and set of terms designed to help organize a process known as batch control. It also provides a general standard and model for production. Think of ISA-88 as a rule book and set of guidelines for batch production. As you can imagine, batch production is quite complicated, and without a universal standard it can fall into general complications. This is because the ISA-88 exists to give some order to what would otherwise be a chaotic process. Some of the problems that afflicted manufacturing before the invention of the ISA-88 were things like problems with communication, lack of a model for batches, and another general problem such as integrating the batch. There are all sorts of problems associated with batch production that ISA-88 has worked to solve. Although few people realize it, many of the products they use on a daily basis are the sorts of things that are created using the ISA-88 model. Without it their products would almost certainly be of a lower quality and more expensive to produce.

ISA-88 is a model that breaks down the batch process and organizes it along certain lines. There is, for example, a process model that is broken up into the process itself along with certain process stages that have process operations. Within process operations there are process actions. In other words, ISA-88 works to establish an organized hierarchy of steps and stages in the production so that things can be easily identified and fixed. Without breaking down the process along these lines it would be very difficult to figure out how to fix or explain anything. In such a complicated process it is absolutely important that there be some sort of organization.

There are a couple of different models used in ISA-88. One is the physical model, which is based on an enterprise that has a site and areas within it and process cells. These cells have units within them and equipment modules, themselves containing control modules. These are the basic breakdowns of the process.

There is also something known as a procedural control model. These are things such as recipe procedures and unit procedures. There are also things such as a set of operations and phases. These are the sorts of things that organize the process according to a universal standard and which are absolutely vital for keeping an organized process. Although many of these processes seem to be made more complicated by the ISA-88 process model, they are in fact much simpler because of it. The structure of ISA-88 creates a very organized batch process that can be easily talked about because it creates an order set of terms and conditions. Without such an organization it would be very difficult to envision fixing anything in the process or developing a more efficient method. In manufacturing good organization is the name of the game. Those who do not practice it quickly find themselves struggling with the complexity of the processes of industry.

If you are not a trained industrial engineer do not try to implement ISA-88. These industrial methods are the stuff of complex planning and industry. Although you need to become familiar with the different methods and terms the actual mechanical process of batch production is incredibly complex. The important thing is to use a universal standard such as ISA-88 in order to monitor your process. This will also make it possible to compare your processes with other businesses and to work towards greater efficiency. ISA-88 is indeed a wonderful invention that will help you to run a more efficient business.

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