ISA Standard 71.04 Changes Approved for the Protection of Today’s Electronic
DORAVILLE, GA – More than 25 years since its original publication, one of the most widely used
industrial standards for the protection of electronic equipment, ANSI/ISA-71.04, has been updated and
approved as an American National Standard. This revision was prompted due to reliability issues
manufacturers have been experiencing since the passage and implementation of a number of RoHS
“The International Society of Automation (ISA) Standard 71.04-2013: Environmental Conditions for
Process Measurement and Control Systems: Airborne Contaminants has been long due for an update,”
says Chris Muller, Chair of the ISA71 Committee that is responsible for this standard. “We had tried on
several occasions to update the standard, but the general mood of the committee was that no one was
really asking us to do so.” However, the implementation of RoHS regulations in 2006 and the undeniable
link between the changes required to electronic equipment and the increasing number of failures
attributed to corrosion – especially for information technology (IT) and datacom equipment used in
mission critical applications – prompted a new call for a review.
The switch to lead-free manufacturing affected essentially all electronic products, and some of the more
common materials used as replacements were particularly more sensitive to common atmospheric
pollutants than lead-based materials. Manufacturers of industrial process control equipment have used
ISA-71.04 since its initial publication for warranty compliance because they understood that their
equipment had to be protected due to the corrosive nature of the environments in which it would be used.
However, the same had not been the case for computer systems used in non-industrial settings.