IEC 61346

IEC 61346 is an electrotechnical standard titled "Industrial systems, Installations and Equipment and Industrial Products — Structuring Principles and Reference Designations". It sets voluntary standards on how to structure systems and generate reference designations.


  • Part 1: Basic rules (IEC 61346-1:1996)
  • Part 2: Classification of objects and codes for classes (IEC 61346-2:2000)
  • Part 3: Application guidelines (IEC/TR 61346-3:2001)
  • Part 4: Discussion of concepts (IEC 61346-4:1998)

IEC standards have numbers in the range 60000–79999 while the numbers of older IEC standards were converted in 1997 by adding 60000. Thus the IEC 61346-1 was published as IEC 1346-1.

Future standards

Future developments of the standards on reference designations will be made in cooperation between the IEC and the ISO and published as IEC 81346. (Standards developed in cooperation between IEC and ISO are assigned numbers in the 80000 series)

Current situation (12-Nov-2010)

IEC 61346 has been WITHDRAWN. It is replaced by IEC 81346. The following is an excerpt from 81346, taken from the publicly available "preview" feature from:

Preview IEC 81346-1 ed. 1.0:

International Standard IEC 81346-1 has been prepared by IEC technical committee 3: Information structures, documentation and graphical symbols, in close co-operation with ISO technical committee 10: Technical product documentation. It is published as a double logo standard.

This edition cancels and replaces the first edition of IEC 61346-1, published in 1996. This edition constitutes a technical revision. This edition includes the following substantial changes with respect to the first edition of IEC 61346-1:

– a new introductory clause providing a description and explanation to the concepts used elsewhere in the publication;

– a more comprehensive description of the structuring principles and rules for structuring are provided;

– “other aspects” are introduced, and the prefix sign # is assigned to these aspects;

– the concept of reference designation group has been deleted;

– the specific term “transition” has been avoided and been replaced by an improved textual description of this phenomenon in annex D;

– a new clause about labelling is introduced;

– the old annexes have been removed with the exception of the annex showing an example of the application of reference designations within a system;

– a new annex explaining the manipulation of objects is introduced;

– 4 new annexes are introduced as rearrangement of detailed examples or explanatory information.

The text of this standard is based on the following documents: FDIS Report on voting 3/947/FDIS 3/958/RVD Full information on the voting for the approval of this standard can be found in the report on voting indicated in the above table. In ISO, the standard has been approved by 12 members out of 13 having cast a vote.

This publication has been drafted in accordance with the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2. A list of all parts of the International Standard 81346 series, formerly IEC 61346 series, under the general title Industrial systems, installations and equipment and industrial products – structuring principles and reference designations, can be found on the IEC website.

Future standards in this series will carry the new general number 81346. Numbers of existing standards in this series will be updated at the time of the next edition.

See also


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