An SOP is a custom document intended for use with a specific process operation such as a coater’s dryer-air conditions, settings, coating application, mixing, coater maintenance, or test procedures such as coatweight measurement. It should contain the following general information:
- SOP basic information: Title, SOP ID number, revision number, applicable process units, author, effective date, approved by.
- Purpose: Describes the SOP purpose and relevant background information.
- Scope: Identify the process modules that require the particular SOP.
- Responsibility: Identify personnel who have a primary role in developing and implementing the SOP and what their ongoing responsibilities are.
- Safety & environmental issues: Identify all safety and environmental issues and regulations that need to be followed in the current process and the importance of implementing them. Procedure should specify protective equipment and safety procedures needed for each process module.
- Procedure: List detailed steps, who, what, where, why, how and process variables for the operating personnel to follow for the operation that the SOP is being used. This should identify critical variables and reasons for their importance.
- Reporting procedures: If the required SOP conditions cannot be achieved or process variable changes are needed to operate the process, a report should be prepared describing the problem and required changes and submitted to appropriate personnel.
- Reference documents: List all literature references that are the scientific and engineering basis for procedures. Specific state and federal safety, health and environmental regulation should be cited.
- Revisions: List previous versions of the SOP and its various revisions.
The SOP can be modified depending on the needs of the specific process for which it is being written. There are standard templates available from several sources to use as a guide [1-3]. They can be found by an online search. In addition, equipment vendors often will provide procedures that can be used or easily adapted for current processes. There should be indices prepared to help personnel rapidly find the SOP that they need to accomplish a task. After the initial operation setup using the SOP, the conditions should be monitored using standard process monitoring procedures.
1. 20 Free SOP Templates, https://www.process.st/sop-templates/
2. Best Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Templates, Template Lab, www.templatelab.com/sop-templates/
3. Standard Operating Procedures Templated, Smartsheet