HART 7 released with WirelessHART standard, a 1st for process control

The first open wireless communication standard for process measurement and control was approved and released Sept. 7 as part of the HART 7 standard, according to the source, HART Communication Foundation (HCF). Other improvements include advanced, exception-based reporting; time-stamped data; and better diagnostics. Related products are expected in first quarter 2008; later for various certifications.


Austin, TX —The first open wireless communication standard for process measurement and control was approved and released Sept. 7 as part of the HART 7 standard, according to the source,

HART Communication Foundation (HCF)

. Other improvements include advanced, exception-based reporting; time-stamped data; and better diagnostics. Related products are expected in first quarter 2008,

The HART 7 Specifications enable many new capabilities for communication with intelligent field devices, including WirelessHART. The HCF membership approved the HART 7 Specifications in June 2007, after what the organization called an extensive review and approval process.

On Sept. 5,


sent a letter to

Control Engineering

, speaking against approval of the standard if it includes WirelessHART, voicing support, instead, for broader ISA-100 wireless specification, still in development. Read more on that:

Updated: Honeywell opposes HART, favors ISA-100 wireless; HART responds

“With official release of the HART 7 Specifications,” says Ron Helson, HCF executive director, “the WirelessHART standard is now publicly available, and manufacturers can begin implementing this new capability into their products and process solutions. I expect that products complying with this new standard will be available from multiple manufacturers in early 2008.”

The new HART 7 Specifications has other significant advantages beyond wireless capabilities, says Ed Ladd, HCF director of technology programs. Ladd told Control Engineering that, in addition to being backward compatible, as with prior upgrades, other advantages over HART 6 include:
* New advanced, condition-based reporting, on exception. “Now you can set up a device to report a problem before you have to ask for info,” Ladd says.
* Time-stamped data, synchronized over the network.
* Command 48, which provides eight status bits for additional information, configuration change, showing what circuit failed rather than just saying there’s a problem.
* Multiple messages in one transmission, optimizing the network for wireless operation, conserving batteries.

HCF says WirelessHART technology:
* Addresses the critical needs of the process industry for simple, reliable and secure wireless communication in the real-world industrial plant environment;
* Is easy to use, easy to deploy, and fully backward compatible with existing instrumentation and host systems, preserving the investment in HART-enabled devices, tools, training, applications and work procedures used today;
* Builds on established and field-proven international standards, including the HART protocol (IEC 61158), EDDL (IEC 61804-3), IEEE 802.15.4 radio and frequency hopping, spread spectrum and mesh networking technologies; and
* Was developed from user input with HCF member companies and leaders in wireless technology, including ABB, Adaptive Instruments, Crossbow Technology, Dust Networks, Elpro Technologies, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Flowserve, Honeywell, MacTek, MTL, Omnex Control Systems, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, Siemens, Smar, Yamatake, and Yokogawa.

“WirelessHART provides the same experience that users know and expect from HART-enabled products, protecting the global installed base of 24+ million HART devices,”as adding an adapter, Ladd suggests.

Control Engineering offers recent articles on wireless topics

(scroll down under supplements)

Webcasts about wireless for process and machine-level applications


—Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief, Control Engineering Weekly News, with input from the HART Communication Foundation

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