ISA in the factory: Wireless networks, automation interest group meets

Burlington, MA — ISA, a organization originally for standards and best practices in instrumentation and process control, is aiming to help more in factory automation with launch of an interest group for factory automation and wireless issues. Second meeting is Jan. 25; Mark O’Hearne, vice president of business development & marketing at Millennial Net, held the first teleconference meeting of ISA’s Interest Group on factory and discrete automation; 21 attended on Jan. 11.


Burlington, MA ISA , a organization originally for standards and best practices in instrumentation and process control, is aiming to help more in factory automation with launch of an interest group for factory automation and wireless issues. Second meeting of ISA’s Interest Group on factory and discrete automation is Jan. 25. On Jan. 11, Mark O’Hearne, vice president of business development & marketing at Millennial Net, called the first teleconference meeting

The purpose of the teleconference was to determine if there was enough participation to form an interest group to explore opportunities and requirements distinct in nature from what is currently considered on ISA100.11a. O’Hearne set the context with respect to the ISA process toward forming a standards working group. Dan Sexton of General Electric and others helped to clarifying the role, deliverables, and governance of this process.
The process begins with identifying a topic of interest with enough participation and proceeds through three stages:

1. Interest Group surveys the “market” to define broad scope of interest among the community, who is interested, and what other organizations are doing in the space. If it finds sufficient interest, it then recommends to ISA formation of a Study Group.

2. Study Group considers whether a standards effort led by ISA is warranted, describing use cases and investigates what other organizations are doing. If so, the group moves on to developing the scope, purpose, deliverables and schedule for a proposed working group, and recommends to ISA formation of a Working Group.

3. Working Group defines a standard for ISA approval.

The effort grew out of discussions at the last ISA100 meeting in Houston, where support formed to understand the need for standards for wireless networks in different’Hearne agreed to champion a call to form an ISA Interest Group for “Factory/Discrete Automation.” 

The new group is reaching out to all interested parties. It seeks to determine the interest level in the industry around possible development of a standard for a wireless factory/discrete automation system to serve hybrid and discrete industries (such as consumer goods, electronics, automotive, aerospace, and other industries). In contrast to environments driving the ISA100.11a (release 1) and other emerging interest groups, this group will consider assembly, batch, blending, packing, robotics, shop floor data collection and other applications. These are likely to drive different demands for mobility, scalability, point density and lower latency.

Participants Reizner, Larry Graham of General Motors, and Mike Read of Ford described end-user perspectives on how their environments are different from what is currently covered in ISA100.11a. P&G manufacturing includes many high-speed production lines, including lines producing Pampers diapers and boxes of Tide detergent. Such production lines involve many types of sensors, beyond process sensors (such as pressure, flow, and temperature) covered by ISA100.11a. At Ford there are many situations where it is inconvenient or impractical to run wires for sensor I/O. Eliminating high flexure forces associated with cables is higher priority for Ford than the environmental monitoring focus that drove SP100.11a.

David Brandt of Rockwell Automation commented that when ISA100.11a was formed the working group had a taxonomy with a process bent. Discrete and factory automation may need a new taxonomy. Participants generally agreed that their companies want to use wireless to build automated production machines, as well as for assembly lines and material conveyors.

The group’s next teleconference is planned for Jan. 25, 2008, at 11 a.m. EST.

For more information on how to participate Charley Robinson .

Search on wireless atop for a lot of related coverage.

C.G. Masi , senior editor
Control Engineering News Desk
( Register here and scroll down to select your choice of eNewsletters free .)

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
System integration: Best practices and technologies to help; Virtualization virtues; Cyber security advice; Motor system efficiency, savings; Product exclusives; Road to Hannover
Collaborative robotics: How to improve safety, return on investment; Industrial Internet of Things, Industrie 4.0: World views; High-performance HMI, Information Integration: OPC and OMG
9 tips: How to integrate a servo system; Process control mathematical models; Serial network grounding; Engineers' Choice Awards; Learn from cyber security mistakes
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
PLCs, robots, and the quest for a single controller; how OEE is key to automation solutions.
This article collection contains several articles on improving the use of PID.
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
click me