ISA organizes wireless standards committee

To reach out to and assist end-users of wireless technologies, ISA, the Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society, recently organized its new ISA-SP100 standards committee.


To reach out to and assist end-users of wireless technologies, ISA, the Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society , recently organized its new ISA-SP100 standards committee. This group will address wireless and control system issues in environments where manufacturers deploy wireless technology. It will also address technology lifecycle issues for wireless equipment and systems and applications of wireless technology.

"Wireless is becoming more pervasive in the industrial sector, so we wanted to make sure ISA would continue to help the automation practitioners deploy this technology in the most reliable and efficient way," says Ian Verhappen, ISA's standards and practices VP and an engineering associate at Syncrude Canada in Alberta. He adds that the committee’s resulting standard will meet all users’ needs for security and for reliable signals and will be cost effective for end-users. “We just had a teleconference, and we're hoping to have some technical reports out in the area of the physics of radio and the practical considerations, such as frequency versus distance," adds Verhappen.

ISA’s new committee also is working with the Wireless Industrial Networking Alliance (WINA) to develop a user guide. Members will also examine interoperability for sensor networks, as well as applications for wireless industrial monitoring and control networks.

ISA-SP100’s chairman will be Wayne Manges, of Oak Ridge National Labs. He expects that the new committee will "assure the confidence in and integrity of wireless technology and provide criteria for implementing it in manufacturing automation and control systems."

Other aspects of wireless technology that ISA-SP100’s eventual standard will cover will include vibration, temperature, humidity, EMC, interoperability, coexistence with existing systems, and physical equipment location. Applications will include field sensors used for monitoring, control, alarm, and shutdown; wireless technology with uses of real time field-to-business systems; and technologies across all industries, including fluid processing, material processing, and discrete parts manufacturing environments.

Manges adds that the new standards will "assure successful system deployment, help identify and address any vulnerabilities, and improve overall system performance by eliminating failure modes."

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—Jim Montague, news editor, Control Engineering,

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