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

Honeywell says it intends to vote “no” in a HART Communication Foundation board meeting tomorrow, opposing the HART 7.0 specification for inclusion of WirelessHART. In a letter to Control Engineering (below), Jack Bolick, president of Honeywell Process Solutions, suggests that HART adopt ISA-100. HART responded in kind.

09/06/2007


Phoenix, AZ, and Austin, TX --Honeywell says it intends to vote “no” in a

HART Communication Foundation

board meeting tomorrow, opposing the HART 7.0 specification for inclusion of WirelessHART. In a letter to Control Engineering (below), Jack Bolick, president of Honeywell Process Solutions , suggests that HART adopt ISA-100.

“The most striking difference,” Honeywell's Bolick says, “is that while WirelessHART is designed to support the HART

Ron Helson, executive director, HART Communication Foundation, expressed surprise and disappointment with Honeywell's statement, saying, "The HART 7 Specifications, including WirelessHART, have been overwhelmingly approved by HCF members and are ready for official release. I believe that the HCF Board of Directors will affirm the desire of the HCF Membership and authorize release of these Specifications at tomorrow’s meeting." Helson's full comments are below.

HART has more information on



Control Engineering articles in an August Wireless supplement explain the technologies . Scroll down on the August online table of contents under supplements for five wireless articles.

Also read, from Control Engineering : WirelessHART: Shortest path to interoperability?

The Sept. 5 letter from Honeywell follows .

“This Friday, Sept. 7, the HART Communication Foundation (HCF) board plans to vote on the HART 7.0 specification, which includes the wireless specification known as WirelessHART. Honeywell, a board member of HCF, intends to vote no on this particular issue. I want to take this opportunity to share our position, as well as invite your readers to join Honeywell in urging HCF to agree to consider adopting the ISA100 standard– a single, unified standard designed to facilitate communication for all fieldbus protocols, not just one.

"Honeywell is concerned the industry is heading down a path that creates confusion and slows innovation through the adoption of two industrial wireless protocols. The industry is inevitably comparing the recently affirmed ISA100 Principles of Operation with the proposed WirelessHART specifications. The most striking difference is that while WirelessHART is designed to support the HART protocol only, the ISA100 standard is designed to support multiple protocols, including HART.

"ISA100 is positioned and designed as a universal network, transporting information from all types of industrial wireless protocols. Backed by ISA’s standard-setting expertise, heritage, and knowledgeable end-user members, ISA100 supports implementation of protocols such as HART, Profibus, CIP and FOUNDATION Fieldbus on top of its flexible application layer. This obviates the need for single protocol networks like WirelessHART. ISA100 accomplishes this in an efficient, secure and high-performance manner.

"Functionally, WirelessHART and ISA100 are like a pager and a cell phone, respectively. A pager is a single purpose device dedicated to one function, like WirelessHART is dedicated only to the HART protocol. However, a cell phone is a more universal device designed to efficiently and effectively perform many functions while also providing the paging function. Users are understandably wondering why they would ever need the subset (WirelessHART) if they can have the superset (ISA100).

"During the ISA committee’s July meeting, it approved the Principles of Operation, setting the stage for the ISA100 draft standard to be released in October. Neither standards group has yet to propose or approve test and certification requirements, but both groups plan to have this final step completed in early 2008. It simply makes no sense to pursue WirelessHART when ISA100 will be available in a similar timeframe.
Honeywell has always been, and will continue to be, a strong supporter of the HART protocol. Honeywell believes the best path for HCF’s continued success is to remove WirelessHART from HART 7.0, adopt ISA100 as the networking technology for HART wireless deployments and adopt the remaining portion of the HART 7.0 specification.

"We invite your readers to join us in urging HCF and its board members to implement wireless deployments on top of the ISA100 application layer, as other fieldbus protocol organizations are planning to do. It is in the best interest of the industry to rally around a single, universal wireless network that supports a variety of protocols and has the ability to be flexible in the future. Wireless will revolutionize in-plant industrial communications, and we hope you will join Honeywell in urging the HCF to lead the industry in the right direction.”

Jack Bolick
President
Honeywell Process Solutions

HART REPLIES on Sept. 6, 2007
"The Sept. 5 letter to the editor from Honeywell's Jack Bolick was a surprise and disappointment to the HART Communication Foundation (HCF). The letter is counter to the view of the HCF staff and the HCF Members who overwhelmingly approved the HART 7 Specifications including WirelessHART during the extensive review and approval process that concluded in June of this year.

"The open process used to create this enhanced HART Standard began more than two years ago with the support of both the Board and the Membership.

"The HART 7 Specifications, including WirelessHART, have been overwhelmingly approved by HCF members and are ready for official release. I believe that the HCF Board of Directors will affirm the desire of the HCF Membership and authorize release of these Specifications at tomorrow’s meeting.

"Honeywell’s continued strong support of the HART Protocol technology is very much welcomed, and I hope that they will reconsider their position on this important matter."

Ron Helson
Executive Director
HART Communication Foundation


Control Engineering Daily News Desk
www.controleng.com





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