Wireless summit discusses automation standards

Research Triangle Park, NC—About 40 end-users from a variety of industries met recently with representatives of ISA's (Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society) Wireless Systems for Automation Standards committee (ISA-SP100) to help define needs and guide standard development and implementation.


Research Triangle Park, NC —About 40 end-users from a variety of industries met recently with representatives of ISA 's (Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society) Wireless Systems for Automation Standards committee (ISA-SP100) to help define needs and guide standard development and implementation. The summit preceded a meeting of the ISA-SP100 committee, which is working to establish standards, recommended practices, technical reports, and related information that will define procedures for implementing wireless systems in the automation and control environment at the field level.

Committee co-chair Richard Sanders of ExxonMobil said, "We're pleased with the end-users who joined us. It is critical that we understand the needs of users and work together with suppliers and integrators to develop practical solutions that can be extended across diverse applications."

Compliance with ISA-SP100 is intended to improve wireless manufacturing and control system deployment as well as identify vulnerabilities. The committee will address end-user needs for wireless manufacturing and control systems across a range of application classes. The standard has identified six classes of applications ranging from critical safety applications (Class 0) to basic wireless monitoring and logging for condition-based maintenance and simple regulatory compliance (Classes 4 and 5).

"The technology is ready, but additional details need to be resolved for widespread adoption to occur," said Committee co-chair Wayne Manges of Oak Ridge National Lab, pointing out that a number of efforts are underway to permit the introduction of wireless products into the industrial environment.

At the meeting, the committee approved two groups to produce practical standards defining OSI (open systems interconnection) layer specifications, security specifications, and management specifications for wireless devices and networks. Future committee meetings are set for the Sensors Expo in June and ISA Expo 2006 in October.

For related Control Engineering coverage, search on wireless at Control Engineering Online .

—Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jeanine Katzel, senior editor, jkatzel@reedbusiness.com

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