Wireless technology progress: WirelessHART approved; ISA-100 work continues

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 HART Communication Foundation (HCF), as separate work on the ISA-100 group of wireless standard continued. Other HART improvements include advanced, exception-based reporting; time-stamped data; and better diagnostics.

10/01/2007


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 HART Communication Foundation (HCF), as separate work on the ISA-100 group of wireless standard continued. Other HART improvements include advanced, exception-based reporting; time-stamped data; and better diagnostics. HART wireless products are expected in first quarter 2008, and a bit later for those requiring certifications.

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, Honeywell sent a letter to Control Engineering , speaking against approval of the standard if it includes WirelessHART. The company instead voiced support for broader ISA-100 wireless specification, still in development.

In that effort, the Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society (ISA) reported its ISA-100, the “Wireless Systems for Automation,” standards committee continues to develop a family of wireless standards. During a recent meeting in Vancouver, Canada, the ISA-100.11a Principles of Operation were affirmed by all task groups for release to the committee for review and comment; the schedule also was reaffirmed.

The brief, non-detailed overview of draft ISA-100.11a was written as a “cohesive overview and summary of the individual task group resolutions at this point.” Details of operation are not present in the document; details will be defined later in the draft standard document. The standard is intended to provide reliable and secure operation for non-critical monitoring, alerting, supervisory control, open loop control and soft closed loop control applications. It defines the open systems interconnection (OSI) stack, system management, gateway and security specifications for low data rate wireless connectivity with fixed, portable and moving devices with no battery or very limited battery consumption requirements. The standard is set for release early next year.

The committee scheduled an interest meeting during ISA Expo 2007 (Oct. 2-4) in Houston. A multi-vendor technology demonstration showcased the major principles of operation of the committee’s work, and products from more than 15 vendors. Additional standards for future discussion are factory automation (discrete focus), building automation (industrial facility focus), transmission and distribution (long-distance focus), RFID (industrial tagging focus) and security, in collaboration with ISA-99. Volunteers will be solicited at the meeting to form interest groups for each family of standards. See p. 44 for the announcement of an HCF/ISA100 cooperative agreement announced in late September.

www.isa.org

www.hartcomm.org





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