WirelessHART advances: New specification approval and devices begin shipping

If you've been waiting for this technology to be realized, it's time to take another look.
By Control Engineering Staff October 16, 2008

Recent events indicate growing acceptance of wireless process instrumentation in general, and the WirelessHART protocol specifically.

First, the WirelessHART communication specification (HART 7.1) was approved by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) as a publicly available specification (IEC/PAS 62591Ed. 1) in September. The national committees of 29 separate countries participated in the approval ballot. WirelessHART is the first industrial wireless communication technology to achieve this level of international recognition.

“This recognition is a landmark for the process automation industry. WirelessHART communication fulfills the long-demanded goal of global users for a single wireless communication standard that the major automation suppliers support and that has international status,” says HART Communication Foundation (HCF) executive director Ron Helson.

The IEC is a widely recognized global organization that prepares and publishes international standards for electrical, electronic and related technologies. IEC standards provide industry and users with a framework for economies of design, greater product and service quality, more inter-operability, and better production and delivery efficiency. IEC standards facilitate world trade by removing technical barriers to trade, leading to new markets and economic growth.

Second, WirelessHART devices are beginning to hit the street. Emerson Process Management has made the first shipments of devices that incorporate the new standard.

“We are thrilled that our Smart Wireless products are first to ship with the new WirelessHART standard built in,” said John Berra, president of Emerson Process Management.

Emerson’s initial WirelessHART product shipments include items from its Smart Wireless range of pressure, flow, level, temperature, vibration, pH, and discrete transmitters and gateways. Supporting those products are new tools, including AMS Suite predictive maintenance and wireless Snap-On software, 375 Field Communicator, and native wireless interface of DeltaV and Ovation digital systems.

—Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com ,
Control Engineering Process Instrumentation & Sensors Monthly
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