ISA100 committee approves industrial wireless standard

The ISA100 Standards Committee on Wireless Systems for Automation has voted to approve a major new industry standard, ISA100.11a, "Wireless Systems for Industrial Automation: Process Control and Related Applications." The approval, by 81% of the voting members of the committee, including 23 of the 24 end user members, follows two rounds of balloting and refinements to the document.

06/01/2009


The ISA100 Standards Committee on Wireless Systems for Automation has voted to approve a major new industry standard, ISA100.11a, “Wireless Systems for Industrial Automation: Process Control and Related Applications.” The approval, by 81% of the voting members of the committee, including 23 of the 24 end user members, follows two rounds of balloting and refinements to the document to reflect suggestions received from many interested parties. ISA, which made the announcement April 27, says it hopes to publish this part of the standard by August.

“We have passed a major milestone with the committee vote approving the ISA100.11a draft standard,” said ISA100 co-chair Pat Schweitzer of ExxonMobil. “Once the remaining steps in the process are complete, end users around the world will have an accredited ANSI/ISA wireless standard which has been developed in an open forum that is the hallmark of ISA standards development.”

Comments received in the latest voting will be reviewed for applicability by Schweitzer and co-chair Wayne Manges of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Other steps remaining in ISA’s consensus-based standards development process include approval by the ISA Standards and Practices Board and ratification by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), of which ISA is an accredited member. The co-chairs are hopeful the standard will be published by ISA in August.

With more than 600 members from around the world, the ISA100 committee has wireless experts representing diverse industrial and technical interests in an open forum, the standards group says. The committee was established by ISA to address wireless manufacturing and control systems in areas including:

  • Environment in which the wireless technology is deployed;

  • Technology and life cycle for wireless equipment and systems; and

  • Application of wireless technology.

The committee’s focus is to have the ISA100.11a standard provide reliable and secure wireless operation for non-critical monitoring, alerting, supervisory control, open-loop control, and closed-loop control applications. The standard will define the protocol suite, system management, gateway, and security specifications for low-data-rate wireless connectivity with fixed, portable, and moving devices supporting very limited power consumption requirements. The application focus is to address the performance needs of applications such as monitoring and process control where latencies on the order of 100 ms can be tolerated, with optional behavior for shorter latency.

To meet the needs of industrial wireless users and operators, the ISA100.11a standard will provide robustness in the presence of interference found in harsh industrial environments and with legacy non-ISA100 compliant wireless systems. This standard addresses coexistence with other wireless devices anticipated in the industrial workspace , such as cell phones and devices based on IEEE 802.11x, IEEE 802.15x, IEEE 802.16x, and other relevant standards. Further, the standard allows for interoperability of ISA100 devices.

www.isa.org

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