Wireless: ISA100.11a Group votes on draft; compliance goals

Ballot for the ISA100.11a Working Group draft wireless standard closes June 3. ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute is developing ISA100 compliance programs.


Research Triangle Park, NC – The ISA100.11a Working Group of the

ISA100 Committee

has begun its first letter ballot on its draft standard, the first in the ISA100 universal family of wireless standards. The ballot opened May 5, and will close on June 3. ISA100.11a Working Group members may vote on the ballot and provide editorial or technical comments. As the ISA100 standards committee continues to develop the ISA100.11a standard for release later this year, the

ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute

is working on compliance programs. Also read:

Wireless: Converge ISA100.11a with WirelessHART?

"This draft standard reflects a collaborative effort between end users and vendors on the ISA100.11a Working Group, and that's what makes this standard relevant," said Jim Reizner, section head, corporate engineering, Procter & Gamble, and co-chair of ISA100 Users Working Group. "The end user community will benefit from the ISA100.11a standard once it's approved, and we're on our way to making that happen."
The ISA100.11a standard provides a wireless industrial process automation network to address control, alerting, and monitoring applications plantwide. It focuses on battery-powered field devices with the ability to scale to large installations and addresses wireless infrastructure, interfaces to legacy host applications plus security, and network management requirements in a functionally scalable manner.
"We're thrilled to release the draft standard for letter ballot," said ISA100 co-chair Patrick Schweitzer of ExxonMobil Research and Engineering. "ISA100.11a contributors have worked very hard to develop an open standard that's simple for users to implement and deploy. This is an important first step in a thorough approval process outlined in ISA guidelines. We look forward to input from the working group members to ensure a clear, concise, effective standard for end
users and suppliers around the world."
ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute, with an initial membership of nine major companies, will provide assured device compliance and interoperability with the standard, an important development for users planning to deploy ISA100.11a standard-compliant devices into their facilities. Early members of the Institute– Shell, Chevron, Procter & Gamble, Airsprite, Honeywell, Invensys, Nivis, Shenyang Institute of Automation, and Yokogawa -- have handled the development phase of the program and expect to formally launch the Institute this summer.
The Institute retained a technical director, Jay Werb, to coordinate technical aspects of assured interoperability and compliance with the standard, and is developing ISA100.11a standard test points for use as a basis for conformance requirements in a test specification scheduled for completion this month. To expedite development of compliance tools, an effort is being undertaken concurrently with the Working Group draft letter ballot. Developed test points will be finalized in collaboration with ISA100 and used by WCI to conduct compliance tests.
A Wireless Device Test Kit (DTK) for testing device compliance with the standard should be available the second half of 2008. It will be demonstrated in the ISA100 booth Oct. 12-14 at ISA Expo in Houston, TX.
The Institute will test devices for compliance to a reasonable number of profiles defined by ISA100, and will collaborate openly with ISA100 to define key profiles needed in the marketplace. In the long term, WCI expects to test devices for compliance to any profile of interest to members, not necessarily restricted to profiles that are defined by ISA100. Because real world testing is critical to the success of the standard, the Institute is establishing customer beta sites; on-site activities will begin late this year. The Institute, in conjunction with ISA, is developing a five-course wireless training curriculum, which includes a device product developer's training course planned for presentation during ISA Expo.
Founding members established an ISA100.11a standard alpha test bed using a preliminary ISA100.11a device stack and associated management software. The bed was successfully demonstrated at the ISA100 meeting in Chongqing, China, last month. Three vendors participated in the demonstration, providing interoperability among multiple vendors using two radio platforms. The Institute welcomes and encourages other vendors to participate in the demonstration for future venues this year– the ISA100 meeting June 23-26 in Nice, France; the ISA100 meeting planned for August at ISA headquarters in Raleigh, NC; and ISA Expo 2008.
Also read:

ISA100.11a: the 4-20 mA standard for the 21st Century

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