As expected, the ISA100 standard committee yesterday voted in favor of the draft ISA100.11a. Now it must go to the Standards and Practices Board at ISA for approval, and then to ANSI before it is an officially recognized standard.
As Co-chair, ExxonMobil's Pat Schweitzer told me, "What we've done is passed a huge milestone. There's lots of work that still has to be done. There are comments that have to be integrated into the document, still. And we have to make one and make sure it works, too."
I ought, in the interest of full disclosure, note that I didn't change my vote, and still voted no. But I did it for only one reason. After reading the new draft, I still wasn't sure if the standard was buildable. By that I mean, I am not sure that a company (not the ones with "draft standard compliant" equipment already out there, but one that hasn't tried to do it yet) could take the standard document and make something that is sure to be interchangeable and interoperable with all other ISA100.11a devices. As Pat Schweitzer says, we still have to make one and make sure it works.
Schweitzer pointed out that ALL of the Committee's voting end users voted for the draft standard. (Editor's note: Schweitzer was in error, because it turned out that Sicco Dwars, the voting member for Royal Dutch Shell was the lone end user who voted against the draft).
With WirelessHART products hung up in final testing, it will now be interesting to see whether the ISA100 Committee can get an approved standard out of ANSI fast enough to steal a march on WirelessHART.
The wireless vendors are now playing in the only court that counts, the marketplace.