WCI gets help from NIST to prove ISA100.11a works

From the press release from the Automation Standards Compliance Institute, an ISA company:

NIST Collaborates with ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute to Validate ISA100.11a Draft Standard


Research Triangle Park, NC (10 November 2008) -- As part of its ongoing effort to assure the usefulness of the ISA100.11a Industrial Wireless Standard, the ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute (WCI) is collaborating with NIST on a Validation Study to independently perform simulations of network performance characteristics using data from early adopters of the Standard. The Validation Study will analyze performance data and determine if the real world works as simulated.


This initiative provides a way of validating certain performance dimensions of the ISA100.11a Standard itself during the early stages of adoption by the industrial automation controls community. In addition, the study supports one of the key goals of the WCI: to provide field tested feedback to the ISA100 Standards Committee for ensuring that the standard meets its intended objectives with satisfactory performance characteristics.


The Validation Study expects to provide insights beneficial to suppliers who are launching new products based on the ISA100.11a technology and to operators who are investing in the deployment and management of these leading edge technologies.


The general approach is to encourage early adopters to make performance data available to the study effort under appropriate confidentiality protections. The data will be analyzed to determine if the real world works as simulated. If it doesn’t, everyone involved will be interested in determining why and seek solutions for closing the gap and improving the Standard.


Jay Werb, WCI’s Technical Director, commented, "WCI can test products and prove that they conform to the ISA100.11a Industrial Standard, but sooner rather than later, someone needs to prove that the Standard actually works on a realistic scale."


"We are currently planning a rigorous user-site beta test battery that is primarily aimed at validating the interoperability of ISA100.11a technologies in a heterogeneous vendor environment," said Herman Story of Shell Global Solutions. "However, we still need the Validation Study to validate performance in a scaled-up real world environment."


Companies are encouraged to participate in the Validation Study and interested parties should contact Andre Ristaino, ASCI Managing Director, for details at
aristaino@isa.org or 919-990-9222.


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  • <p> The problem is whether it is robust enough to withstand an onslaught of kids walking through the plant each carrying an IPhone looking for it's server using 802.11g. </p> <p> Annex E of the 802.15.4 specification leaves me wondering whether this is really a good idea... </p> <p>   </p>


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