ISA-SP100.11a unanimously approves scope and systems architecture for release of draft standard

Research Triangle Park, NC (30 March 2007) -- At a recent ISA-SP100.11a working group meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany, 60 attendees unanimously approved the scope and systems architecture of Release 1 of the draft standard.

“ISA-SP100.11a Release 1 will be an open standard for anyone to implement and deploy. The standard will be simple to use, and will be focused on serving process industry applications without excluding factory automation,” said ISA-SP100.11a lead editor and co-chair Pat Kinney of Kinney Consulting, LLC.

Release 1 is intended to provide technology to address Class 1 (non-critical) to Class 5 applications, such as monitoring. The standard will assure multi-vendor device interoperability, and will include only 2.4 GHz 802.15.4-2006 radios. The work of the committee will adhere to a comprehensive coexistence strategy, and will use channel hopping to support co-existence and increase reliability. The standard will use a single application layer, providing both native and tunneling protocol capability for broad usability, and provide simple, flexible, and scaleable security addressing major industrial threats. The standard will also offer field device meshing and star capability.

The system architecture will include provisions to accommodate alternate PHY’s in future releases, support factory automation applications, support low latency applications, and will not preclude low cost implementations over the life cycle of the intended deployments.

A draft of the standard will be complete by October, 2007.

“The contributions of technology and knowledge from suppliers are proving to be an invaluable part of allowing us to move our work forward. Several companies have made significant technology and resource contributions throughout the initial stages of the standard committee’s work. Likewise, the input from asset owners about their experiences and needs are critical to the work of our committee,” said ISA-SP100 Committee Chair Wayne Manges of Oak Ridge National Labs. “The extensive use case data that we have collected over the past year provides a solid foundation on which we can merge user needs with practical technology solutions to achieve a useful standard.”

During the meeting in Germany, the working group also agreed that the second release will include critical Class 1 to 5 applications in addition to monitoring; additional gateway functionality as needed; additional network manager functionality as needed; and dual or alternate PHYs such as narrow band frequency hopping, sub-GHz, licensed bands, high speed, 5 GHz, etc. All requirements will be user-driven.

“We expect that the technical options that we explore will evolve and change as we work on this draft. If we continually keep our goal in mind of making sure that this standard is the best possible standard for the users in the process and manufacturing communities, we’ll be successful,” said Manges.

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