NAMUR, the international user association of 121 member companies in the chemical/pharmaceutical processing industry, has announced its support of WirelessHART. The association says the technology meets the requirements for wireless sensor networks in process applications. The announcement was confirmed by The HART Communication Foundation (www.hartcomm.org). The announcement follows NAMUR's extensive multi-vendor field test.
The NAMUR field test used WirelessHART products from ABB, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, MACTek, Pepperl+Fuchs and Siemens to evaluate and verify WirelessHART's compliance with NAMUR Recommendation NE124, "Requirements for Wireless Automation," and NAMUR Working Document NA115, "IT Security for Process Automation Systems." The field test conducted at the BASF facility in Ludwigshafen, Germany, included laboratory evaluation of performance characteristics and several implementations in operating process plant environments.
"Our tests prove that WirelessHART is an appropriate technology for applications within the NAMUR use class 'Monitoring' for wireless sensor networks," reports Martin Schwibach, senior automation manager for BASF and chairman of the NAMUR AK4.15 Wireless Automation Working Group responsible for the field test. "WirelessHART technology provides a good alternative where wired networks are too expensive or too difficult to install. This field test verified the alignment of the WirelessHART standard with the NAMUR requirements for wireless automation in process applications."
Ron Helson, HART Communication Foundation's executive director, responded, "We are delighted that the NAMUR field test showed WirelessHART meets user needs. Other user installations also have proven the capabilities of WirelessHART, which is a technology designed specifically for process applications that builds on experience gained with millions of wired HART devices installed around the world. We look forward to working with NAMUR and others to continue improving the technology and extend its benefits to even more users worldwide."