ISA Wireless Summit

Your humble servant (we're in Canada, eh?) is blogging this morning from the ISA Wireless Summit, formally titled Wireless Solutions for Manufacturing Automation. Pat Gouhin led off with a brief description of ISA's activities and turned the meeting over to Andre Restaino, who is the Compliance Institute leader at ISA. ISA has (finally!!!) established compliance institutes for various standards, as discussed in my June editorial. One of the compliance institutes will be the ISA100 Wireless Complinace Institute. The purpose of the institute is to generate market awareness of the standards. The concept is a non-profit consortium providing market awareness, technical support and compliance for S100. It will be open to asset owners and technology providers, as well as end users. It will be a development of the Automation Federation, and will be affiliated with ISA and Automation Federation member WINA, the wireless industrial networking alliance. Restaino put it in terms of branding. He said that he expected the ISA100 brand to "be a check mark. When you see the ISA100 brand on a product, you will get an instant look at how that device will work in the environment you're interested in." IWCI will act as a clearinghouse for compliant products, hosting a list of products that have been found to comply with the standard. IWCI will provide technical support over and above that which the standards body is capable of providing, both to technology providers and asset owners. It will be an industry governed group within the Automation Standards Compliance Institute (ASCI), with a governance structure from member organizations. IWCI needs help from proposed members. Restaino hopes to solicit 25 or so companies, as well as seed funding of $10k per company (--and it is cheap at the price, friends!--Ed.) to retain technical staff to provide the operational aspects of the institute.  He also presented a startup schedule that extends through 2008.