Just to keep us all honest, HCF brings out the elephant guns again.

Last week, as this blog reported, those responsible for way, way more than 50% of the revenue of the entire automation industry trooped into the SP100 meeting and made their feelings known. Whether it was because of them, or despite them, we arrived at a consensus compromise. You know, that's one we can all live with, and nobody likes very much. Just to reinforce the lesson, HART Communications Foundation has released the text of the messages that were delivered at the SP100 meeting and the HCF press conference last week: WirelessHART Communication Supported by Leading Process Automation Companies   Executives from leading manufacturers voice support during HART Communication Foundation press conference at ISA 2007   (Austin, Texas, USA - 9 October 2007) "” Executives from leading process automation companies voiced their support for the new WirelessHART Communication standard during the HART Communication Foundation (HCF) press conference at ISA 2007 (2 Oct, Houston, TX). In a display of unified commitment to the new technology, representatives from ABB, Emerson, Endress+Hauser, and Siemens spoke of the positive impact WirelessHART technology will have on the process industry and their expectation for the quick adoption of the technology by end users.   Statements from each company representative follow:   ABB Instrumentation - Sean Keeping, Vice-President Technology   ABB has long believed that a single fieldbus standard would provide significant benefits to both users and vendors. However, it is a business reality that multiple fieldbus technologies/standards are here to stay. Therefore, to maximize our customers' ability to choose a best fit solution, we have integrated the leading fieldbus communications protocols (Profibus - Foundation fieldbus - HART) into ABB field devices, tools, and host systems. This duplicated design effort has been costly for ABB and other suppliers, and has made life confusing for users.  We would strongly advocate avoidance of a "multiple standard" path for wireless sensor communication.   The HART protocol has stood the test of time well and has over 24 million installations worldwide, as well as strong multi-vendor support. ABB has been active in the specification of the HART7 standard, which includes wireless connectivity.  In evidence of ABB's strong support of this new standard, we have planned the release of products incorporating WirelessHART in 2008. These products will complement existing non-fieldbus wireless solutions from ABB including; vibration monitoring; HMI's; SMS Messaging; remote I/O; LAN protocol conversions; metering for oil and gas, pulverized coal, and water flow; and robotics position sensing.   To avoid repeating the "multiple standard" dilemma we currently have with fieldbusses, ABB's recommendation is that SP100 incorporate the WirelessHART specification as its solution at the instrument level for PV Monitoring, Asset Performance Management, and eventually control.   Emerson Process Management - Peter Zornio, Chief Strategic Officer Speaking on behalf of Emerson Process Management, I would like to congratulate Ron and the members of the HART Communication Foundation for their tireless effort resulting in approval and release of the WirelessHART standard. This important new standard meets the unique needs of process end users, and represents real value to our industry that will be sustained and grown over time through the ongoing effort of the Foundation and its members. Last year we recognized the tremendous accomplishment of enhanced EDDL to increase openness and functionality to enable users to improve operations and maintenance. This year we are celebrating the open WirelessHART standard that is not only simple, robust and secure & but also consistent with customers' installed base of tools, hosts, experience and work processes. Because of this, we anticipate quick adoption by users to deploy WirelessHART to improve operations and solve problems through access to process variables that were previously out of economic or physical reach. One year ago, Emerson began introducing Smart Wireless solutions to encourage customers learning about wireless applications. We future-proofed our customers' investments by committing to a standard-compliant upgrade path. With the carefully considered and well-crafted WirelessHART standard in place, Emerson is actively working to fulfill this commitment. We expect to begin release of our fully compliant WirelessHART products in the spring of 2008.   Endress+Hauser - Frank Hils, Corporate Director Projects and Solutions   Endress+Hauser sees the HART 7 specification as another chapter in the success story of HART. Especially the WirelessHART element will widen the application coverage of HART solutions. Users will benefit in Plant Asset Management Solutions where WirelessHART will provide easier access to device information including sensor diagnosis. The straightforward integration of remote sensors in Inventory Control applications will facilitate optimization of material supply chain processes. And last not least WirelessHART is an enabler to access efficiency potential in the commissioning phase of all kind of process control applications. Endress+Hauser will implement HART 7 functionality in all related products. In the course of 2008 the entire field device basket including level, pressure, flow, temperature and analytical will benefit from HART 7 enhancements. Host products for mobile and stationary Asset Management applications such as FieldXpert and FieldCare will be upgraded to support HART 7 field devices. We expect that HART 7 with WirelessHART will be widely adopted in the process industry and though justifies the joint effort of the HART Communication Foundation members put in the specification.   Siemens - Hans-Georg Kumpfmüller, Division President for Sensors and Communication   The HART Communication Foundation recently made several major steps forward. It has released HART version 7, which enables new functions for Process Automation manufacturers and end customers. With HART 7 there is also the first important official open standard for wireless communication available for the Process Automation industry"”WirelessHART.   These achievements also triggered further events: 1) The HCF and ISA officially announced to cooperate with their SP100 committee; and 2) Fieldbus Foundation and Profibus Nutzerorganisation announced their intent to form a wireless collaboration team together with the HCF.   These events are is a clear sign that the HCF has confirmed its competence to be the basis for the Process Industry in wired and wireless device communication.  It also shows that it is the wish of the industry to get more harmonized solutions, bridging the different standards existing on the market.   Siemens has supported all these activities with know-how and specialists. Siemens is a strong supporter of HART technology. Our products and systems will be upgraded step by step with these new HART capabilities.     "WirelessHART technology is simple, reliable and secure. It provides the same experience that users know and expect from HART-enabled products, protecting the global installed base of 24+ million HART devices," says HCF Executive Director Ron Helson. "WirelessHART is easy to use, easy to deploy, and fully backward compatible with existing instrumentation and host systems, preserving the investment in HART-enabled devices, tools, training, applications and work procedures used today."   WirelessHART Communication builds on established and field-proven international standards including the HART protocol (IEC 61158), EDDL (IEC 61804-3), IEEE 802.15.4â„¢ radio and frequency hopping, spread spectrum and mesh networking technologies. The new technology addresses the issues users face in the process plant environment and seamlessly integrates existing devices into HART-enabled systems.   WirelessHART technology was developed from user input through the combined, cooperative efforts of HCF member companies and leaders in wireless technology, including ABB, Adaptive Instruments, Crossbow Technology, Dust Networks, ELPRO Technologies, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Flowserve, Honeywell, MACTek, MTL, Omnex Control Systems, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, Siemens, Smar, Yamatake and Yokogawa.