Principals of Operation and schedule affirmed at ISA100 Vancouver meeting

Sept. 5, 2007

Research Triangle Park, N.C. September 4 - ISA100, the "Wireless Systems for Automation" standards committee, continues its work to develop a family of wireless standards for the industry. At a recent meeting in Vancouver, the ISA100.11a Principles of Operation were affirmed by all of the task groups for release to the committee for review and comment. The schedule for the standard also was reaffirmed.

The ISA100.11a Principles of Operation is a brief, non-detailed overview of the draft ISA100.11a standard as it is currently envisioned. This document is not a normative document from ISA100.11a, nor does it define all technical aspects of the final draft standard. The ISA100.11a editorial group wrote this document as a cohesive overview and summary of the individual task group resolutions at this point in time. The details of operation are not present in this document; rather these details will be defined in the draft standard document.

"We had tremendous user support at the meeting, which is a very important component of our standards work," said ISA100 chair Wayne Manges of Oak Ridge National Labs. "This standard is for the end user, so the more end user input we have, the better our standard will be."

"I am extremely happy with the way that the ISA100.11a editorial team is dealing with the contradictory requirements of systems that offer options, flexibility and differentiation among vendors and the end-user desires. The team has come up with a novel method of meeting both sets of requirements," said Jim Reizner, Section Head, Corporate Engineering, Procter & Gamble.

The ISA100 initial standard (ISA100.11a is the working designation) is currently in development and focuses on wireless monitoring and alerting needs for the process industries. ISA100 for Process Automation is intended to provide reliable and secure operation for non-critical monitoring, alerting, supervisory control, open loop control and "soft" closed-loop control applications. The standard defines the OSI stack, system management, gateway, and security specifications for low-data-rate wireless connectivity with fixed, portable and moving devices with no battery or very limited battery consumption requirements. The standard is scheduled for release in early 2008.

As one of the next steps, the committee will hold an interest meeting in conjunction with ISA EXPO 2007, held 2-4 October in Houston, Texas.

The ISA100 family of standards is being designed to meet end users' plant-wide needs, enabling users to accommodate many plant processesbased on just one integrated series of standards.

The ISA100 Integration Working Group is leading the effort to add additional standards to the ISA100 family, and the meeting will be the first step in that process. The next areas for standardization in the family have been identified by the committee, and include factory automation (discrete focus), building automation (industrial facility focus), transmission and distribution (long distance focus), RFID (industrial tagging focus), and security, in collaboration with ISA99.

During the interest meeting, the committee will discuss the family of standards and solicit volunteers to form interest groups for each family area. The interest groups' work could eventually lead to the formation of separate working groups for the different family areas.