The ISA100 standards committee on wireless systems for automation has created a new subcommittee to address options for convergence of the ISA100.11a and WirelessHART standards. This initiative is a key step in the mission of the ISA100 committee to develop a family of universal industrial wireless standards designed to satisfy the needs of end users across a variety of applications.
The subcommittee will contrast and compare the technology within the ISA100.11a and WirelessHART standards, building on the experiences gained with industrial applications of both standards, with an ultimate goal of merging the best of both standards into a single converged subsequent release of the ISA standard.
"This is an important development for industry since it furthers the mission of ISA100 to embrace relevant industrial wireless standards and serves the expressed needs of the end user community," said Paul Sereiko of Airsprite, who has been invited, along with Dick Caro of CMC Associates, to serve as co-chairs of the new subcommittee.
"On behalf of end users, I believe I can safely state that our ultimate goal is to have a single industry standard for process applications. We are pleased that a path is developing to achieve that goal and that interim steps for achieving interoperable practical experience with both standards have been identified," said ISA100 End User Working Group co-chair Jim Reizner of Procter and Gamble who led a team of end users, including Pat Schweitzer of ExxonMobil, Herman Storey of Shell Global Solutions, and others, which stimulated the formation of the subcommittee.
An early activity of the ISA100 WirelessHART Convergence Subcommittee is to prepare the WirelessHART standard in an ISA standard format by the end of July to facilitate the evaluations.
"We look forward to the prospects of evaluating WirelessHART for convergence within ISA100 and remain committed to the timely approval of the ISA100.11a standard in 2008," said Jose Gutierrez of Emerson Electric Company. Dave Kaufman of Honeywell International added, "We remain committed to the final release of an approved ISA100.11a standard and to the subsequent collaborative evaluation of WirelessHART within the ISA100 family of universal wireless standards."
"Adoption of the ISA100.11a standard in 2008 will be an important step in fulfilling our ISA100 committee mission and of significant value to industry. This new subcommittee is the next logical step to helping industry fully achieve the significant benefits of wireless technology," added Pat Schweitzer of ExxonMobil who serves as co-chair of the ISA100 committee along with Wayne Manges of Oak Ridge National Laboratories.