ISA and HART Set Course for Integrating Their Wireless Standards

Research Triangle Park, NC -- During a series of meetings held in conjunction with ISA EXPO 2007, 2–4 October in Houston, TX, the ISA100 Wireless Systems for Automation standards committee outlined an approach to accommodate and eventually integrate the WirelessHART standard and the ISA100 standard.

The approach will attempt to accommodate the HART 7 wireless protocol in release 1 of the ISA100.11a standard through a dual-gateway architecture, followed by a potentially more integrated approach in release 2.

"The meeting was a success. The end users, suppliers, HART Communication Foundation representatives, and the ISA100 members on the evaluation committee agreed that this approach is the most viable alternative to address the needs of the end user community, both in the short and long term," said ISA100 Co-Chair Wayne Manges of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The committee's decision defined options for future evaluation, including dual-stack end devices for integration at the device level, tunneling (pack at the device level, unpack at a higher level), and future integration at the MAC, DLL, and NET/TRAN levels.

"The ISA100-WirelessHART Analysis Team is evaluating how the WirelessHART protocol within HART 7 can be incorporated into the ISA100.11a standard while remaining consistent with the objectives of the ISA100 family of standards," said ISA100 Co-Chair Pat Schweitzer of Exxon Mobil. "The most important part of that evaluation is the obligation to continue our commitment to the end user, and we're confident that our final decisions will accomplish that goal."

"Standardized wireless communication with intelligent field devices is important for the process industry, and we are pleased to be working with ISA to advance the standardization of this new capability," says HART Communication Foundation Executive Director Ron Helson. "Everyone agrees that incorporating WirelessHART in the developing ISA100 standards is in the best interest of the industry, preserving both current and future investments."

About ISA
Founded in 1945, ISA is a leading, global nonprofit organization that is setting the standard for automation by helping over 30,000 worldwide members and other professionals solve difficult technical problems, while enhancing their leadership and personal career capabilities. Based in Research Triangle Park, NC, ISA develops standards; certifies industry professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; and hosts the largest conference and exhibition for automation professionals in the Western Hemisphere. ISA is the founding sponsor of The Automation Federation.

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