Electronic Design

ISA Approves The First Standard For Industrial Wireless Applications

The ISA100 Standards Committee on Wireless Systems for Automation has voted to approve a new industry standard, ISA100.11a. “Wireless Systems for Industrial Automation: Process Control and Related Applications” was approved by 81% of the voting members of the committee including 23 of the 24 end user members. The consensus-based standards development process also includes approval by the International Society of Automation (ISA) Standards and Practices Board and ratification by the American National Standards Institute, of which ISA is an accredited member. The standard will likely be published by ISA in August.

With over 600 members from around the world, ISA100 brings together wireless experts representing diverse industrial and technical interests in an open forum. The committee was established by ISA to address wireless manufacturing and control systems in areas including:

• The environment in which the wireless technology is deployed
• Technology and life cycle for wireless equipment and systems
• Application of wireless technology

The ISA100.11a standard is intended to provide reliable and secure wireless operation for non-critical monitoring, alerting, supervisory control, open loop control, and closed loop control applications. It defines the protocol suite, system management, gateway, and security specifications for low-data-rate wireless connectivity with fixed, portable, and moving devices supporting very limited power consumption requirements. The application focus is to address the performance needs of applications such as monitoring and process control where latencies on the order of 100 ms can be tolerated, with optional behavior for shorter latency.

To meet the needs of industrial wireless users and operators, the ISA100.11a standard will function in the presence of interference found in harsh industrial environments and with legacy non-ISA100 compliant wireless systems. It also addresses coexistence with other wireless devices anticipated in the industrial workspace, such as cell phones and devices based on IEEE 802.11x, IEEE 802.15x, IEEE 802.16x, and other relevant standards. Further, the standard allows for interoperability of ISA100 devices.

For more information on ISA100 committee activity, visit www.isa.org/ISA100.

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