ISA NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Infantino
Wireless Standards Committee Hears Proposals on Technology Approaches to Address End User Needs
Research Triangle Park, NC (20 September 2006) -- The SP100.11 and SP100.14 Working Groups of ISA's SP100 Committee for wireless industrial standards held a meeting this week at ISA headquarters in Research Triangle Park, NC. Participants from all over the world, some conferencing in from China, Ireland, and around the US, reviewed a wide range of technology approaches that could help solve real world wireless issues. The issues that the committee will focus on have been identified by user input and through use cases collected by ISA.
The committee is working toward establishing standards, recommended practices, technical reports, and related information that will define procedures for implementing wireless systems in the automation and control environment.
More than 20 companies from around the world presented their ideas and proposed solutions to the committee during the week. The committee will use the information that they've gathered from use cases, and the information presented this week, as a base for building an eventual standard.
"The number and variety of responses, with proposals coming from the United States, Canada, Japan, China, Germany, and other countries, means that the standard will meet the needs of the global end user community,"
said SP100 co-chair Wayne Manges from the DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "We will publish a standard that will stand the test of time by not only reflecting near-term solutions for wireless technology in industrial environments but one that also allows for future technology advances and enhancements."
As a basis for this effort the committee has already reviewed over 32 completed use cases and has over 40 more that are underway in various stages from end user companies. The use cases come from a variety of industries, including oil & gas, waste water treatment, nuclear power generation, food processing, chemicals manufacturing, aerospace, and automotive.
"A wide range of users have already contributed use cases," Marketing Working Group Chair Paul Sereiko, President, KAPM Strategic Management said. "For example, we've learned that most end user wireless site areas are quite large. The smallest we've seen is an automotive plant that covers 10s of acres, and the largest is a wind farm that is 11 by 12 square miles."
"We've learned that the data exchange rates (how often the user is measuring changes in the variable) cover three areas, the millisecond range; applications that need results in seconds, and where an application needs results in a minute or more. We also learned that the user expects the battery life of a wireless device to be about 3-5 years. These are powerful insights into what the users actually need from this standard," said Greg LaFramboise of Chevron.
A number of technical presentations were given during the week-long meeting. Sessions included discussions on a number of existing radio protocol options such as IEEE's 802.11 and 802.15.4; different ideas on how to address the various layers of the OSI reference model; and input covering several different security tactics. The input will be used by the committee to help decide the best approach or approaches to solving the critical end-user issues associated with the application of wireless technology in an industrial setting.
"We made valuable progress this week. We've learned a lot. We are seeing significant differences of opinion as to structure of the PHY and MAC layers and we have aired those differences. We have not seen the data, but we'll be gathering further documentation in the coming weeks," said Dan Sexton, Project Leader, GE Global Research, and chair of ISA-SP100.14.
"This meeting provided a forum for experts from around the world to discuss various ideas that ISA-SP100 can use to eventually develop a standard that will meet the needs of end users. We're focused on developing a standard that can be implemented in a practical manner," said Pat Kinney of Kinney Consulting LLC, chair of ISA-SP100.11.
Founded in 1945, ISA (www.isa.org) 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, North Carolina, 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 (www.automationfederation.org).