ISA NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Infantino
ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute Conducts Demonstration at ISA EXPO 2008
Research Triangle Park, NC (4 November 2008) -- The ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute (WCI) successfully conducted a demonstration of the ISA100.11a wireless industrial automation network at ISA EXPO 2008, 14-16 October in Houston, TX.
The demonstration employed technology based on the latest draft of the ISA100.11a industrial wireless communications standard. The demonstration highlighted the mesh and interoperability capabilities of the proposed ISA100.11a standard by showing ISA100.11a Field Routers from many different vendors formed into a self-healing and dynamically adaptive mesh network.
Devices from 14 different instrumentation vendors formed the wireless network of interoperable devices all seamlessly working together using the ISA100.11a draft technology. These devices included various wireless platforms from fully integrated devices to devices with attached wireless adaptors. Wired HART devices were included in the demonstration and used the wireless adaptors to communicate HART information like stranded diagnostics over the ISA100.11a network to a host system.
The wireless demonstration system was comprised of three separate yet integrated ISA100.11a networks with devices sending process control data to a simulated, centralized plant-wide host monitoring system where the data was collected and displayed. The console operator at the host system could configure devices to periodically send data or could issue on-demand reads of the data from devices in the wireless network. More advanced capabilities exhibited by the ISA100.11a demo system included live process control loops, remote configurability, as well as simple “over the air” upgrades of the entire ISA100.11a system including the wireless field devices. The wireless sensor networks also communicated to a DCS via a gateway developed according to the ISA100.11a draft.
The demonstration included protocol stacks from two different developers to prove that the ISA100.11a draft standard document included sufficient detail to allow multiple developers from various nationalities across the globe to develop a fully functioning ISA100.11a system.
The first stack supplier was Atlanta-based Nivis, LLC, which coordinated the overall WCI demonstration. Nivis has also developed an Evaluation Kit for use by vendors who need development support for devices that will use protocol stacks in their products based on the ISA100.11a wireless standard. The Evaluation Kit is a user-friendly assessment tool that allows developers to swiftly build an ISA100.11a network and evaluate its performance.
The second stack was developed in China by the Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications (CQUPT). It was developed as a research project by over 40 college students and 8 different teachers all working from the same ISA100.11a draft document. The CQUPT stack was exhibited in the WCI booth as a standalone network with wireless devices from multiple vendors communicating with each other and also using the draft ISA100.11a standard technology.
The WCI booth fielded many questions, as interest in the ISA100.11a wireless standard was extremely high. The most frequently asked question was, “How and why are vendors developing products now when the ISA100.11a standard has not been fully approved?” The answer is two-fold; 1) The ISA100.11a standard development process is being conducted in a parallel fashion so technical specifications, test specifications, and stack developments are all currently underway. This approach accelerates technical discoveries and corrections at a much more rapid pace to ensure a high quality standard is produced in a timely fashion; and 2) The developers and vendors involved are very experienced wireless suppliers who have participated in the standards development process and have confidence that the approved ISA100.l1a standard will not deviate far from the current draft ISA100.11a standard.
“Today, and in the upcoming years, as products are developed and field tested based upon the ISA100 standards, the ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute will provide feedback to the ISA100 Standards Committee to complement the development of technical standards. The ISA100.11a demonstration at ISAEXPO is an example of this coordinated effort,” said WCI Chair Herman Storey with Shell Global Systems.
Companies participating in the technology demonstration booth at ISA Expo 2008 included Barton Cameron, CQUPT, Dresser Masonielan, Flowserve, Fuji Electric, GE MDS, Hach, Honeywell, ITT, Krohne, Metso, Nivis, Omron, Sensicast, Teledyne, Yamatake, Yokogawa, Williamson, and WIKA.
For more information about ISA100, or the Wireless Compliance Institute, visit www.isa.org or call +1 919 549 8411.
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).