ISA NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Infantino
ISA100 Continues Progress on Family of Standards
Committee Calls for Additional Participation in Standards Development Process
Research Triangle Park, NC (13 November 2008) -- ISA100, the Wireless Systems for Automation standards committee, made significant progress at recent meetings held in conjunction with ISA EXPO in Houston, Texas. Over one hundred ISA100 members and guests participated in the meetings, held 14-17 October, and the committee continues to welcome input from new members.
The ISA100 committee displayed four core themes in a wireless technology booth at ISA EXPO, including concepts regarding ensured coexistence, the ISA100.11a draft standard, the family of standards, and featured subcommittees, or family members. Featured subcommittees in the display included ISA100.12 – WirelessHART Convergence, ISA100.14 – Trustworthy Wireless, ISA100.15 – Backhaul Networks, and ISA100.21 – People and Asset Tracking.
ISA100 held a full committee meeting, where progress and volunteer recruitment was discussed. The committee also held a meeting dedicated to ISA100.11a, the initial draft standard in the family of standards, and the working group and its task groups reviewed comments received for Draft 2 of the standard. Over 1800 comments were received and will be evaluated before a new draft is released.
"The comments that we received for the draft of ISA100.11a were well thought out, technically relevant, and will ultimately improve the standard for the end users," said ISA100 co-chair Wayne Manges of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "Every comment we receive helps to ensure that this standard will serve the best interests of the industry, and we’re committed to an open environment with maximum participation in the process."
The User Working Group met for a half day preceding the ISA100 meetings to allow the users to attend and participate in the on-going committee work. During that meeting, the group discussed the needs for Application Profiles not included in the standard. They also discussed how the users would like the work on WirelessHART Convergence (ISA100.12) to proceed. This discussion continued into the ISA100.12 meetings and resulted in users defining five possible integration scenarios that will be further analyzed during the ISA100.12 committee work.
The ISA100.12 subcommittee’s series of meetings during the week were targeted at scoping the work to be addressed by the group. Guest speakers were brought in during the meetings to review user requirements and the applicability of dual-mode gateway, backhaul concepts, and other technologies.
"I was very impressed at the level of dedication and inventiveness shown by the end-users who took the time to attend the .12 meetings," said Paul Sereiko, co-chair of ISA100.12. "They gave us a great deal of valuable input that will influence the direction of work that this subcommittee will take during the coming year."
The ISA100.21 subcommittee’s technical display within the ISA100 booth demonstrated co-resident 802.11-based and "conventional" RFID asset tracking systems operating in the same RF footprint as a number of pre-release ISA100.11a field devices. Booth visitors had the opportunity of attending technical presentations on Wireless Asset Tracking solutions in the EXPO X-pod, then walking across the aisle and see the systems operating with the added benefit of being able to ask questions of the ISA100 booth volunteers.
The ISA100 Coexistence subcommittee, WG5, held technical discussions which complemented the spectrum analyzer measurements that were conducted during the first two days of ISA EXPO. Of prominent note were measurements showing over 100 active WiFi access points (APs) all co-resident while pre-release ISA100.11a field transmitters and ISA100.21 asset tracking systems were operating. "From an electromagnetic interference (EMI) perspective, the EXPO floor represented an unnatural RF congestion environment – one not anticipated in most, if not all, industrial settings," said Dr. Peter Fuhr of Apprion, co-chair of WG21. "Witnessing field instruments operating in this setting, with supporting spectrum analyzer measurements, allowed many end users to see some of the fruits of the labor regarding the technical aspects of co-channel interference that the various ISA100 work groups are addressing."
Other working groups met during the week as well, each with different goals and areas of focus. ISA100.14, the Trustworthy Wireless subcommittee, is working on a document describing trustworthiness in industrial wireless automation, and met to discuss progress.
ISA100.15, the Backhaul Networks working group, had very productive and successful meetings at ISA EXPO, and has received strong support from users. The group has collected and reviewed use cases in order to derive user requirements for backhaul networks. "Users are very actively involved in backhaul network standardization activity. Industry has realized the great needs of this standardization solution, and this foundation of use case requirements will guide the ISA100.15 group in establishing a detailed backhaul network requirement," said Dr. Penny Chen of Yokogawa, co-chair of ISA100.15. Other working groups met to establish plans and requirements for asset tracking, coexistence, interoperability, and other interest areas.
Other active groups within the committee include the Factory Automation Study Group and the ZigBee Interest Group. The Factory Automation Study Group has developed a model of four key areas of communication to assist in the scoping of the group’s effort to develop requirements and recommended practice documents. "The group has done a nice job of focusing in on the types of wireless communication that is important to consider for Factory Automation applications," said co-chair Cliff Whitehead of Rockwell Automation. "Our four Task Groups will have clear direction for advancing the work on our deliverable documents."
The ISA100 committee is open to new volunteers and participants throughout the standards development process. "ISA100 continues to be a very active committee with contributions from around the world and from many diverse industries. The interest level in the industry is extremely high. Our committee members tell us that they're getting a great deal of professional and personal satisfaction from contributing to such important work," said ISA100 co-chair Patrick Schweitzer of Exxon-Mobil. "Many, many people are consistently dedicating their time and talent to this effort, and we know there are many others that share these core values. For those who might like to participate but aren't sure how, we invite you to contact ISA."
For more information about ISA100, or to join the committee, visit www.isa.org/isa100wireless.
Founded in 1945, the International Society of Automation (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 North America. ISA is the founding sponsor of The Automation Federation (www.automationfederation.org).