• ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute

    2014 Year in Review

    Before charging into the challenges of 2015, the ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute (WCI) would like to take a few moments to reflect on 2014 accomplishments and highlight significant events affecting ISA100 Wireless.

    Welcome to the new Governing Board officers

    ISA100 WCI is led by a Governing Board who sets the strategy and direction for the ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute.  Governing Board officers serve two-year terms and are required to host/attend monthly status teleconferences to ensure adherence to annual plans and attend twice yearly all-hands conferences.  Officers typically engage in many other meetings and industry events as part of their overall role and responsibilities, such as major trade shows and collaboration with other consortiums.  Volunteering for a governing board officer position requires a large commitment from the individual and generous support from their respective sponsoring companies. 

    ISA100 WCI would like to thank the outgoing officers, Ray Rogowski from Honeywell and Dr. Penny Chen from Yokogawa, Chairman and Vice-chairman respectively.

    Please welcome the incoming 2015-2016 ISA100 WCI Board Officers: Chairman, Dr. Penny Chen, from Yokogawa; and Vice-Chairman, Diederik Mols, from Honeywell.  We look forward to hearing more from Dr. Chen soon.

    The ISA100 Wireless standard ISA100.11a-20011
    formally adopted as IEC 62734 in September 2014

    In mid-September, ISA announced through a press release that ANSI/ISA-100.11a-2011, "Wireless Systems for Industrial Automation: Process Control and Related Applications," received unanimous final approval by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) as an international standard. The standard was published in 2014 as IEC 62734.

    In a www.isa.org Q&A feature, Andre Ristaino, Managing Director of ISA’s Automation Standards Compliance Institute (ASCI), explains why the recent IEC action is so significant, and provides informative background on the development, value and differentiation of the ISA100 Wireless standard.

    Q. What is the significance of the IEC’s unanimous final approval of the ISA100 Wireless standard (now IEC 62734)?

    A. More than 150,000 ISA100 Wireless devices have been deployed and more than one billion hours of operational experience have been gained with the technology around the globe since 2009. While the fundamental ISA100.11a specifications are largely unchanged, becoming IEC 62734 is very important outside North America.  It means that the standard has been formally vetted and accepted by committees representing 52 countries around the globe.  In some jurisdictions products must be compliant to IEC standards as a procurement requirement.  It also means that the standard includes features sufficient for supporting compliance with radio regulations (like the FCC in the USA or ETSI in the EU) in those 52 countries.  See the full text here.

    During FY 2014, ISA100 WCI developed an implementation specification aligned with the IEC 62734 standard and an updated IEC 62734 certification conformance test kit for communication stacks and devices

    The updated 2014 ISA100 Wireless test kits will ship on 31 March 2015 and the list of ISA100 WCI specifications available for a license fee is shown below.  All ISA100 Wireless test kits are available from Centero, the exclusive distributor of ISA100 WCI test technology (see more below).

    Centero LLC, an Atlanta, GA-based wireless technology product and services company, has been designated by ISA100 WCI as the exclusive distributor of ISA100 Wireless test technology

    ISA100 WCI sought to elevate the quality of the ISA100 Wireless test kits, technical support and end-user support.  In 2014 ISA100 WCI entered into an agreement with Centero to provide these functions. Support inquiries and trouble tickets are now submitted directly to Centero at www.centerotech.com.   Centero has done a great job in its new role, going even further by adding a reference test device to each test kit, and assembling and quality testing all test kits prior to shipment.  The latest enhancement to device test kits adds functionality for testing the infra-red out-of-band (OOB) provisioning.  Pricing will increase slightly to cover the cost of the test kit’s additional hardware and software.

    ISA100 WCI has moved certification conformance testing in-house from NTS, Corp

    ISA100 WCI continuously seeks ways to lower costs for operating a conformance certification program.  As part of this process, ISA100 WCI established internal capabilities for conducting the ISA100 Wireless certification tests, resulting in significant cost savings to the organization.  Members submitting products for certification are now required to ship directly to ISA100 WCI headquarter offices in Research Triangle Park, NC USA.  ISA100 WCI is pleased with NTS and enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship.  ISA100 WCI would confidently seek NTS support again should the need arise.

    Marketing and outreach

    ISA100 WCI strives to maintain relevance in the process industry through promotion and outreach programs.  Webinars provide the most effective reach for communicating the value of ISA100 Wireless to the marketplace.  ISA100 WCI hosted three webinars in 2014 with plans to offer monthly webinars in 2015. Webinars are recorded and posted to the www.isa100wci.org website for on-demand viewing.

    Website

    Volunteers and staff more than doubled relevant ISA100 Wireless website content in 2014, added blog capabilities and, added a chat feature to the www.isa100wci.org website in December 2014. We improved the rotating banner message area on the www.isa100wci.org website.  The www.isa100wci.org website has grown in popularity, with site visitors and page views tripling in two years, and now enjoys more than 15,000 site visitors and 20,000 page views per month. 

    Collaboration and industry events

    ISA100 WCI collaborated with Profibus, FDT, FF and, HCF in the Field Communication Lounge at the April 2014 Hannover Messe show, providing great visibility in the process industry area of the show and helping to establish the credibility of ISA100 Wireless in the process industry space. 
     
    We are collaborating again with Profibus, FDT and FieldComm Group (the merged FF and HCF organization) in a co-located technology area at the June 2015 ACHEMA event in Frankfurt Germany.
     
    ACHEMA is one of the largest EU-based end-user events for the chemical and process industry and is held every two years.  Stay tuned for information from ISA100 WCI about ACHEMA. 
     
    The 2014 Osaka JEMIMA show was a success again, with ISA100 WCI suppliers hosting live technology demonstrations and two technical presentations during the conference portion of the event. 
     
    The ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute presented NIPPON STEEL & SUMIKIN ENGINEERING the “ISA100 Wireless Excellence in Automation Award” for a 2014 research project that quantified the reliability of ISA100 Wireless technology in a multi-vendor device configuration at an operational site. The objective of the research was to quantify the reliability of communication in wireless networks, specifically ISA100 Wireless.  Research results showed that reliability was high and that wireless should be considered for future control technology projects.  Thank you Yokogawa and Azbil for facilitating this field work with NIPPON STEEL & SUMIKIN ENGINEERING!

    Wireless Communication Partners and Suppliers Grow

    Yokogawa Electric Corporation and Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd entered into an agreement in which Murata will develop communication modules for ISA100 Wireless field wireless devices.  Murata will develop ISA100 Wireless communication modules by licensing the technology from Yokogawa. This arrangement enables Murata to expand its communication products business to industrial wireless devices for use in manufacturing sites around the globe. This partnership helps to broaden adoption of field wireless systems based on the ISA100 Wireless standard.

    NEXCOM headquartered in Taiwan joined the ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute in 2014. NEXCOM is a leader in intelligent systems with decades of experience delivering cutting-edge industrial computing solutions to the process automation industry and produces ISA100 Wireless infrastructure devices, thus complementing the infrastructure needs of field device suppliers.

    Members and certifications

    New members to ISA100 WCI in 2014 included: HIKOB, Nexcom, Murata, Agiliad, Riken Keiki, SKF, Spirax-Sarco and Armstrong International.  We expect to significantly increase membership in 2015. 
     
    A number of ISA100 WCI supplier members were busy with ISA100 Wireless product development in 2014 and we are anticipating an uptick in new ISA100 Wireless product certifications in early 2015.  We hope to see these new products showcased at ACHEMA in June 2015. 
     
    New product certifications from Yokogawa and Honeywell were posted in Q4 2014, adding to the growing list of registered ISA100 Wireless products.  The full listing of registered ISA100 Wireless devices can be found on our website at registered devices.