WirelessHART is the solution that will help processors enjoy the benefits of wireless control strategies today and for years to come, says four leading Hart-based process control and automation products.

A multi-vendor, interoperable wireless standard, WirelessHART was defined specifically for the requirements of process field device networks by members of the Hart Communications Foundation (HCF). The companies comprising HCF membership -- among them, ABB, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser and Siemens -- represent more than 90 percent of the field devices and control systems sold in the industry today.

"As automation suppliers, we have a responsibility to innovate and deliver technologies that help customers realize new levels of performance, while ensuring open, interoperable technology platforms," said the companies in a joint release. "This requires a dedicated focus on customer needs, and a spirit of collaboration to co-develop these game-changing, yet easily accessible technologies. Our customers expect no less. WirelessHART is just such a technology."

According to the HCF, the team that developed the interoperable, multi-vendor standard took great effort to ensure it would provide a solid platform for the future. The standard was designed and field proven for reliability, power consumption, security, expandability and other factors against many use cases, including wireless-based control.

Backward compatibility with the Hart “user layer” allows transparent adaptation of Hart-compatible control systems and configuration tools to integrate new wireless networks and their devices, as well as continued use of proven configuration and system-integration work practices.

To address interoperability as process control solutions evolve, in September 2007, the Fieldbus Foundation, Profibus Nutzerorganisation and HCF formed a "wireless cooperation team" to develop a specification for a common interface to a wireless gateway, further protecting users' investments in technology and work practices.