The ISA Standards & Practices Board has voted to approve the ISA-100.11a wireless standard, "Wireless Systems for Industrial Automation: Process Control and Related Applications," thereby making it an official ISA standard.

The ISA Standards & Practices Board (S&P) has voted to approve the ISA-100.11a wireless standard, "Wireless Systems for Industrial Automation: Process Control and Related Applications," thereby making it an official ISA standard. The approval by the ISA S&P Board certifies that ISA's accredited procedures have been followed in the development of the standard.

The ISA-100.11a standard received final approval by the ISA100 committee in July of this year with 81 percent of the voting members approving. Following the board approval, the ISA-100.11a standard will be submitted to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for approval as an ANSI standard. It also will be submitted to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for consideration as an IEC standard.

"The ISA-100.11a standard was developed by a committee consisting of [more than] 600 end users and equipment manufacturers from around the world and represents a truly consensus standard created in an open, unbiased forum by a global team of industry experts," says Wayne Manges, ISA100 co-chair from Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The ISA100 committee was established by ISA to address wireless manufacturing and control systems in areas including:
  • The environment in which the wireless technology is deployed.
  • The technology and life cycle for wireless equipment and systems.
  • The application of wireless technology.
The ISA-100.11a standard is intended to provide reliable and secure wireless operation for non-critical monitoring, alerting, supervisory control, open loop and closed loop control applications. The standard defines the protocol suite, system management, gateway and security specifications for low-data-rate wireless connectivity with fixed, portable and moving devices supporting very limited power consumption requirements.

The application focus addresses the performance needs of applications such as monitoring and process control where latencies on the order of 100 ms can be tolerated, with optional behavior for shorter latency.

"To meet the needs of industrial wireless users and operators, the ISA-100.11a standard provides robustness in the presence of interference found in harsh industrial environments and with legacy non-ISA-100 compliant wireless systems," said ISA100 co-chair Pat Schweitzer of ExxonMobil. The standard addresses coexistence with other wireless devices anticipated in the industrial workspace, such as cell phones and devices based on IEEE 802.11x, IEEE 802.15x, IEEE 802.16x, and other relevant standards. Further, the standard allows for interoperability of ISA-100 devices.

The standard is available at www.isa.org/ISA100-11a. For more information on the full scope of ISA100 committee activity, visit www.isa100.org or call (919) 549-8411.

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