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ISA considers wireless standard for factory automation

02 February, 2008

The ISA has set up a working group to look at standardising wireless networks for use in factory and discrete automation applications. The ISA already has a standards-making group (ISA100) working on wireless technologies for process applications, but at a recent meeting it set up the new group to consider the specific needs of factory automation, discrete parts manufacturing, high-speed machines and other non-process applications.

High-speed production lines use many types of sensors other than the pressure, flow and temperature sensors covered by the first wireless standard, ISA100.11a. During a conference call to discuss the new group, participants from Procter & Gamble, General Motors and Ford pointed out that the needs of their working environments are different from those covered in ISA100.11a.

Initially, the new group will survey the market to define a broad scope of interest and to identify interested parties. It will then consider if a new ISA-led standards-making effort is needed. If so, it will develop the scope, purpose and schedule to develop a standard for ISA and ANSI approval. The group will consider assembly, batch, blending, packing, robotics, shopfloor data collection and similar applications.

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