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ISA to submit wireless standard to IEC

09 September, 2009

The ISA-100.11a standard, Wireless Systems for Industrial Automation: Process Control and Related Applications, has become an official ISA standard, following its approval by the ISA’s Standards & Practices Board. The standard will now be submitted to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for consideration as an IEC standard, and to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for approval as an ANSI standard.

In July this year, 81% of the voting members of the ISA100 committee, which represents more than 600 end-users and equipment manufacturers around the world, voted to accept the ISA-100.11a standard. According to ISA100, co-chair, Wayne Manges, the standard “represents a truly consensus standard created in an open, unbiased forum by a global team of industry experts”.

The standard is intended to provide reliable, secure wireless operation for non-critical monitoring, alerting, supervisory control, and open- and closed-loop control applications. It defines the protocol suite, system management, gateway, and security specifications for low-data-rate wireless connections with fixed and mobile devices with limited power consumption requirements.

The standard addresses the needs of applications such as monitoring and process control where latencies of around 100ms can be tolerated, with optional behaviour 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,” explains ISA100 co-chair, Pat Schweitzer. The standard also deals with how these systems will co-exist with other wireless devices found in industrial environments, such as mobile phones.

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