ISA100 Approves First Standard in Industrial Wireless Series

The ISA100 Standards Committee on Wireless Systems for Automation has approved industry standard, ISA100.11a, Wireless Systems for Industrial Automation: Process Control and Related Applications. The approval, by 81% of the voting members of the committee including 23 of the 24 end-user members, follows two rounds of balloting and refinements to the document to reflect the excellent suggestions received from many interested parties.

"We have passed a major milestone with the committee vote approving the ISA100.11a draft standard," says ISA100 Co-chair Pat Schweitzer of ExxonMobil. "Once the remaining steps in the process are complete, end users around the world will have an accredited ANSI/ISA wireless standard which has been developed in an open forum that is the hallmark of ISA standards development."

Comments received in the latest voting will be reviewed for applicability by Schweitzer and Co-chair Wayne Manges of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Other steps remaining in ISA’s consensus-based standards development process include approval by the ISA Standards and Practices Board and ratification by the American National Standards Institute, of which ISA is an accredited member. The co-chairs are hopeful the standard will be published by ISA in August.

The ISA100.11a standard is intended to provide reliable and secure wireless operation for non-critical monitoring, alerting, supervisory control, open-loop control and closed-loop control applications. The standard will define 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 is to address the performance needs of applications such as monitoring and process control where latencies on the order of 100 mses can be tolerated, with optional behavior for shorter latency.

This 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 ISA100 devices.

This standard does not define or specify plant infrastructure or its security or performance characteristics.