Wireless buzz: IEC considers WirelessHART and new ISA courses

10 September 2008

The latest wireless buzz includes a WirelessHART submission to IEC and new courses from ISA. Details on each follow, along with a link to the Wireless Implementation Guide.

The WirelessHART Communication specification (HART 7.1) was submitted to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for approval as a Publicly Available Specification (PAS). Released by HART Communication Foundation (HCF) a year ago, WirelessHART is the first open interoperable wireless communication standard to address needs of the process industry for reliable, robust, and secure wireless communication in the field environment of industrial plant applications.

‘Submitting WirelessHART as an IEC PAS is a landmark for the process automation industry,’ said HCF executive director Ron Helson. ‘We will have the first international standard for wireless communication technology which is a long-demanded goal of end users.’

IEC initiated a worldwide ballot to approve the PAS; then the WirelessHART specification will begin the process to become an amendment to IEC 61158, the fieldbus standard (HART Communication is already included in the application layer of the document). The ballot will close September 19, 2008.

WirelessHART provides a robust wireless protocol for the full range of process measurement, control, and asset management applications. Based on the HART protocol, it enables users to gain benefits of wireless technology and maintain compatibility with existing devices, tools, and systems.

‘WirelessHART technology provides the same experience that end users know and expect from HART-enabled products, protecting the global installed base of 26+ million HART devices,’ said Helson. He added that it is easy to use and deploy, and fully backward-compatible with existing instrumentation and host systems, preserving the investment in HART-enabled devices, tools, training, applications, and work procedures.

WirelessHART builds on field-proven international standards including HART Communication Protocol (IEC 61158), EDDL (IEC 61804-3), IEEE 802.15.4 radio and frequency hopping, spread spectrum, and mesh networking technologies.

ISA wireless courses are designed for users, suppliers, integrators, academics, or government regulatory officials to gain sufficient understanding and experience to make important decisions related to the use of wireless technology. These courses can change participants from novice to entrepreneur in the emerging field of industrial wireless technology. They include:

Industrial Wireless Systems – A one-day course presents a comprehensive overview of the details of wireless technology. Wireless systems and wireless technologies have advanced to the point where stable, robust, and secure networks are ready for deployment in industrial settings. Professionals crossing disciplines come face to face with understanding implications and opportunities that such networks may provide. The course covers relevant details associated with industrial wireless systems with an emphasis on how technological choices coexist, interoperate, and interact.

Application of Industry Wireless Systems – A one-day course concentrates on industrial wireless applications using wireless applications such as video monitoring and security systems, asset tracking, mobile operator needs, remote tank farm monitoring, wireless SCADA systems, Voice over wireless LAN, as well as the multitude of operational considerations associated with industrial wireless field transmitter for monitoring.

Developing an ISA100.11a Wireless Compliant Product – A two-day course focuses on fundamental understanding of organizations, technologies, terminology, and steps required in developing a ISA100.11a wireless draft standard compliant product. Students will become familiar with market applicability of the current ISA100.11a draft standard and basic concepts, and terminology and will learn strategies necessary to develop compliant products, including significant functional components and compliance testing requirements.

Using RFID/RTLS to Track Industrial Assets – A one-day course recognises that asset tracking for industrial settings has exploded onto the scene through the needs of the security office, safety office, maintenance, process, and other plant departments. While this arena tends to be associated with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), it is better represented by Real Time Location Services(Systems), RTLS. Using the Industrial Asset tracking activities under way in ISA100, a comparison of RFID and RTLS technologies is made through baseline case studies.

A course on ISA100 User Technology, Site Planning, & Applications is set for next year.

– Control Engineering News Desk

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