The WirelessHART™ Communication Road Show

11 March 2009

The HART® Communication Foundation is in the process of expanding its educational programmes to include the new WirelessHART component of the HART Communication Protocol.


The Foundation recognises the need and its responsibility to inform end-users of how they can best take advantage of HART technology and the new capabilities available with WirelessHART.

As an evolutionary enhancement to the well established and field proven HART Communication Protocol, WirelessHART is uniquely positioned to provide cost-saving benefits to the user that go beyond those which are commonly mentioned.

Wireless cost savings include not only reduced planning and commissioning costs, but also the obvious benefit of having no signal cables to the field instruments. This saves the cost of installing cable trays, which in turn means there is no need for drilling or tunnelling, and thus reducing the health and safety risks. This is especially true in operational plans where breaking into existing cable seals between hazardous and non hazardous areas is a major issue.

Additional savings WirelessHART provides include:
• It is an extension of the trusted HART standard;
• It is designed to be simple with many automatic engineering features;
• It uses existing instrument support tools such as handhelds and asset management applications built into the ICSS to improve operational efficiency; and
• Existing instruments can be upgraded to WirelessHART with a plug-in adapter.

The process industry requires open standards to allow selection of suitable automation equipment independent of the vendor. As a technology specifically designed for process instrumentation and able to work with wired HART instruments, WirelessHART preserves end user investment in training, maintenance procedures, asset management software/tools, and workforce knowledge. This also allows the new wireless technology to be easily assimilated into plant operations.


The Foundation’s educational programme for 2009 is aimed at ‘clearing the fog’ around wireless technologies for process instrumentation. The main activities include providing updated material on ’The Complete HART Guide‘ CD as well as new content on the HART web site. In addition there will be trade show events, technical papers, and a new series of seminars to be conducted in both the USA and Europe.

The series of seminars has been developed and will be presented by Foundation member companies: ABB, Emerson, Endress+Hauser, Pepperl+Fuchs and Siemens. People attending the seminars will gain an understanding of the features built into WirelessHART that make it a simple, reliable, and secure instrument-level wireless network.

The seminars will address two major points. The first is that WirelessHART is built upon well-known and accepted communication and IT standards. WirelessHART takes advantage of existing standards in the areas of radio, digital encryption, and host integration.

The second point is radio communication for Instrumentation. Why WirelessHART, why not just pass HART data over any radio?

When the WirelessHART development team started to investigate adding wireless communications, input received from end users indicated that such a network needs to be simple, reliable, and secure. This could not be accomplished by simply adding a radio. To meet the user needs the existing HART standard was extended to handle these new requirements while being backward compatible to the 26 million installed devices.

Seminar attendees will take away example P&IDs and instrument data sheets to help make their first projects run smoothly. Seminars are initially planned for the USA and Europe with other world regions following.

For more information on WirelessHART technology and the upcoming seminars, go to


• Keeping it Secure
Within WirelessHART security is always switched on. Security is added at several levels within the standard and can even be enhanced as required by the end user.

• Keeping it Reliable
The WirelessHART network continually monitors itself and adapts to changing plant conditions often with no input from site engineering. One feature of the built in MESH network is that there are more redundant pathways as more instruments are added to the network.

• Keeping it Simple
The success of HART Communication is partly due to its simplicity of operation—keeping it simple was the mantra used when WirelessHART was in development. Many built-in automatic features simplify the use of WirelessHART while keeping the cornerstones intact.

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