HART Foundation, ISA agree on integrating WirelessHART with ISA100

During a series of meetings held in conjunction with ISA EXPO 2007, 2-4 October in Houston, Texas, the ISA100 Wireless Systems for Automation standards committee outlined an approach to accommodate and eventually integrate the WirelessHART standard and the ISA100 standard.

The agreed upon approach will attempt to accommodate the HART 7 wireless protocol in Release 1 of the ISA100.11a standard through a dual-gateway architecture, followed by a potentially more integrated approach in Release 2 of the ISA standard.

"Standardized wireless communication with intelligent field devices is important for the process industry and we are pleased to be working with ISA to advance the standardization of this new capability," says HART Communication Foundation Executive Director Ron Helson. "Everyone seems to agree that incorporating WirelessHART in the developing ISA100 standards is in the best interest of the industry, preserving both current and future investments."

The committee’s decision defined options for future evaluation, including dual-stack end devices for integration at the device level, tunneling (pack at the device level, unpack at a higher level), and future integration at the MAC, DLL, and NET/TRAN levels.

"The meeting was a success. The end users, suppliers, HART Communication Foundation representatives, and the ISA100 members on the evaluation committee agreed that this approach is the most viable alternative to address the needs of the end user community, both in the short and long term," said ISA100 Co-Chair Wayne Manges of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

"The ISA100-WirelessHART Analysis Team is evaluating how the WirelessHART protocol within HART 7 can be incorporated into the ISA100.11a standard while remaining consistent with the objectives of the ISA100 family of standards," said ISA100 Co-Chair Pat Schweitzer of Exxon Mobil. "The most important part of that evaluation is the obligation to continue our commitment to the end user, and we’re confident that our final decisions will accomplish that goal."

For more information about ISA100, or any of the ISA standards, visit www.isa.org/standards.

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