At a meeting held at Sensors Expo in Chicago, ISA”s Wireless Systems for Automation standards committee (ISA-SP100, www.isa.org/link/sp100comm) introduced several use case studies and plans for continued efforts.

The studies described specific industrial wireless end-user application requirements and provided structure to ensure adequate detail for the committee”s working groups. The use case project, a task under the marketing working group of the committee, is well underway with nearly a dozen studies completed from a variety of industries.

The use case studies include data about site locations, objectives, and tasks required for the wireless application. The users provide site descriptions, which describe specific variables about the location of deployment for a wireless system. Examples of locations studied might be an oil refinery, oil drilling platform, food processing plant, or a paper mill.

The studies also look at what a wireless solution would accomplish. Some tasks that wireless might accomplish include tank level monitoring, perimeter security monitoring, temperature or pressure sensing, etc.

Finally, the use cases study how individual tasks are accomplished and what type and Quality of Service (QoS) is required for each user. For example, a user might require periodic reporting of monitoring valves, alerting and alarming services, or device diagnostics and maintenance.

A typical use case interview takes about an hour to complete, and subsequent interviews take less time. Each component of the process can be submitted by a different contact within the end-user company.

ISA and Chevron will be hosting a free seminar in San Ramon, Calif. on 26 July 2006 for end-users who might be interested in participating in the studies. The event will feature an overview and update on ISA”s wireless standardization effort, along with an interactive forum for discussing specific requirements and opportunities. Future seminars are being planned in locations around the country.