The ISA100 Standards Committee on Wireless Systems for Automation ( voted to approve ISA100.11a, “Wireless Systems for Industrial Automation: Process Control and Related Applications.” The standard, which was approved by 81 percent 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 suggestions received from many interested parties.

Comments received in the latest voting will be reviewed for applicability by co-chairs Pat Schweitzer of ExxonMobil 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 initiative has over 600 member. The ISA100 Committee was established by ISA to address wireless manufacturing and control systems in areas including:

• The environment in which the wireless technology is deployed;
• Technology and lifecycle for wireless equipment and systems;
• The application of wireless technology.

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 ms can be tolerated, with optional behavior for shorter latency.