ISA100.11a Certification Services Launched

With first testing complete, suppliers can now offer wireless products that comply with the new ISA industrial wireless standard.

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The ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute (WCI, www.isa100wci.org) on July 26 announced the formal launch of ISA100.11a certification services. With official testing of devices completed in late June 2010, participating suppliers can now offer ISA100.11a-certified products, the WCI said. ISA100.11a is an industrial wireless networking standard developed by the International Society of Automation (ISA, www.isa.org), and is the first in a planned family of ISA100 standards.

ISA100.11a certification testing is being conducted for the WCI by National Technical Systems Inc. (NTS, http://www.ntscorp.com/), an independent third-party engineering, testing and certification company based in a Calabasas, Calif.

Notable among suppliers in this initial launch is Nivis LLC (www.nivis.com), Atlanta, earning certification for its ISA100.11a communication protocol stack, the WCI said. Nivis, a provider of secure, open standard wireless sensing and control networks, is the first to have an ISA100.11a-certified protocol stack—enabling integration of ISA100.11a wireless communication technology into real-world industrial plant applications.

Important milestone

“This is a significant milestone for WCI and the ISA100 standard. WCI conformance testing services provide a vital link between the standards development process and implementation of the resulting standard in the marketplace. Conformance testing provides assurances to end-users that registered ISA100.11a devices will interoperate and adhere to their requirements,” said Andre Ristaino, managing director of WCI.

“We ran rigorous tests on devices submitted in June using the WCI test kits and are pleased with the results, especially having had several of the first devices meet the ISA-100.11a requirements” said Osman Sakr, chief technology officer at National Technical Systems. “We look forward to testing additional products as they become available.”

Manufacturers are expected to make their own product announcements in coming weeks. These will be in addition to the recent announcements from Honeywell and Yokogawa highlighting ISA100.11a-compliant products at their respective user conferences.

Looking forward

“It is and has always been our mission to support our members with their adoption and implementation of the ISA100.11a wireless standard,” continued Ristaino. “As new products pass certification, we look forward to seeing the first commercial installations of industrial wireless systems that demonstrate the scalability, reliability, and performance benefits of the ISA100.11a standard.”

With a planned maintenance review underway, the ISA100.11a standard is expected to be submitted to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for approval in early 2011. Certified products already deployed can maintain compliance with a simple, over-the-air firmware upgrade provided by the vendors, the WCI said.

International Society of Automation
www.isa.org

ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute
www.isa100wci.org

National Technical Systems Inc.
www.ntscorp.com

Nivis, LLC
www.nivis.com

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