Organizations Team Up for Wireless Collaboration

Following release of the WirelessHart specification early in September, the Hart Communication Foundation is linking up with other organizations to advance wireless technology.

The Hart Communication Foundation (HCF) has been active in working toward cooperation on wireless technology following the Sept. 7 release of Hart 7.0, which includes the WirelessHart specification. In late September, the HCF was part of joint announcements involving wireless technology with the Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society (ISA), and with two other fieldbus organizations— the Fieldbus Foundation (FF) and Profibus Nutzerorganisation e.V. (PNO). 

On Sept. 24, word came that the HCF and ISA have entered into an agreement to collaborate and investigate opportunities to incorporate WirelessHart into the work of the SP100 Committee, which is developing the ISA100 family of wireless industrial standards. 

Copyright exchange 

The HCF has granted a copyright license to the ISA allowing the SP100 committee access to the Hart Protocol Specification including WirelessHart for the purpose of evaluation and consideration for adoption. Likewise, a copyright license has been granted by ISA to the HCF allowing access to all ISA100 documents at all stages of development. A joint technical committee will be established to assess the WirelessHart technology for meeting ISA objectives and recommend possibilities for incorporation into the ISA100 family of standards. 

“We are pleased to enter into this collaboration with ISA and share the results of our work to develop the WirelessHart technology with the ISA100 Committee,” says HCF Executive Director Ron Helson. “We believe WirelessHart is the right technology for process measurement and control applications and collaboration with ISA for adoption into the proposed ISA100 standards is the right thing for the industry.” 

Wireless cooperation team 

Then on Sept. 27, another announcement was released describing plans for wireless technology cooperation among HCF, FF and PNO. The three organizations “have formed a Wireless Cooperation Team to begin an unprecedented project to collaborate on wireless technology in the manufacturing and process industries,” said the announcement. The new project is an extension of the organizations’ successful collaboration on Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) and another step to deliver consistent functionality to end users. 

The introduction of wireless technology into the manufacturing and process industries will require suppliers, end-users, and international standards bodies to address technical issues related to wireless applications. FF, HART, and PNO are working together in the interest of establishing a common, open standard. The intent of the collaboration is to facilitate the acceptance of wireless technology. 

Common interface 

The three organizations have agreed to develop a specification for a common interface to a wireless gateway. The organizations have also agreed to base their work on the WirelessHart technology and the emerging ISA100.11a standard. The project shall develop use cases, requirements and specifications for wireless communication with intelligent field devices in process measurement and control applications in the automation industries. The goal of the cooperative project is to create a common specification while ensuring complete compatibility with the existing wired versions of each participant's technology. 

As was done with their EDDL cooperation, the three organizations have also agreed to develop a common set of compliance guidelines for incorporation into their respective product registration processes.

Fieldbus Foundation
www.fieldbus.org

Hart Communication Foundation
www.hartcomm.org

Profibus Nutzerorganisation e.V.
www.profibus.com

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