Converging IEC 62591 WirelessHART and ISA100

Emerson Process Management’s chief strategic officer, Peter Zornio, shared his thoughts on how IEC 62591
WirelessHART and ISA100.11a could converge in a recent Control Engineering article, News and comment: Can WirelessHART and ISA100 converge?

The HART Communications Foundation (HCF) noted in a recent IEC 62591 approval press release:

The overwhelming approval by IEC fulfills the request of users for a single international wireless communication standard that is supported by major automation suppliers.

Peter described a path how this convergence can occur:

Emerson believes it is important and possible to both address end users demands for a single wireless standard for process automation and also preserve their significant investments in IEC 62591, WirelessHART products. In addition, Emerson would like to complete ISA100.11a by adding the key element that will make it interoperable. We believe that the best way to achieve convergence between WirelessHART and ISA100.11a is to create a Process Automation Application Profile for ISA100.11a that incorporates the international standard IEC 62591, WirelessHART, as the Application Profile for process automation.

He noted that WirelessHART devices have over 100 million hours of cumulative run time and that there are more than 26 million installed HART devices, which can be connected wirelessly with products such as the Smart Wireless THUM adapter.

Peter adds that the ISA100.11a standard as it exists today:

…is designed for but does not yet have any Application Profiles defined. In order to be interoperable among a wide variety of suppliers, ISA100.11a needs Application Profiles. Without an Application Profile, ISA100.11a is just a means to wirelessly transmit a message of digital data. There is nothing in the specification to specify how the collection of digital data can be interpreted. Adding a Process Automation Application Profile that is based on IEC 62591, WirelessHART ensures end users have a choice of an open and interoperable application layer supported by the 200+ member companies of HCF.

Peter closed by expressing Emerson’s commitment to work with ISA100 to address convergence between the respective standards.

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