ISA's SP100 Committee Merges Working Groups

ARCwire -- Wireless Systems for Automation, ISA's SP100 standards committee, announced the approval of a motion to merge two working groups. ISA SP100.11, which covers industrial process measurement and control, and ISA SP100.14, which focuses on optimized solutions for industrial monitoring, will be combined into ISA SP100.11a, a new working group.

The committee unanimously approved the merger and work is already underway within the group. The committee is holding meetings and working sessions all week at ISA EXPO 2006.

"The reconstitution of SP100 as a single group is encouraging," says Harry Forbes, ARC Advisory Group. "The critical decision the group now faces is what wireless physical layer (or layers) to adopt in the standard. The people with monitoring in mind favor using IEEE 802.15.4 radios with a mesh network stack. Participants who are more focused on closed-loop control, such as Honeywell, have proposed sensor networks in a star configuration, employing a frequency-hopping radio that is not currently part of an IEEE standard. Beyond that point, there seems to be broad agreement."