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Development of ISA100.11a industrial wireless communications standard

12 June 2009

Yokogawa Electric Corporation is promoting efforts to develop the ISA100.11a wireless communication standard for the process automation industry. Based on this standard, Yokogawa will develop a new field digital network platform that will enhance productivity - both by eliminating the difficulties users currently face with incompatible wireless communication protocols and by making possible the systematic integration of wired and wireless technologies.

Wireless networks offer a number of advantages to the process automation industry, including reduced wiring and engineering costs, the ability to install sensors in difficult-to-wire locations, and improved plant safety through the ability to perform low-cost online device diagnostics.

Despite such benefits, wireless networks have seen limited use to date in the process automation industry due to the requirement for advanced technologies to ensure high reliability, real-time response, environmental resistance, and explosion-proof protection, and also because of the use of incompatible wireless communication protocols.

Yokogawa is supporting development of the ISA100.11a standard because it offers high reliability to ensure safe production operations and information security; it is based on IPv6 and can accommodate larger networks; it offers excellent compatibility with existing instrumented systems that use non-wireless protocols such as Foundation fieldbus, Hart, Profibus, and Modbus; and it is suitable for a wide range of applications, from monitoring to control.

As a member of the ISA100 Standards Committee on Wireless Systems for Automation, Yokogawa will engage in a wide range of activities to promote development of the ISA100.11a international standard. Yokogawa will also strengthen its expertise in field installations by conducting product testing in the field and proposing wireless applications. In addition, Yokogawa will develop systems products and field devices that comply with this standard, and plans to release them in the first half of the 2010 fiscal year.
ISA100.11a is a proposed wireless communications standard for the process automation industry industry that was approved in April 2009 by the ISA100

Standards Committee of the International Society of Automation (ISA). Subsequent to this approval by the committee, it is expected that the draft standard will be approved by the ISA Standards and Practices Board, ratified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and published. The standard will then be submitted for the review of the IECSC65C Subcommittee of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

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