Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based International Society of Automation (ISA) Standards & Practices (S&P) Board has voted to approve the ISA-100.11a wireless standard, “Wireless Systems for Industrial Automation: Process Control and Related Applications,” thereby making it an official ISA standard. The approval of this major new industry standard by the ISA S&P Board certifies that ISA’s accredited procedures have been followed in the development of the standard.

The ISA-100.11a standard received final approval by the ISA100 committee in July with 81% of the voting members approving, before being passed along to the ISA S&P Board. With the ISA S&P Board approval, the ISA-100.11a standard will now be submitted to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Washington, D.C., for approval as an ANSI standard, and will be submitted to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), Geneva, for consideration as an IEC standard.

“The ISA-100.11a standard was developed by a committee consisting of over 600 end-users and equipment manufacturers from around the world and represents a truly consensus standard created in an open, unbiased forum by a global team of industry experts,” says Wayne Manges, ISA100 co-chair from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn. “The committee has been very active in pursuing its charter and I am delighted that this initial standard has been issued,” said Manges.

The ISA100 committee was established by ISA to address wireless manufacturing and control systems in areas including:

  • The environment in which the wireless technology is deployed
  • Technology and lifecycle for wireless equipment and systems
  • The application of wireless technology
The ISA-100.11a standard is intended to provide reliable and secure wireless operation for non-critical monitoring, alerting, supervisory control, open-loop control, and closed-loop control applications. The standard defines the protocol suite, system management, gateway, and security specifications for low-data-rate wireless connectivity with fixed, portable, and moving devices supporting very limited power-consumption requirements. The application focus addresses the performance needs of applications such as monitoring and process control where latencies on the order of 100ms can be tolerated, with optional behavior for shorter latency.

“To meet the needs of industrial wireless users and operators, the ISA-100.11a standard provides robustness in the presence of interference found in harsh industrial environments and with legacy non-ISA-100 compliant wireless systems,” says ISA100 co-chair Pat Schweitzer of ExxonMobil. "The standard addresses coexistence with other wireless devices anticipated in the industrial workspace, such as cell phones and devices based on IEEE 802.11x, IEEE 802.15x, IEEE 802.16x, and other relevant standards. Further, the standard allows for interoperability of ISA-100 devices."The standard is available on the ISA Web site.