ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute Conducts Successful "Wireless Plugfest"

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – The ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute (WCI) today announced the success of its recently held “Wireless Plugfest,” a structured WCI member program conducted periodically to validate interoperability of wireless products compliant with the ISA100.11a standard. The event was held in December 2010, at National Technical Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:NTSC) (NTS) laboratories in Los Angeles, California. NTS is an independent third-party engineering, testing and certification company.

The WCI Technical Steering Committee designed and planned this series of test scenarios to confirm interoperability characteristics in four functional categories: Provisioning, Networking, Application Configuration and Data Publishing.

“We were thrilled with the outcome of the December 2010 WCI Wireless Plugfest and will expand the Plugfest program on an ongoing basis. Our objective is to improve the user experience with ISA100 based products and maintain confidence in our declaration of assured interoperability,” said Andre Ristaino, managing director of WCI.

Test engineers successfully demonstrated interoperability of ISA100.11a based manufacturer field devices, provisioning devices and gateways. The test included registered devices submitted by suppliers including the Honeywell High Level Analog Input (HLAI) device, pressure and temperature devices, and Yokogowa pressure transmitter and temperature transmitters. Using a structured plan for assessing multiple combinations of network configurations, devices from participating suppliers were joined to gateways from Honeywell, Yokogawa and Nivis, Inc., and then configured to publish data through those gateways.

“We were able to demonstrate the effectiveness of the WCI technical documentation and the interoperability of the ISA100.11a devices and profiles,” said Osman Sakr, CTO of National Technical Systems.

“This was a huge milestone in validating the technical capability, ease of use and true interoperability that ISA100.11a can provide to users in the marketplace. As new ISA100.11a devices pass certification, we will expand our product testing scenarios to confirm the scalability, reliability and performance benefits of the ISA100.11a standard,” continued Ristaino.

The ISA100.11a industrial wireless networking standard is the first in the ISA100 family of standards. This wireless mesh network protocol standard ensures that supplier companies will build interoperable wireless automation control products. As a result, ISA100.11a device suppliers are able to create, modify, optimize and scale a wireless network quickly, cost-effectively and seamlessly. Interoperability provides users the freedom to choose best-of-breed ISA100.11a field devices, from any supplier, that are simple to deploy, reliable in their operation and support traditional and future applications.

Planned additions to the ISA100 family of standards include support for backhaul functionality, factory automation and other key-use cases. Details on the approved standard, the ISA100 roadmap and use-case presentations are available at www.isa100wci.org.

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