NAMUR confirms WirelessHART for Process Applications

November 17, 2009 - The HART Communication Foundation welcomes the recent report and confirmation by NAMUR that WirelessHART technology meets the requirements for wireless sensor networks in process applications. After conducting an extensive multi-vendor field test, NAMUR reports that WirelessHART Communication provides the flexibility, security, robust performance, coexistence with other radio technologies and device interoperability within a WirelessHART network that its members should expect.

The NAMUR field test used WirelessHART products from ABB, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, MACTek, Pepperl+Fuchs, and Siemens to evaluate and verify WirelessHART compliance with NAMUR Recommendation NE124, "Requirements for Wireless Automation" and NAMUR Working Document NA115, “IT Security for Process Automation Systems”. The field test conducted at the BASF facility in Ludwigshafen, Germany, included laboratory evaluation of performance characteristics and several implementations in operating process plant environments.

"Our tests prove that WirelessHART is an appropriate technology for applications within the NAMUR use class ‘Monitoring’ for wireless sensor networks," reports Martin Schwibach, Senior Automation Manager for BASF and Chairman of the NAMUR AK4.15 Wireless Automation Working Group responsible for the field test. "WirelessHART technology provides a good alternative where wired networks are too expensive or too difficult to install. This field test verified the alignment of the WirelessHART standard with the NAMUR requirements for wireless automation in process applications."

Founded in Germany in 1949, NAMUR is an international user association of 121 member companies in the chemical/pharmaceutical processing industry. NAMUR represents approximately 15,000 PCS experts, of whom approximately 300 are active in 33 working groups covering the fields of measurement and control, automation, communication, process control and electrical engineering over the entire lifecycle of systems.

"We are delighted that the NAMUR field test showed WirelessHART meets user needs," says HART Communication Foundation Executive Director Ron Helson. "Other user installations have also proven the capabilities of WirelessHART, a technology designed specifically for process applications that builds on experience gained with millions of wired HART devices installed around the world. We look forward to working with NAMUR and others to continue improving the technology and extend its benefits to even more users worldwide."

The WirelessHART standard is an evolutionary enhancement to the HART Communication Protocol, the leading communication technology for intelligent process measurement and control field devices and systems with more than 30 million devices installed worldwide. The WirelessHART technology is backward compatible with currently installed HART devices, is supported by existing HART tools, and provides additional capabilities to access asset management information in both existing and new monitoring and control applications.

The HART Communication Foundation is an international, not-for-profit, membership organization supported by more than 230 companies worldwide. Founded in 1993, the Foundation is the technology owner, standards setting body and central authority on the HART Protocol and provides global support for application of the HART technology. The Foundation establishes and controls the HART Communication standards including new developments and technology enhancements that benefit and support the needs of the industry.

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