Three in four across 10 countries fearful Cyber Attacks could damage their country’s economy.

16/11/2014

Three quarters of surveyed adults (75 percent) across 10 countries say they are fearful that cyber hackers are carrying out attacks on major industries and sectors of the economy in their countries, according to the results of a study announced recently by Honeywell Process Solutions.

cyberbugMany survey respondents (36 percent) indicate they do not believe that it is possible to stop all the cyber attacks. A similar proportion (36 percent globally) report they don’t have faith in their country’s ability to keep up with cyber attacks because they feel that governments and organizations are not taking these threats seriously enough, particularly those respondents in India (61 percent), China (48 percent), and Mexico (47 percent).

“Cyber attacks are a clear and present threat to every industry, in every country throughout the world,” said Michael Chertoff, co-founder and executive chairman of the Chertoff Group, and former head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “This threat is real and industries need a proactive and coordinated approach to protect their assets as well as their intellectual property. We have seen a number of attacks to critical industries in areas like the Middle East and the U.S. and these have had major impacts on their operations.”

The British government estimates that cyber security breaches at British energy companies alone cost those companies about 400 million pounds ($664 million) every year. In the United States, the Department of Homeland Security said that more than 40 percent of industrial cyber attacks targeted the energy industry in 2012, the last full year reported.

Methodology
These are findings of a poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs Research, September 2- 16, 2014. For the survey, a sample of 5,065 adults across 10 countries was interviewed online. This included approximately 500 interviews in each of Australia, Mexico, Russia, Brazil, China, India, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Great Britain and the United States. Results are weighted to the general adult population ages 16–64 in each country (or in the U.S. 18–64). A survey with an unweighted probability sample of 5,065 adults and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 1.4 percentage point, 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in the participating countries been polled. Each individual country would have an estimated margin of error of 4.4 percentage points. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

“These survey results are not surprising in light of the recent cyber attacks that have made headlines in several areas around the world,” said Jeff Zindel, leader of HPS’ Industrial Cyber Security business. “The impacts of these attacks, as well as others that have not been publicly reported, have cost companies and governments billions of dollars through operational issues and loss of intellectual property.”

For more than a decade, HPS has developed and delivered cyber security technology and solutions to industrial customers around the world through its Honeywell Industrial Cyber Security organization. This team has delivered more than 500 industrial cyber security projects integrated with its process automation solutions which are used at sites such as refineries, chemical plants, gas processing units, power plants, mines and mills.

In December 2014, HPS will establish the Honeywell Industrial Cyber Security Lab near Atlanta (GA USA). The lab will expand the company’s research capabilities and will feature a model of a complete process control network which Honeywell cyber security experts will leverage to develop, test and certify industrial cyber security solutions. This lab will help accelerate proprietary research and development of new cyber technologies and solutions to help defend industrial facilities, operations and people.

Among other findings of the survey:

• Four in ten (40 percent) survey respondents are not sure about how well their government or private industrial sectors are able to defend against cyber hackers, including 10 percent who are not at all confident.
• When asked about the vulnerability of nine critical industry sectors (which have varying degrees of computer and internet security systems in place to guard against cyber hackers), majorities of respondents globally see all sectors as being vulnerable to cyber attacks. Industrial sectors likely to be perceived as vulnerable to such attacks include oil and gas production (64 percent), medical/health care/pharmaceuticals (64 percent), power grid (63 percent), chemicals (61 percent) and aerospace/defense (59 percent).
• Those in India (92%) and Japan (89%) are most worried about cyber attacks, whereas Russian adults (53%) express the lowest level of overall concern.
• Among those who are relatively unconcerned about cyber hackers (“not very fearful” or “not at all fearful”), no single factor stands out as a primary justification. Many (31 percent) say that this is because they believe the risk of something major actually happening is really quite low, particularly in Australia (52 percent).

Other reasons for lower levels of concern include:

• Cyber hackers would have already done something big if they actually had these capabilities (25%),
• Computer and Internet security has been able to counter or block almost all of the threats (24%); or,
• Governments and its intelligence and armed forces will not let this happen (24%).


Celebrating twenty years abnormality!

21/07/2014

This year the Abnormal Situation Management (ASM®) Consortium  is celebrating 20 years of thought leadership in the process industry. The ASM Consortium grew out of a grassroots effort begun in 1989 by ASM to address alarm floods. Honeywell spearheaded the development of a proposal to the US NIST, Advanced Technology Program to form a Joint Research & Development Consortium.

Background on the ASM ConsortiumasmThe ASM Consortium was started in 1994 to address Process Industry concerns about the high cost of incidents, such as unplanned shutdowns, fires, explosions, emissions, etc. The term, Abnormal Situation Management®, was used to describe it. Matching funds from NIST enabled the consortium to spend several years researching and developing highly-advanced concepts to address the problem of abnormal situations. Since then research has continued and increasing effort has been put into development and deployment of solutions that incorporate ASM knowledge.The basis of the ASM Consortium is collaboration and information-sharing. By working together, members achieve far more than they could working alone. Research results are published for members, and often further shared by means of webinars, seminars and workshops. User members also guide Honeywell in selection and development of product solutions that incorporate ASM knowledge. Non-members can benefit from ASM Research as ASM Effective Practices Guidelines for Alarm Management, Display Design and Procedural Practices are available for purchase on Amazon.com.

The proposal addressed the challenging problem of abnormal situation management. In preparing for this proposal effort, Honeywell and its collaborators created the Abnormal Situation Management (ASM) Joint Research and Development Consortium (referred to as ASMC) under the U.S. Cooperative Research and Development Act. In November 1994, the ASM research joint venture began its research with $16.6 million (€12.27m) in funding for a three year study program, including $8.1 million (€6m) from ATP and industry cost-sharing of $8.5 million (€6.29m).

This year, ASM Consortium members have met twice for a week-long Quarterly Review Meetings (QRM) , once at Houston, Texas (USA) in April and then again at Antwerp (B) in June. Along with its normal business, the Consortium discussed plans to celebrate the Consortium’s 20 year of service to the Process Industry. The Quarterly Review Meetings are a platform for the ASM Consortium members to share the benefits gained from the ASM practices and products, and to discuss new challenges faced in plant operations. Members of the Consortium besides Honeywell include industrial manufacturers, a human factors research company, and universities that collaborate to research best practices for managing abnormal situations in industrial facilities.

To celebrate its 20th year, ASM Consortium will be spreading further awareness about managing and mitigating abnormal situations in process industries by publishing journal articles, white papers at leading industry conferences, and a planned video.


#HUG2014 Americas’ symposium adjudged success!

19/06/2014

A record number of attendees were at the annual gathering of Honewell customers from across a wide range of industries throughout the Americas.

hug2014Other stories from HUG 2015
In addition to the Americas conference, Honeywell will also hold HUG events in Queensland, Australia (Sept. 21-23) and The Hague in The Netherlands (Nov. 10-14).

More than 1,300 customers, distributors and Honeywell leaders and engineers attended the 2014 Honeywell Users Group (HUG) Americas symposium held between June 2nd and 6th in San Antonio, Texas. The conference brought together many of the world’s largest process manufacturers to discuss how to apply new technologies to overcome challenges facing their respective industries and operations.

Attendance was 25 percent higher than the 2013 Americas conference held in Phoenix, Ariz., with about 40 percent attending HUG for the first time. The record number of attendees represented more than 475 companies from 36 countries and more than 60 industries. Almost 200 participants attended Honeywell’s Channel Partner conference, which was held in parallel with HUG.

“Honeywell’s User Group is a great opportunity for us, and our customers, to share and discuss issues they are facing in an open, collaborative environment,” said Vimal Kapur, president of Honeywell Process Solution. “A number of our technologies for industrial processors had their beginnings in discussions with customers at HUG. The information shared here helps us develop products and solutions that help our customers overcome their specific issues or issues common to their industries.”

Key themes for this year’s event centered around delivering information and improving collaboration. Honeywell announced availability of its Experion® Orion Console, an advanced display technology designed to reduce operator fatigue and improve situational awareness through features such as improved ergonomics and a large, flexible, high-definition display. Other highlighted technologies designed to better deliver information and improve collaboration included:

• Uniformance® Release 320, software which helps plant managers make better and faster decisions with superior data management, and significantly improved event investigation and trend analysis.

• Intuition® Operations Logbook Release 100, software that provides a unique tool to better log operational activities in a plant, resulting in a more-effective workforce better able to minimize incidents, improve operations and meet regulatory requirements.

• Intuition® Executive Release 220.5, which features improved dashboard call-up performance and enables multiple site deployments for a corporate-wide view of safety, operations and business metrics.

In addition to control room technologies, the company also featured technology to deliver better information in the field and in remote locations. For example, the company showcased its new SmartLine™ industrial temperature transmitters, which can improve overall plant and employee efficiency in harsh and noisy process environments. SmartLine transmitters use advanced displays to show process data in graphical formats and communicate control room messages, and use modular components to simplify field repairs.

Modularity was also a theme with SCADA applications, such as the Honeywell RTU2020 Remote Terminal Unit – a modular and scalable controller capable of all remote automation and control applications. In conjunction with SCADA technologies, the RTU2020 provides an integrated solution to solve complex remote automation requirements in applications such as remote well-head monitoring.

Finally, Honeywell showcased a new approach to project execution called LEAP™, that combines several proven technologies to help companies more quickly design, build and start their plants. LEAP project services combines HPS’ proprietary hardware and software, virtualization and cloud engineering to reduce risk and total automation costs by up to 30 percent. The approach represents a significant departure from the way plants are typically designed and built, by using lean execution methodologies and parallel workflows to keep automation systems off critical implementation paths.


Major award for Honeywell chief!

03/07/2013
Recognises the transformation of Honeywell his leadership over the past decade!

Chief Executive Magazine has named named Honeywell Chairman and CEO Dave Cote “2013 CEO of the Year,” an honour that recognises an outstanding corporate leader nominated and selected by peers. The award will be featured on the cover of Chief Executive Magazine’s July issue.

Company progress
The award recognises the transformation of Honeywell under Cote’s leadership over the past decade. During that time, Honeywell has increased sales by 71% to $37.7 billion, pro forma EPS by 197% to $4.48, and delivered a total shareowner return of 240%, consistently outperforming the S&P 500 during that timeframe. Today, Honeywell is a global company, with 54% of sales coming from outside the U.S. versus 41%  ten years ago. Since 2003, Honeywell has made more than 75 acquisitions and 50 divestitures, building great positions in good industries around the world.

David Cote, Honeywell CEO

David Cote, Honeywell CEO

“It’s a great honor to be recognized as Chief Executive’s CEO of the Year,” said Cote. “I’m proud of Honeywell’s performance and the terrific returns we’ve provided our shareowners. We’ve transformed Honeywell into a global growth company, led by common initiatives, behaviors, and processes. Our ‘One Honeywell’ culture has been a powerful piece of our growth story because people are our ultimate differentiator.  Our portfolio has evolved from a largely manufacturing base to today where half of our business comes from software development.  Our focus on seed planting and re-investing in our businesses, products, and services will continue because it’s working.  We’ve achieved a lot over the past decade, but I’m even more excited about our future because the best is yet to come for Honeywell.”

US Recognition
Cote was appointed by US President Obama to serve on both the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (commonly known as the Simpson-Bowles Commission) and the U.S.-India CEO Forum. He’s been a leading voice and Steering Committee member of the Campaign to Fix the Debt and is widely quoted by top-tier media on how debt reduction must continue to be our top priority to grow the U.S. economy at a pace that will create new jobs.  In addition to debt reduction, Cote’s outline for an American Competitiveness Agenda includes energy policy, free trade, infrastructure, math and science education, and tort reform.

“Chief Executive Magazine is proud to recognize Dave as CEO of the Year,” said Bob Nardelli, Founder and CEO of XLR-8 and a member of the magazine’s selection committee. “He has led a remarkable transformation at Honeywell, executing on a vision and rebuilding trust and credibility over the past decade. Not only is Dave a respected leader in the business community, but he is also a leading voice for business in Washington.”

Nominations for CEO of the Year were garnered from Chief Executive Magazine’s 124,000 readers. The ten most frequently cited nominations were evaluated and a winner was voted upon by a peer Selection Committee consisting of CEOs from leading global corporations.

“Receiving the honor of CEO of the Year is very rewarding,” concluded Cote.  “I’m confident that Honeywell’s future performance will further validate Chief Executive Magazine’s selection.”

Other awards
Cote received the Corporate Social Responsibility Award from the Foreign Policy Association in 2007, the Distinguished Achievement Award from B’nai B’rith International in 2011, the Asia Society’s Global Leadership Award in 2012, and the Peter G. Peterson Award for Business Statesmanship from the Committee for Economic Development in 2012. In 2013, Cote was recognized as one of the World’s Best CEOs by Barron’s magazine, and honored with the Corporate Leadership Award by the TechAmerica Foundation.

Cote’s selection as 2013 CEO of the Year will be celebrated at an event hosted by ChiefExecutive in partnership with NYSE at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, July 25.


Wireless moves! More on ISA100 from Nick Denbow

18/04/2013

“Honeywell ‘moves on’ with ISA100 specified!” says Nick Denbow in this item from the April issue of  Industrial Automation and Process Control Insider

(The INSIDER is delivered by email as a typically 12 page, 8000 word monthly newsletter in a pdf format and now in mobile tablet or cellphone format. Subscriptions may arranged. The newsletter is read by automation professionals world-wide, in around 80 different organizations. Subscribe here!)

ndenbow

Nick Denbow

Last month the INSIDER discussed the abandonment of the ISA100.12 committee deliberations, without any final result or report. This has produced no comment or reaction from the ISA directly: while they do not subscribe to the INSIDER, they were provided with an advance copy of that issue.

What is more interesting is that a correspondent with close links to Honeywell has confirmed that all “new” OneWireless instruments from Honeywell are now shipped with the ISA100.11a protocol.

Development history
The Honeywell involvement with wireless transmitters, and indeed their ‘OneWireless’ systems pre-dated the ISA100 standard. Indeed Honeywell put in a lot of expertise and specification suggestions gained from their OneWireless systems into the ISA100 standard development process. OneWireless did have a different protocol to the standard that eventually emerged as ISA100.11a. However, Honeywell made the commitment that “all OneWireless pre-ISA100 instruments supplied will be upgradable, or able to migrate to, ISA100 wireless”.

• See also Gary Mintchell’s “Puzzlement In Industrial Wireless Network Land,” written on his return from the Hannover Fair!

Latest release from Honeywell
Honeywell issued a press release early in April, announcing a new version of OneWireless, which is named as “Release 210 (R210)”. This stated to include “over-the-air field device provisioning and a Gateway General Client Interface made possible by the ISA100 standard”. Ray Rogowski, global marketing director for wireless in HPS is also quoted to say: “With OneWireless Release 210, users can benefit from the flexibility and scalability offered by the ISA100 standard….”.

This does seem to be a statement from Honeywell fairly definitely saying that OneWireless Release 210 will be using ISA100, which is a welcome change of emphasis compared to previous news releases. To interpret some of the phrases used I spoke to Soroush Amidi in their Networks and HPS Wireless Solutions Team.

The official HPS view
1wirelesshwellAmidi explained the OneWireless history, in relation to the release versions quoted. Full exproduction ISA100 compatibility came not after the addition of the Cisco Aironet 1552 access point in November 2011, as previously assumed by the INSIDER, but with Release R200, which was announced in June 2010: so actual deliveries started approx from 1-1-2011. In fact, the Cisco Aironet access point was introduced for clients who preferred to have Cisco systems in their IT structure, and needed the wifi interface also provided. Diederik Mols, introducing the Aironet at the HUG European meeting (INSIDER November 2011 page 5) specifically mentioned Shell in this context. The HPS Multinode and separate Field Device access points are both still available and offered with R210.

Prior to R200, the OneWireless R120 had offered all the functionality of ISA100, but did have a different protocol to the standard that emerged as ISA100.11a. However, Amidi stated that “all OneWireless R120 systems and instruments can be upgraded to ISA100 wireless using an over-the-air download”, if the customers have a need to move up/upgrade to this R200 level. In a similar way R200 systems can be migrated to R210 using another over-the-air software upgrade.

New OneWireless features
With R210 Amidi explained the language used in the recent press release, which originates somewhat from the detailed, somewhat esoteric wording of the ISA specification work. Field device ‘provisioning’ relates to the initial acceptance of a new device onto the network, by passing over the network access code: the ISA standard has the option for clients to do this either wirelessly, or via a local infra-red communications device, which is seen to add more security in some situations.

More interesting perhaps is the Gateway General Client Interface (GCI). HPS says  “The GCI feature, enabled by the ISA100 standard, allows operations to continue using legacy protocols and proprietary applications while making it easier to wirelessly expand those applications throughout the plant. The GCI also allows third party client applications to communicate natively using proprietary or common field protocols with wireless field instruments over the ISA100 network.”

GCI examples
Soroush Amidi explained this in terms of working with Enraf radar level gauge systems, which use a proprietary protocol to send custody transfer data to the Enraf Entis Pro software application, or GE Bently Nevada vibration monitoring systems which use a proprietary protocol to send the vibration signatures to their System 1 software application. This data can be wrapped in an ISA100 compatible packet, which is allowed within ISA100, and transmitted over the network, for unwrapping at the other end, and delivery to the appropriate analysis system: the whole process is described as ‘tunneling’ the data. Vendors such as Enraf and Bently Nevada are pleased to take advantage of this system, says Amidi, as it retains their intellectual property and proprietary information processing, takes advantage of a plant wide wireless network, but does not require the significant development work and investment by them in producing a fully ISA100 compliant sensor.

Further information on ISA100
Amidi pointed out that much of the information about ISA100 installations is passed by personal contacts, and by such routes as the ISA100 interest group on ‘Linked in’ – where Amidi seems to have been the main recent commentator. A recent addition there is a video from the ISA WCI technical seminar in Kyoto back in 2011, where Berry Mulder from Shell Global Solutions, who is also a director of WCI, explains why wireless is so important to Shell.

Wireless gas alarms
The Shell presentation laid emphasis on the need for wireless gas detection (and personnel location) which brought to mind the Honeywell wireless gas detector, a product development mentioned as essential in relation to the Shah Gas project some two and a half years ago (INSIDER November 2010 page 3, and November 2011 page 7). Still no listing for such a product on the WCI ISA100 product lists, so presumably the devices that were quoted as delivered to Shah Gas in 2012 used plain OneWireless compatibility.

GasSecure on WCI list
However, the GasSecure infra-red hydrocarbon gas detector from Norway mentioned at the Invensys OpsManage11 conference (INSIDER November 2011 page 7) does have a WCI listing, even if no approval is quoted.


Boosted attendance at user group event!

11/07/2011

Focus is on transformation, via mobilization and virtualization

Nick Denbow reports in July’s Industrial Automation Insider

The Honeywell User Group convened again mid June, in Phoenix, Arizona, for the annual meeting, billed as for the Americas, but with 1000 plus attendees from 34 countries, it was more like a world event – back at the attendance levels of 2007, and double those from last year (INSIDER, July 2010 page 4). However, as Gary Mintchell observed, and pointed out in his FeedForward blog, the ratio of staff to users has decreased in these events, so the user numbers were even more impressive. Just like last year, Norm Gilsdorf, president of Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS), opened the conference with a keynote speech commenting on four vital elements: – for 2010 you may remember they were the “-ty” elements, like uncertainty, and availability (of capital), safety and security, availability (of engineers), and utilities (green energy and water). Some of these came through to 2011, but there was no mention of uncertainty and capital availability as constraints, which must reflect a general upward mood-swing.

Business transformation
For this year the four vital elements are all “-ations”: spelling them out we have “globalization, mobilization, integration and collaboration” quoted as the vital elements in the competitive marketplace. To respond to this, Gilsdorf declares that Honeywell has changed: “We’ve evolved from being an automation company to a business transformation company,” enabling customers to make “faster decisions, better decisions, decisions in remote-access areas and decisions that will improve profitability.”

• See also Honeywell Shows Off New Technology at Annual User Group Meeting from ControlGlobal

• Where Technology Shapes Solutions, from HUG 2011  (Bill Leydon Intech/Automation.com Jul’11)

Mobilization of people and assets is important, Gilsdorf said, but process industries are really only just beginning to adapt to this trend. By mobilization, he means information transfer to people on the plant or on the move: “Getting information to the right place, to the right experts, wherever they are in the world, can also create a competitive advantage.” Mobile computing devices are being used within industry: “We need to learn to leverage that in the process industries—so you can make faster decisions, better decisions, decisions that sometimes don’t need operator intervention, decisions that help you solve problems better, in a faster way,” he said.

The emphasis of OneWireless at Honeywell is now pointed more at information flow than just at wireless plant sensors and controls. This is the essence of business transformation, using techniques available within automation systems to add more value, enable better business decisions. Integration and collaboration

Integration and collaboration means Honeywell has been working more closely with the supply chain, with companies such as Microsoft, IBM and SAP, and also refers to the recent acquisitions of Matrikon and RMG: the careful addition of such acquisitions is seen as a Honeywell strength. However, maybe the recent focus on acquisitions like Enraf and RMG has brought management attention back onto field devices, where they realize that investment has lagged behind competitors: one of the new divisions created is to concentrate on field instruments. Gary Mintchell also reported that Gilsdorf is forecasting increased investment to add more intelligence onto standard field devices in the coming year. He also has committed to bring in 50 new young engineers into HPS centres across the world every year, to enhance both HPS and the industry in terms of youth and expertise.

Latest product developments
Jason Urso, chief technology officer at HPS, then detailed some of the major new product launches and developments of interest for 2011, in a fairly packed presentation. First came the Honeywell approach to reducing TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), a critical priority for HPS. Major user attention in Phoenix was paid to all lectures discussing virtualization technology, to be available with the Experion PKS, via the Honeywell collaboration with VMWare, by Q3 2011 (VMWare was a sponsor of the HUG conference, as were Microsoft and Matrikon). Virtualization is promoted by HPS since it can reduce the PC hardware users need on site by around 90% in some cases.

Mobilization now allows DCS information to be transmitted via OneWireless from the Experion PKS to integrate smart devices in the field network, such as the Dolphin operator interface from Honeywell Hand Held Products, making operators more efficient in the field: also data can be transmitted securely to commercial devices, such as iPhone and iPad.

Personal gas alarm
Also for these mobile operators, Honeywell are still planning the launch of the personal gas alarm and wireless locator in 2011: first discussed at the HUG European meeting in October 2010 (INSIDER November 2010, page 3) this was new to the US audience, and described as “game changing” by Urso, so possibly includes other capabilities.

Similar devices offered for lone worker protection (but in non-hazardous areas) by Intelligent Distributed Controls in the UK use ZigBee wireless communications, and include temperature monitoring and a positional location engine, based on the inputs from built-in accelerometers: these sensors also provide a tilt alarm, triggering if the operator should fall. The basic Honeywell concept is for a five gas detector, which alarms locally and back in the control room, with an ability to provide location information on the plant, so help can be despatched – for example if there is no movement or response. The location data can also be used to alert control rooms if personnel or contractors, equipped with the devices, stray into areas of plant where systems are being started up, etc. A n o t h e r OneWireless capability introduced at HUG was the Wireless Rotating Equipment Solution, a package of the XYR6000 Multiplexer wireless vibration monitor and the enhanced Asset Manager R400 software for online performance and condition monitoring, targeted at assets that were not previously monitored with static vibration monitors. The XYR6000 offers a four year battery life from field replaceable intrinsically safe batteries.

•The next HUG is scheduled for Phoenix (AZ US) 10-15 June 2012.

Industrial Automation INSIDER is Britain’s only independent subscription newsletter providing industrial measurement and control systems users and suppliers with a monthly update on the continuing evolution and convergence of systems technologies.

Each month it reports on and provides informed comment on developments as they affect every industry sector from chemicals, petrochemicals and utilities to building automation, pharmaceuticals, food and drink and discrete piece part manufacture.


More on wireless

07/07/2010

Yokogawa snubs WirelessHART users at the launch of the “World’s first” ISA100.11a wireless transmitters.

van Loon snubs WirelessHart!

by Andrew Bond, Industrial Automation Insider

“ISA100 is the standard that has been developed by the user community, and expresses the wishes of the users, rather than the approach imposed by vendors, as exemplified by WirelessHART,” said Joost van Loon, Yokogawa Europe director of industrial automation. “Additionally ISA100 is technologically superior to other approaches, in that it can cover all the wireless solutions that might be required. Users have also requested just one standard, so in the Yokogawa view this should be ISA100.”

Van Loon was speaking at the launch of a range of ISA100.11a pressure and temperature transmitters and associated system interfaces at the 5th Yokogawa User Conference, held in The Netherlands from 24-25th June. He was supported by Penny Chen of Yokogawa global marketing, who is also vice chair of the Wireless Compliance Institute (WCI). In response to a query about possible changes to ISA100.11a when the ISA100.12 committee on convergence presents its findings later this year, she asserted that “It is very unlikely that any changes would be allowed to ISA100”. The Yokogawa Q+A sheet issued alongside the releases commented on convergence issues further: “In fact, end users are not choosing WirelessHART. The ISA100.12 committee has been advised by user input that there is “no need for backward compatibility with WirelessHART as there is no significant installed base”. Quite a snub for the existing users of WirelessHART systems!

Yokogawa excludes WirelessHART

In listening to the user community, Yokogawa is aware that there has been a request for one global wireless standard, and therefore stresses that their offering includes “openness and interoperability” as prime objectives at the heart of ISA100. However “the ideal scenario is unlikely to occur, with two wireless standards in use” and the Yokogawa interoperability does not extend to including WirelessHART in their plans.

The other major player in the ISA100 camp is, of course, Honeywell, and news releases came thick and fast around the Honeywell User Group meeting held in Phoenix (AZ US), from 13-17th June: several of these related to improvements to digital video monitoring and field instrument wireless networks, that are designed to be compliant with the ISA100.11a standard. Most of the questions at the interviews, and the HUG discussions reported, related to the topic of ISA100, and whether this standard will be modified in the near future to include IEC62591, now the WirelessHART standard.

ISA100 panel: user discussions continue
From a panel discussion on the convergence of ISA100 and WirelessHART, Pat Schweitzer of ExxonMobil, also co-chair of the ISA100 committee, had been trying to establish what users would want a combined standard to offer, and said NAMUR would issue a report on this topic in late June (NE133). Meanwhile Schweitzer reported that the ISA100.11a- 2009 standard is being corrected, and will be re-issued by December. Schweitzer also commented that the convergence discussions headed by the ISA100.12 committee also hoped to report by December.

The Honeywell corporate view of wireless monitoring and control is not restricted to Honeywell Process Systems: their wireless business is cross divisional – it is a corporate initiative to drive wireless across the whole business, whether this is aerospace, health and safety, life safety or process solutions. In an interview (podcast) with Walt Boyes of CONTROL Global, Ray Rogowski, business leader for their wireless initiative, stressed that they see a far larger potential for the OneWireless applications in addition to monitoring field sensors. Add to this that the Honeywell OneWireless system is really a combination of up to five wireless systems: the Honeywell approach is to create a wireless infrastructure that will support multiple wireless networks, multiple applications, with specific sensor developments to feed in, possibly on different types of wireless system – an example of this is the support for Wi-Fi devices in addition to the field sensor network.

The inevitable conclusion is that Honeywell would have no problem with running two wireless systems into their networks, WirelessHART and ISA100, if that is needed. The Matrikon acquisition reported last month will enable the integration of third party systems into the Honeywell system via an OPC link, again possibly over OneWireless. In the theme of following the Emerson THUM and the ABB FieldKey, Honeywell showed a new OneWireless Adaptor that connects to wired HART devices, and transmits the full diagnostic info to host systems via an ISA100.11a compliant wireless network, without any significant modification to the conventional 4- 20mA loop field wiring. Yokogawa also suggested that they would be supplying such an adaptor, sourced from a suitable third party supplier.

Support for ISA100 and WCI
With the new Yokogawa products compliant with ISA100.11a and GE and Yamatake joining the Wireless Compliance Institute board, alongside Yokogawa and Fuji, Honeywell and ISA100 have gained valuable support recently. However, their spokesmen continue to stress that any ISA100 standard must be based on the total customer requirement, and that these customers are requesting a single wireless standard.

But is that what they’re really asking for? Maybe Nivis has the answer. They have now launched a new wireless gateway capable of simultaneously working on both ISA100.11a and WirelessHART protocols. Confusingly, it’s just called the “Nivis WirelessHART Gateway”, presumably because there were only really WirelessHART sensors available when they named it! Nivis were one of the major suppliers of equipment for the original Arkema ISA100 trials (YouTube Video).  Trae Harrison, vp of sales and marketing, explained: “The addition of the WirelessHART Gateway to the Nivis product line enables customers to utilize either ISA100.11a or WirelessHART using the same platform: it is exactly what the marketplace is asking for.”

You can’t halp feeling that ISA, WCI and Yokogawa have been talking to a different lot of customers, unless, of course, they’ve only been asking the questions that give the answers they want to hear! Maybe we’re fast approaching the point where users will simply adopt WirelessHART and ISA100.11a as appropriate to their particular applications.

This article first appeared in the July 2010 issue of Industrial Automation Insider