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Competing wireless networks verge on compliance

The Fieldbus Foundation’s Wireless Cooperation Team (WCT) is well on the way to developing an interface specification and compliance guidelines to integrate a universal wireless solution into the HART, Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus and Profinet networks, the group said.

The Fieldbus Foundation and WCT say they have achieved a number of milestones toward the development of the guidelines, which would make it easier for automation end-users to take advantage of evolving wireless technologies.

Today, HART, Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus and Profinet networks are not compatible with each other.

The collaborative effort of the WCT is sponsored by the Fieldbus Foundation, HART Communication Foundation, and Profibus Nutzerorganisation e.V. (PNO), to facilitate the acceptance of wireless technology in the manufacturing and process industries worldwide.

These organisations are represented in the associations by team members from leading industry suppliers that have adopted the different technologies, including Emerson Process Management, Honeywell, Siemens, ABB, Endress+Hauser, Pepperl+Fuchs and Festo.

“The Project Team has made good progress this year towards the ultimate goal of a specification for a common interface to a wireless gateway with the output supporting HART, Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus and Profinet communications technologies,” said WCT Project Steering Committee chairman, Martin Zielinski.

“We are on track to validate a new specification and compliance guidelines in 2009.”

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