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IEC approves WirelessHART 7.1 for automation

The WirelessHART Communication Specification (HART 7.1) has been approved by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) as a Publicly Available Specification (IEC/PAS 62591Ed. 1).

In a landmark move for the process automation industry, the international standards body approved the specification through a ballot of 29 separate countries, making HART 7.1 the first industrial wireless technology to gain this level of recognition.

This is a major event for those involved in manufacturing products for the automation industry with companies now able to rely on a single, industry-recognised wireless standard to automate manufacturing equipment.

HART Communication Foundation (HCF) executive director, Ron Helson, says the news will help users worldwide who require non-fuss wireless communication between industrial automation devices.

“This recognition is a landmark for the process automation industry. WirelessHART Communication fulfills the long-demanded goal of global users for a single wireless communication standard that the major automation suppliers support and that has international status,” he said in a statement to the press.

“This positive endorsement by the IEC international standards body assures that, just as they have with the 26 million HART devices installed worldwide, users can purchase and implement WirelessHART-based products with equal confidence.”

WirelessHART Communication is the first open and interoperable wireless communication standard designed specifically for the process industry to provide robust and secure wireless communication in real world industrial plant applications, according to HCF. The specification is also fully backward-compatible with other-branded instrumentation systems.

“WirelessHART Communication is easy-to-use, easy-to-deploy, and fully backward-compatible with existing instrumentation and host systems, preserving the investment in HART-enabled devices, tools, training, applications and work procedures in worldwide use today,” says Helson.

The WirelessHART Communication standard builds on existing standards including HART Protocol (IEC 61158), EDDL (IEC 61804-3), IEEE 802.15.4 radio and frequency hopping, spread spectrum and mesh networking technologies.

IEC provides and publicises worldwide technology standards for the electrical and electronic industries.

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