A fiasco after five years of work on ISA100.12

The ISA100.12 subcommittee co-chair Dick Caro has announced in a personally written article on the Control Global website that ISA100.12 has abandoned its work after four years without finding a single convergence solution […that met the requirements imposed on them]. This introduces a review article in the March INSIDER Newsletter covering the work of ISA100.12 into wireless instrumentation.

This seems to be the end of the line for the so-called “convergence” attempts by the ISA to co-operate with the industry and develop a unified approach to wireless communications with plant instrumentation, that allows the simple use of both WirelessHART devices and future ISA100 devices on a plant together. The main story in the March issue of the INSIDER looks at the history of ISA100.12, from the viewpoint expressed by Dick Caro, and from the viewpoint of his co-chair on the ISA100.12 committee, Paul Sereiko, as well as from the external view apparent to an industrial media editor. In conclusion it appears from the European viewpoint to be a commercially driven decision by the ISA, which is surely unusual for a non-profit making body set up to establish industry standards for the benefit of American process instrumentation users and suppliers. It is the type of problem that could be anticipated from an American commercial operation.

The result now is that the industry – the users and the suppliers, in the USA and worldwide – will sort this hassle out themselves, without involving the ISA, if there is no willingness for them to be involved in a non-partisan standards discussion. However it is regrettable that the investment of time, money and expertise by the industry into the work of ISA100.12 can be allowed to be just thrown away, or filed, by the ISA management, without even the publication of a final report, which obviously would help future industry efforts to sort out the problem. After all, the industry has put in the effort, and paid for the time and expertise involved in the meetings, so they should be able to judge the results for themselves.

But then what is the ISA viewpoint about this apparent fiasco?

The Challenger disaster

This blog was written on the day the BBC screened their new drama documentary about Dr Richard Feynman’s role in the Challenger commission of enquiry.

Dick Feynman was the must read physicist at Caltech in the 60s when I was a physics undergrad, and his role in this enquiry is played brilliantly by William Hurt. The enquiry parallels the wranglings of certain ISA committees, with the same commercial interests and off screen agendas – such as “We mustn’t let the Russians know our ICBM rockets don’t work in cold weather”. It shows how the system can be manipulated by politicians and other interests to try to cover up the facts, that are made obvious when you have a Nobel prize winning mosquito like Dick Feynman buzzing around within, and outside.

The ISA needs to have some mosquitos imported!

The BBC is to be congratulated, with the writer, Kate Garside: probably not available as yet in the USA, the website for UK viewers is http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2013/the-challenger.html

One Response

  1. […] 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 […]

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