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In January 2009, NAMUR published its recommendation NE 124 "Requirements for Wireless Automation" whose purpose is to stipulate minimum requirements for standards and technologies of wireless automation to ensure investment payoff and sustainable application in process engineering. One of the recommendation's central demands is for vendors to provide standardized solutions to ensure a maximum level of interoperability and interchangeability regardless of manufacturer.

Currently, there are two competing specifications for radio-based communication by wireless sensor networks. In May 2009, the HART Foundation published a test specification for WirelessHART? field devices, and first devices that meet these specifications are now available on the market. In addition to that, the Standards & Practices Board of ISA (ISA = International Society of Automation) officially approved specification ISA-100.11a on 10 September 2009, though devices that comply with this specification are currently not available.

Both specifications are aimed at the same applications. The technological basis is also the same (using the 2.4 GHz ISM band in line with IEEE 802.15.4). NAMUR believes that merging both specifications into one international standard is feasible. From NAMUR's point of view, competition between both specifications would impede the application of wireless technologies in process automation and accrue higher costs for both vendors and users. Functionality, reliability and profitability of devices should be the criteria of competition. A competition of standardization does not make sense, neither for vendors nor users, since it obstructs value-adding competition for solutions.

Therefore, NAMUR demands a harmonization of both specifications ISA-100.11a and WirelessHART? to one IEC standard. The benefits of both specifications would generate a best-in-class solution.
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