In this space recently, I have been perceived as blaming Emerson for all the problems with the SP100 committee, and with the Wireless HART Working Group. The fact is, Emerson is not necessarily the culprit, is certainly not the only problem, and it looks to me like Emerson may even be part of the solution instead.
There is so much backchannel backbiting and politicking going on in both committees, especially since the migration of the SP100 folks into the Wireless HART working group, that it is hard to find a villain or a hero.
I want to clearly state that I do have an agenda. My agenda is this, and only this. I want to see a Wireless HART specification reported out and voted for by the membership of the HART Communication Foundation, and I want to see a real standard voted on by the SP100 committee. That's it. The automation industry cannot afford another debacle like SP50.
Remember that Foundation fieldbus is essentially a failed system, based on number of units sold alone, because of the decade and a half of wrangling that the SP50 committee involved itself in. Wireless may be able to resurrect it, if we don't screw that up, too.
There is NO market, currently, for wireless devices in the industrial environment. Think about it, please. There is interest, yes. There is a perceived need, but there is a huge difference between a perceived need and a market. Nobody is selling large numbers of wireless devices in industrial control applications, now are they?
I want to be clear. I am not blaming Emerson. I am asking, now, publicly, for the backchannel nonsense to stop. Period. The attacks on Emerson and Dust are unwarranted, and need to stop now. I will no longer report rumors of any kind about wireless, just facts.
If the backchannel nonsense doesn't stop, in favor of collegial and cooperative work within the two committees, I will start reporting who is saying what, and to whom. Nothing makes this sort of nonsense stop like the light of day, and if nothing else, I have a pretty big flashlight.
To everybody involved: please help me drive the work of the HART Working Group and SP100 to a successful conclusion before the automation marketplace decides that Yokogawa's Uchida-san is right, and fiberoptics is the way to go after all.
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