In May 2017, NIST formed a technical working group to develop best practices guidelines in selecting and deploying industrial wireless solutions within industrial environments such as process plants and discrete manufacturing factories. The Guide to Industrial Wireless Deployments (NIST AMS 300-4) was subsequently published in May 2018. The guidelines consider the entire wireless ecosystem within factories with an emphasis on wireless systems operating on the factory floor. This includes factory/plant instrumentation, control systems, and back-haul networks. The guidelines are technology and vendor agnostic and address the needs of industry to have independent guidelines based on user requirements and measurement science research. The guide was written to be short and concise and is be targeted to the plant/factory floor for tracking of materials, observation and control of processes, improvement of personnel safety, and improvement of plant/factory operational objectives. Classes of control systems include both feedback and supervisory forms of control.
Since the publication of the NIST guide AMS 300-4, the working group has grown in support and includes over 70 members from various parts of industry interested in wireless technology for factory automation. The working group is now a technical interest group (TIG). In addition to the guidelines, NIST and the TIG have produced, in partnership, the Wireless User Requirements for the Factory Workcell (NIST AMS 300-8). Each year, in collaboration with the IEEE, the NIST IWSTIG co-chairs a workshop at a selected conference venue with a focus on advancing the adoption of wireless in industrial and mission critical spaces. The user community and system integrators are encouraged to participate. Those interested in participating should on technical working group should contact the project leader. To request participation, please send an email to iwstig-subscribe [at] list.nist.gov (iwstig-subscribe[at]list[dot]nist[dot]gov).