DPS Insights - Explore the Latest Tech Trends in Remote Alarm Monitoring & Control

Finding the Best Remote Terminal Unit for Your Oil and Gas Remote Sites

There's a famous black-and-white photo of Long Beach, California, from the 1920s. Beachgoers swarm the sands, and even without color, you can see it's a beautiful California day. Behind them, incongruent, are hundreds of huge oil derricks, mere yards from the people and the ocean. The derricks, like the people, are having a delightful day at the beach. Still, as any oil or gas person will...

by Andrew Erickson on March 5, 2020

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SCADA Programming and Training for Railroad Professionals Needing Remote Monitoring Solutions

Here's a fun fact about railroads. When they were first built across the country, there was a sudden need for time to be standardized. After all, if every town has their own idea of when "3:30" is, there would be chaos. Time zones, which impact so much of our lives, were invented because of the railroads. To say that railroads have always been important is understating...

by Andrew Erickson on March 3, 2020

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The Top 4 Applications for Remote Water Tank Monitoring

Many industries depend on their remote water tanks. Ensuring that they remain full and free from leaks requires continual visits. But visits to these distant locations cost money related to employees, fuel, and vehicle wear and tear. If visits are scheduled around average estimates of water use, they can fail to respond to actual conditions. This results in wasted drive time, without eliminating the chance of...

by Andrew Erickson on February 27, 2020

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Monitoring River Levels Today: How Communities Use SCADA Systems for Early Flood Warning

There's a critical period of only 12 to 48 hours between the time a flood watch is issued before it becomes a widespread disaster and before flooding occurs. Preventing people and property from bearing the brunt of water's power is one of the chief duties of modern society. Early flood warning is a way to save lives and save property, which is why more municipalities, states, and...

by Andrew Erickson on February 25, 2020

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Best Practices for Remote Monitoring in Wastewater Treatment Plants

Remote monitoring helps lower risk and improve operations at wastewater treatment plants. The large physical footprint of wastewater treatment plants renders human monitoring costly and difficult. By installing remote terminal units (RTUs) at the sites of important assets, managers gain insight into the real-time equipment and environmental conditions across their network. Armed with constant knowledge of network conditions, managers can more accurately schedule maintenance, allocate resources, and...

by Andrew Erickson on February 18, 2020

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Finding the Best Remote Monitoring System for Hydroponic Planting Media

In 1900, the population of the world was 1.6 billion. That was about a 50% jump from 100 years before. Fast-forward to today to 7.5 billion, and it's expected to reach 10 billion by 2100. While that's largely because of very positive things like disease eradication and plummeting child mortality, it also means there are a lot of mouths to feed. All of us need to...

by Andrew Erickson on February 13, 2020

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Remote Telemetry Modules for Real-time, Effective Monitoring and Control

In controlled facilities like medical and research labs, minor differences in conditions can result in major differences in outcome. Fluctuations in temperature or humidity can spoil the production of delicate products, or invalidate the results of experiments. Preventing the loss of costly products and experiments requires constant monitoring of both primary environmental conditions, and the systems which control them. Security and recordkeeping are also critical capabilities...

by Andrew Erickson on February 11, 2020

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Operating a Successful SCADA System for Utilities

Utilities, even when they are private, are designed for the public. The public relies on utilities for electricity, for water, for communications--in short, for everything that we use as a society. That's a lot of pressure. Utilities have to be on the ball, every day, every hour, and every minute, or else the public suffers - and so does...

by Andrew Erickson on February 6, 2020

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Implementing Advanced Remote Monitoring of Equipment

The basic purpose of remote monitoring of equipment is to provide companies the ability to know what their expensive, revenue-generating assets are doing at all times. Remote terminal units (RTUs) and other remote monitoring devices are installed near equipment and assets at remote sites. There, RTUs track equipment conditions, environmental conditions, and even site security. When warning indicators are detected, they alert employees, who can prepare...

by Andrew Erickson on February 4, 2020

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Capitalizing on Intelligent Remote Terminal Unit Offerings for Asset Protection

Imagine a corporation that takes all its revenue and decides to turn it into cash. Back at the office, they store the cash in a utility closet at the far end of the facility, where no one ever really is. There's a leaky pipe in the closet and a window that doesn't quite close. And, oh yeah, the lock doesn't work. Obviously, that's unimaginable. Everyone knows...

by Andrew Erickson on January 30, 2020

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How Remote Monitoring Simplifies Telecom Site Management

Remote site management in the telecom industry is complex. To be successful, managers must keep their communications equipment continuously operating. Any network downtime can be an extremely costly failure. At the same time, constantly staffing each site is cost-prohibitive. Sites are typically located far from one another, which creates a significant lag in personnel response times. Without workers onsite to prevent, diagnose, or repair problems, minor...

by Andrew Erickson on January 28, 2020

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The Benefits of Wireless Infrastructure Remote Monitoring and Management

There's an old philosophical question about trees falling in the forest with no one around. Does it make a sound? Well, any engineer will tell you: yes, and no. It produces sound waves. But if nothing can pick them up, it doesn't matter. In order for the "sound" to happen, there needs to be a connection between the sound producer and the receiver. It's pretty much...

by Andrew Erickson on January 23, 2020

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How is SCADA Used for Water Systems?

Water systems take a lot of work to manage. Large and complex by nature, they are difficult to monitor continuously. Nevertheless, water systems are expected to function, on budget, at all times. Keeping the many filtration tanks, pumps, and pipes that make up a water system in operation requires active management and continual maintenance. Gaps in monitoring equipment activity can result in leaks that spring and...

by Andrew Erickson on January 21, 2020

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How SCADA Improves Railway Electrification

Recently, Indian Railways, the national railroad carrier of India, made a bold announcement: they would havecompletely electrified railroads by 2024 , and possibly earlier. With over a billion people, in a country largely dependent on railroads for transportation, this is a huge step in reducing carbon output. India isn't alone, of course. Many nations are switching to electrified railroads, or have always used them as their...

by Andrew Erickson on January 16, 2020

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A Comprehensive SNMP Configuration Guide for Effective Conversion

Companies with large physical footprints regularly contend with legacy equipment. Simply put, companies usually last longer than equipment. Every year, some new equipment is phased in and old equipment is phased out, on a rolling basis. In the era of modern communications technology, that means that older equipment may communicate using different protocols than newer equipment. Equipment from different manufacturers may also only communicate using a proprietary...

by Andrew Erickson on January 14, 2020

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Optimizing Remote Tank Monitoring Solutions for Industrial Reliability

The Permian Basin in the southwest United States contains a vast oilfield where we drill into rock laid down over 250 million years ago. As part of the Permian geologic period, it's a reality of Deep Time. And yet, in order to keep our economy running, we have to do more than imaginable to control the riches these and other rocks keep buried within. We must...

by Andrew Erickson on January 9, 2020

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RTU vs. PLC: Which is Best for a Larger Geography?

Remote terminal units (RTUs) and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are both modern technological devices that impart connection to and control over mechanical objects and equipment from a distance. While their functions are similar, when comparing an RTU vs. a PLC,we quickly discover they are distinct technologies intended for separate purposes: PLCs are built to be production tools used for automated manufacturing. RTUs are monitoring tools used...

by Andrew Erickson on January 7, 2020

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A Rugged Remote Terminal Unit for the Smart Grid Market

Throughout recent months, as fires ravaged thousands of acres of California, the Northern California company PG&E was forced to make a terrible call tocompletely shut down power in many areas . They did so in order to lessen the impact of the fires, and almost certainly save lives, but it was hard on customers and at times, even deadly. As an example, a man in Pollock...

by Andrew Erickson on January 3, 2020

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How to Manage an Effective Gas Well Monitoring System

For those in the oil or natural gas industry, you understand the moving parts of extraction. From an outside perspective, the process may appear simple but if you're in the industry, you know it's massively complex. Gas wells are responsible for the consistent extraction of different types of oil and natural gas to be separated and distributed. They are the backbone of the industry, operating in...

by Andrew Erickson on December 19, 2019

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How a Remote Facility Monitoring System Improves Maintenance Quality and Security

Firefighters know that the more surface area something has, the more readily it will burn. This principle holds true metaphorically across a range of disciplines, including remote facility management. Remote facilities have a lot of "surface area" exposed to accidents, degradation, and damage. They house important primary equipment, such as telco apparatus, drilling equipment, and servers. Secondary systems like HVAC , power generators, and battery banks are...

by Andrew Erickson on December 17, 2019

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Identifying a Cost-Effective Wastewater Treatment Plant Monitoring System

There's a reason why stories about the water in Flint draw so much attention. Especially in America, in the 21st century, people expect clean water. They expect basic sanitation. And, they expect clean water to flow through the taps. This clean, disease-free water is staggeringly new in human history, and that advancement is created by modern wastewater treatment plants. It's not a stretch to say that...

by Andrew Erickson on December 5, 2019

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What is SNMPWalk and When Should You Perform One?

There's an old saying you're probably familiar with: 'you have to walk before you can run.' Or maybe it isn't an old saying, maybe it's something you saw printed on vintage stock. Either way, it is certainly true. It's true in life, and it's true when setting up a system to monitor your remote stations. That's why, before you start running your monitoring network, you should...

by Andrew Erickson on December 3, 2019

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The Leading Remote Monitoring and Management Tools for Utilities

Remote monitoring is an indispensable function for utilities. By monitoring generators, transmission lines, and substations, utilities can detect equipment issues before they occur. This enables more accurate responsive maintenance. As opposed to simply relying on predictive failure models or reports of malfunctioning equipment, utilities can pinpoint emerging failure conditions and correct them. This decreases wasted travel and diagnostic time and prevents expensive downtime. Some issues, such...

by Andrew Erickson on November 14, 2019

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Developing the Best Substation SCADA System

Not too long ago, someone at the office was talking about SCUBA and asked if anyone knew what it stood for. One person insisted it didn't stand for anything, it's just what it was called - it's just SCUBA. Obviously, he was wrong ("Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus"), but that shows just how much SCUBA is part of our culture. It's just a word. Well, the same can be...

by Andrew Erickson on November 12, 2019

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Why an Effective Asset Monitoring System is Critical for Telecom Infrastructure

Telecom means different things to users and operators. When telecom users think of networks, they think of their phones and other devices, and possibly of the invisible currents providing their service. When they think of something going wrong, they tend to think of the "signal being lost;" which, while it's true, it's also far from the entire story. Telecom operators know that there is a physical...

by Andrew Erickson on November 7, 2019

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Implementing Advanced Positive Train Control Technology (PTC)

While several U.S rail companies have not yet fully implemented Positive Train Control (PTC) technology, it remains certain that they will shortly. First mandated in the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, thedeadline for full PTC implementationlooms. Installation of equipment has been accomplished onall Class I railroads , and 91% of route-miles have fully implemented PTC. Testing and activation remain on just 9% of Class 1...

by Andrew Erickson on November 5, 2019

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Remote Infrastructure Monitoring: Top Strategies for Better Results

Very few people truly grasp the vast network that keeps the world running. People rarely see the endless telecom towers that keep us connected, or the seamlessly-connected utilities that keep our electricity flowing and water running. They don't see it, but they rely on it to run without question. If you're in charge of the network of stations that keep the world moving, you know the...

by Andrew Erickson on October 31, 2019

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How Can SNMP in Networking Improve Company Strategy?

Graphic user interface (GUI) for smart management and visibility "Large" has many dimensions. Commonly, we think of a large company as one which has a significant number of employees. But describing a company as large can also signal a widespread physical footprint, like hundreds of telecom towers or thousands of gas wells. Even if businesses don't sprawl hundreds of miles, they can have hundreds of pieces...

by Andrew Erickson on October 29, 2019

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Implementing an Effective Remote Tower Management System

Smoke swirls slowly from the top of a cell phone tower, almost like a pleasant chimney outlined against the slate-gray sky. Within a few minutes, though, the entire tower is ablaze, dark black smoke pouring into the sky, as first responders debate how to put it out. The electrical units at ground level are sparking and flaming, and determining how to end it is not easy....

by Andrew Erickson on October 24, 2019

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How to Prevent Copper Wire Theft with Remote Control

Industries including telecom, oil and gas, and railroads all rely on remote, unmanned facilities to perform daily operations. As unmanned stations, these facilities allow companies to accomplish their objectives. They're necessarily unstaffed, as no company can afford to pay the high costs of staffing numerous, far-flung outposts. Unfortunately, this coin has two sides. Without staff on-site, these facilities are vulnerable to copper wire theft. Copper wire...

by Andrew Erickson on October 22, 2019

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Remote Terminal Unit Manufacturers: The Ultimate Guide

If you ever want to hear a lot of crickets, ask a room full of engineers if they like having a partial solution. Ask a crowd of technicians if they enjoy not having all the right tools for the job. You'll be met with a nearly profound silence. That is if it isn't drowned out by laughter. We all know that a partial solution is no...

by Andrew Erickson on October 17, 2019

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2020-2021 Guide for Remote Monitoring of Industrial Equipment

Machinery and equipment are the core of modern industrial operations - without them, there is no operation. When machinery works as designed, products are made; when it doesn't, they're not. Operating budgets and company profitability are based on an anticipated amount of uptime per piece of machinery. So, improving maintenance reliability increases machine uptime percentages, while safeguarding revenue. Conversely, the over-dedication of maintenance resources to industrial machinery can...

by Andrew Erickson on October 15, 2019

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Using Oil and Gas Monitoring Equipment for Your Remote Sites

Anyone who has ever walked on an oil or gas field in Oklahoma or North Dakota knows that there are extremes at play. Baking heat and searing wind can quickly be replaced by extreme cold and frigid, thick snowfalls. You may also deal with extreme remoteness - the hundreds and thousands of fields spread out over the country are in hard-to-reach and often wildly inhospitable areas. And yet,...

by Andrew Erickson on October 10, 2019

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Systemizing Communication Protocol: Automation Strategies for Industrial Environments

With the rise of the Internet of Things and the coming age of 5G connectivity, much thought and investment has gone into developing communications networks within industrial settings. As more and more data is collected, industry managers can make more informed decisions. This will improve maintenance schedules, production yields, and future best practices. Realistically, however, not every piece of equipment speaks the same language. Many different...

by Andrew Erickson on October 8, 2019

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Best Network Telemetry Tools for the Healthcare Industry

A hospital or healthcare facility is often a place where people can least afford to have things go wrong, and they're places where just about anything can go wrong. From security to temperature to communications, the healthcare industry has a million moving parts that have to run smoothly. It can be literally a matter of life and death. That's why the healthcare industry has a vested...

by Andrew Erickson on October 3, 2019

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Implementing an Effective Security Warehouse System with Surveillance and Alarm Capabilities

The humble warehouse plays an outside role in the operation of many companies. Literally, a house for cared-for commodities, warehouses contribute an important service to their industries. Warehouses give products and supplies a place to be when they're not in motion. So, warehouses are the buffer, the damper, and the sponge which soak up excess products when there are too many and release them when there...

by Andrew Erickson on October 1, 2019

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The Top 3 Hospital Security Access Control Best Practices

In recent years,over 20 million pills went missing from hospitals across America . These are called "diversions" - otherwise known as skimming medications - and are more commonly known as "thefts."In the first half of 2018 alone, more than 18 million pills were diverted, valued at more than $164 million. Clearly, pill theft at hospitals is a costly epidemic (and not merely in dollars). We don't like to think about...

by Andrew Erickson on September 26, 2019

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Why Industrial Remote Monitoring is Critical to Prevent System Failure

As the saying goes: everything that can be monitored, should be monitored. Whether by human eyes or digital sensors, staying aware of the condition of industrial equipment is the only way to prevent costly accidents and downtime. For many large companies, factories, and municipalities in the oil and gas, power generation, and wastewater treatment industries, remote monitoring of important equipment is essential. The issue is this: all...

by Andrew Erickson on September 24, 2019

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Efficient Substation SCADA Design for Preventing Downtime in Utilities

In 1880, the town of Wabash, Indiana, became the first city to have electric lights. In 1882, the first central power station opened in Godalming, England. Later that year, Thomas Edison built the first electric station - Pearl Street Station - in New York. This all seems like a long time ago, but in the scope of human history, it wasn't. In a short time, though, our lives...

by Andrew Erickson on September 19, 2019

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How to Use SCADA Equipment for the Oil and Gas Industry

The oil and gas industry has a very large footprint. Across the three broad sectors - upstream, midstream, and downstream - that footprint includes many examples of remote sites hosting expensive, important assets. Assets from wellheads to pipelines to holding tanks are often more than two hours away from the nearest maintenance worker. This causes delayed responses, which can allow problems to worsen. SCADA equipment for oil and gas companies helps...

by Andrew Erickson on September 17, 2019

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Empower a Remote Asset Monitoring System for Protecting Your Highly-Valued Equipment

The oil and gas industry is incredibly huge and lucrative. It spans the globe, drilling on land and sea, and spurs worldwide competition between nations. But it also relies upon each of its parts - wells, rigs, compressors, tanks, and rectifiers. It's an industry whose worth is measured in the trillions but whose fortune comes down to protecting individual pieces of equipment. That's why remote asset monitoring is...

by Andrew Erickson on September 12, 2019

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RTU Troubleshooting for an Effective SCADA System

SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems are powerful tools. They provide central office technicians, dispatchers, and managers with the ability to see a company's entire physical footprint. As information flows from the company's widespread locations up the network into the central office, so too can your command flow down from the office to the branches. Why send a technician out to an overheating equipment room 150...

by Andrew Erickson on September 10, 2019

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How to Reduce Your Warehouse Security System Cost by Eliminating the Middleman

In a sprawling national economy, warehouses dot the landscape across densely urban areas and far-flung remote locations. But no matter where they are, they need security. They need to be monitored around the clock. There are too many things - accidental and intentional - that can go wrong. If you're looking to monitor a remote station, your warehouse security system cost is going to be both mission-critical and expensive. This...

by Andrew Erickson on September 5, 2019

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5 Industrial Hurricane Preparedness Strategies for Remotely Monitoring and Controlling Your Equipment

What's the point of a train? To connect distant locations. So, naturally, railways sprawl. Some cover millions of miles of track, trains, stations, telecommunications equipment, and more. A million miles is a lot to follow. So, it's easy to start losing track, and monitoring all of it can become challenging. Those dozens, thousands, or millions of miles of track and infrastructure travel through the real world where...

by Andrew Erickson on August 29, 2019

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Finding the Best Modbus Communication Protocol Device for Converting to SNMP

The telecom industry is all about connections. Users of telecom products - i.e. basically everyone - use them to connect to friends and family, clients and colleagues, and to connect those in need with those who can help. Telecom is vital. But if you're in the industry, you know that connections have to extend to all your remote equipment. You need to monitor your remote sites...

by Andrew Erickson on August 27, 2019

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Top Remote Monitoring Railway Technology Trends for 2020

As we prepare to broach a new decade, the rail industry is readying itself to achieve continued growth and meet the demands of the modern era. As infrastructure ages and technology advances, rail companies must leverage existing methods and develop new means of meeting the challenges of tomorrow. To accomplish this, rail companies must anticipate what the coming decade will mean for their business and lay the...

by Andrew Erickson on August 22, 2019

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Effective Remote Monitoring in Your Security Architecture and Design

The first thing you ever designed with a security architecture may not have been too complicated. It was probably a clubhouse or tree fort, and the security consisted of a sign that said: "Keep Out". Maybe it had a skull and crossbones if you really wanted to secure the place. That's how people knew you weren't fooling around. Well, as the cost and importance of the facility...

by Andrew Erickson on August 20, 2019

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Implementing Effective Forest Fire Detection Sensors to Aid in Wildfire Management

Every day, somewhere in the world, a wildfire is burning. That's ok - it's supposed to. Wildfires, including forest fires, have been burning for millennia. Forests, rangeland, prairies, and even swamps have adapted to fires over millions of years. They usually stand to benefit from fire, which removes decadent growth, creates a network of diverse micro-ecosystems, and fertilizes the soil with potash and potassium, among other beneficial effects. Wait!...

by Andrew Erickson on August 15, 2019

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Critical SCADA System Architecture Recommendations for Water Utilities

If someone asked you what the most important development for all of civilization is, modern water utility service should top the list. Sure, agriculture is good, and the internet is hit and miss, but water utilities take away dirty water and bring us clean water, preventing diseases that have scourged humanity for literally our entire existence. Needless to say, protecting water utilities is of utmost importance. They are...

by Andrew Erickson on August 13, 2019

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Hurricane Monitoring System Strategies for Remote Equipment Observation and Automated Alerts

As hurricane season approaches, are we ever really prepared? TheNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts a 40% chanceof a near-normal hurricane season in 2019 and a 30% chance of an above-normal season. Already, Louisiana has felt the effects. The difficulties faced by companies with large geographic footprints and many remote unmanned sites are multiplied by the onslaught of hurricane season. Even relatively nearby operations become effectively "remote"...

by Andrew Erickson on August 8, 2019

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How to Build Powerful SCADA Network Security Monitoring Infrastructure

Imagine a bank robber who, late one night, works his way into the bank's ventilation system, crawls through air shafts, and gets to the vault to find it wide open. You'd probably agree, there needs to be more solid security. That seems like a no-brainer. To us, a powerful SCADA system for companies with multiple remote units that need monitoring is the equivalent of a secure...

by Andrew Erickson on August 6, 2019

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2020 Guide to Remote Site Management

Managing remote sites will be more important in 2020 than ever before. Not only will there be more remote sites, but utility companies will also depend on them more heavily. And, the risks remote sites face are unyielding. As utility companies grow with the economy, so does their physical footprint. This exposes more remote unmanned sites to potential failures. Remote site equipment faces the routine risks of...

by Andrew Erickson on August 1, 2019

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The Essential Features Needed for Central Station Alarm Equipment

If an alarm doesn't have the ability to monitor and report on what it is supposed to be monitoring and reporting on, can it still be called an alarm?We admit that's a bit of a philosophical question, but it does make some sense. After all, if an alarm can't do its job 100% of the time, it's essentially useless. If you have remote equipment that needs...

by Andrew Erickson on July 30, 2019

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The Top Hardware Monitoring Tools for Remote Sites

In many industries, remote sites house important, expensive hardware. In addition, the hardware located at remote operating sites is intended to remain functioning, continuously or as needed. If this hardware stops working, it can cause system outages in telecom, overpressure or spills in oil and gas, or blackouts for electric utilities. These problems can cost millions to resolve and may endanger lives. In order to keep their...

by Andrew Erickson on July 25, 2019

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How to Implement a Durable Telecom Tower Remote Monitoring Solution

Few pieces of technology carry as much weight in communication as a telecom tower. People rely on them for instant access. Emergency services depend on towers to be online. Operations halt when telecom towers go down. And when that happens, your service goes down. If you provide service to thousands of customers through telecom towers, you know the importance of keeping your system up and running. Whether...

by Andrew Erickson on July 23, 2019

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3 SCADA Traffic Control and Automation Strategies

Traffic management can be one of the more expensive and complex issues facing municipal managers. And if something goes wrong, the town or city is sure to hear about it. Even simple traffic systems can be difficult to monitor, maintain, and repair. Without clear visibility into the status of each traffic light's control box, lights can fail before municipal managers are aware, risking collisions and expensive repairs....

by Andrew Erickson on July 18, 2019

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The Best Network Monitoring Methods for Remote Sites

Small, medium, and large telecom companies depend on constellations of remote, unmanned equipment sites to keep their networks operating. Equipment issues at these remote sites can cause network downtime. Downtime can result in contract penalties, fines, and damaged client relationships. So, to keep operations up and running, companies seek the most cost-effective way to prevent equipment problems at remote sites. No matter the size of the network, it's...

by Andrew Erickson on July 16, 2019

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The Advantages of Using Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) to Monitor Your Unmanned Sites

It's impossible to be everywhere at once. If you're a small business owner, you can't watch the storeroom and the front counter all at one time. And, if you own a large corporation, there's no easy way to view what is going on in your entire operation, especially at remote sites. If you manage multiple company locations, you know that it's impossible to have eyes everywhere. Large industries...

by Andrew Erickson on July 11, 2019

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Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) Installation Planning: How to Choose the Right Solution

Selecting Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) for your business is no easy task. The goal in any business with new equipment purchases is to ensure functionality and, ultimately, to provide solid ROI. You need to show that the RTU manufacturer you choose is trustworthy and that the RTUs will work the way you need them to. It's a big decision, and one not to take lightly. The benefits...

by Andrew Erickson on July 9, 2019

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The Best Telecom Network Monitoring Software: A Comparison for 2020

Telecom networks' physical infrastructure extends for hundreds or thousands of miles. If any equipment fails, companies can suffer increased repair costs, network downtime, and concurrent fines. Even regulatory penalties are possible. In order to efficiently keep an eye on the network and prevent impending equipment failure, telcos rely on network monitoring software. This software, powered by a top-level master station, collects and displays alerts from myriad remote...

by Andrew Erickson on July 2, 2019

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SNMP Best Practices for Upgrading Your Master Station

Think of how your business would run without any managers. Without strong leaders setting priorities, identifying challenges and recurring issues, and keeping individual contributors in line, you'd have ineffective communications and eventually, failed operations. Telecom companies can think of their network and system management features in much the same way. If you're having trouble with your older RTU equipment - since legacy equipment often does not have modern...

by Andrew Erickson on June 27, 2019

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Why the Price of a Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) Is Worth the Upfront Cost

We all know the old phrase "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." It's true, but it's actually a surprisingly hard sell. Businesses aren't wired to spend money if they don't see an immediate return. If you are looking to purchase an RTU that solves problems before they happen, you have to know that their ultimate benefit may never appear on a balance sheet....

by Andrew Erickson on June 25, 2019

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Remote Alarm Monitoring Solutions: Efficient Network Management for Large Service Areas

Telecom and utility companies with large distributed networks often face major problems. In order to manage a network that stretches across hundreds or thousands of miles, you have to be able to visualize and monitor it. Remote monitoring allows you to take proactive steps where possible, and respond appropriately to incidents. Anywhere there's equipment, there can be conditions that cause a catastrophic failure or service outage. That's...

by Andrew Erickson on June 20, 2019

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Critical SCADA Applications for Efficient Railway Systems

Railway systems are large and complex networks of networks. Many different component systems, including human, mechanical, electrical, and telecommunications infrastructure, must operate reliably and simultaneously. When errors occur in any of these areas - a defect in the track, an overheated generator, or a damaged microwave transmitter - the entire composite railway network is affected. A single, small problem can multiply into serious service interruptions or accidents. This potentially results...

by Andrew Erickson on June 18, 2019

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The Best Remote Terminal Units for Utility Companies on the Market Today

Is a Maserati coupe the best car? Maybe. Is a Maserati coupe the best car for a family of six? Maybe not. "Best" is a relative term, defined by its category. What is best for one is not necessarily best for all. What's best for you, or best for your company depends exclusively on you or your utility's needs, not the needs of other organizations. There is...

by Andrew Erickson on June 14, 2019

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The Best Network Uptime Monitoring Tools to Increase Reliability

On a normal day, yourServing GPRS Support Node (SGSN)is working fine. IP packets are being transmitted, and your customers are happily using the internet. But today's not a normal day - the node goes down. Service for all the business contracts you have goes down. For your company, that's bad news. And it gets more frustrating when Service Level Agreements (SLAs) come into play. If the amount of downtime...

by Andrew Erickson on June 11, 2019

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9 SCADA Alarm Management Best Practices That Will Improve Your ROI

There's no room in business for the unknown when revenue is on the line. When your day-to-day operations impact the daily lives of your community, and people are counting on you to have 100% uptime, the last thing you want to see in a meeting is shrugged shoulders. You have to know which equipment may be on the brink of breaking down, or if someone has hacked into...

by Andrew Erickson on June 4, 2019

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3 SNMP Network Monitoring Tools to Manage Widespread Infrastructure

Modern telecommunications networks, both largeandsmall, invest in SNMP, or simple network monitoring protocol, effectively streamlining what was once an arduous, time-consuming - and expensive - process. Using SNMP, companies can monitor each of their widespread physical locations in real-time. This helps generate remarkable cost savings through preventative and appropriate maintenance and repair responses aimed at achieving 100% uptime. Although SNMP devices dostreamlinealarm monitoring, without the right tools, implementing the protocol may...

by Andrew Erickson on May 30, 2019

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Why the Right Master Station for Your SCADA System Is Critical for Your Bottom Line

Some people are born without the ability to feel pain. At first glance, these people may seem lucky - after all, who likes pain? However, this can result in serious danger. Just like someone burning themselves experiences harm to their body, your network suffers if you can't see what demands attention. Without a successfulSCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system , a widespread physical network is like a body...

by Andrew Erickson on May 23, 2019

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The Importance of RTUs in Substations for Effective Remote Monitoring and Control

In a treeless field outside of town, surrounded by a tall chain-link fence, a substation hums with electricity. It transforms voltage into power that fuels computers to connect us, streetlights to keep us safe, and hospital equipment for miles around. There's no one nearby; the only sound is the wind. However, the substation is still being monitored. Those in charge know exactly what is going on...

by Andrew Erickson on May 21, 2019

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