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 that they need to protect their money. Well, physical assets are a form of money, and if you have remote assets across the country, you need to protect them in an efficient, cost-effective, and comprehensive manner.
More and more, companies are using intelligent remote terminal units or (RTU) offerings for asset protection. These provide eyes and ears in even the most far-flung locations, allowing companies to monitor everything that matters. They allow for real-time updates, proactive problem solving, and total intelligent flexibility.
In a fast-changing world, failing to intelligently monitor your physical assets is a lot like storing money in that closet. Sure, doing so may be cheaper than going to a bank, but you’re going to lose that cash. The cost of an RTU system pays for itself in prevention, man-hours, and reputation. It’s the smart way to run your business.
Understanding the Role of Intelligent Remote Terminal Unit Offerings
Intelligent RTUs are a growing market. 360MarketUpdates predicts that the period between 2018 and 2022 will see a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 7.7%. Backing that up with cash, TechNavio estimates that, by 2021, this will be a $1.3 billion market. Why is that? Well, a number of reasons.
- As we move toward a smart grid, there are more elements for utility companies to monitor.
- The rise of renewables means newer technologies and less margin for error.
- Oil and gas companies, working on tighter margins, have to be more confident than ever that their equipment is in top shape regardless of how remote it is.
- The growing importance of data analytics is more evident for successful business.
How do Intelligent Remote Terminal Units play into this? Because of the intelligent information they gather, the way they distribute it, and the way companies use it.
Let’s take a quick look at how that works.
- RTUs monitor and collect vital information about your physical assets. That can be everything from how the electronics are working to the core temperature to water levels to radio power to the backup generator, all throughout your system.
RTUs are programmed to make sure every system is functioning at its best.
- If something is going wrong, they send that information to a central monitoring unit known as a master.
- The RTUs can ping other RTUs, requesting information that gives the central system a better look at the bigger picture.
- The RTUs can respond by shutting down systems, making vital adjustments, or continually sending more information.
This is what is meant by “intelligence.” They can be programmed to take information and react in the way that best handles the problem. This allows humans to focus their attention on emergencies, on making repairs, and other vital functions.
The RTUs keep you from having to go in the field when there is nothing wrong. RTUs offer efficiencies for maintenance. And they help to prevent huge problems, saving you money at every step of the way.
How You Can Capitalize on Intelligent Remote Terminal Unit Offerings for Asset Protection
But what does this all mean? What are the benefits of having an intelligent remote terminal unit system?
Functionality is the key to your system. Every part needs to be working properly or else the whole operation will be compromised. Monitoring the functionality of all your devices and equipment is absolutely key to today’s hypercomplex systems.
With the new smart grid, everything is connected. No device is an island; when something goes bad, it has a rippling effect. Consistent monitoring is the way to make sure that nothing goes wrong.
You can’t have eyes and ears everywhere all at once, but a master unit can. By its constant connection to RTUs, the master unit can gather real-time updates from everywhere. Getting a message that the heat is rising inside a power station? You can do something about it…and understand if it is isolated or systemic.
We all know that preventative maintenance is key to cost-effective asset management. But that falls apart if:
1) You are sending out crews when they don’t need to go out, or
2) Something happens that goes beyond the need for preventative maintenance.
These seem contradictory, but they aren’t as they both speak to the need for information.
Knowing your system means knowing when maintenance is called for, and when it isn’t. Knowing that some components need work means avoiding disaster. And, knowing when they don’t ensures that your company is not wasting the valuable time of your expert employees.
Intelligent RTUs offer great incentive: they alleviate problems. Now, these aren’t like the robots you see in sci-fi movies, diagnosing a problem and breaking out their toolkit. But they can be programmed to know that if X event happens they should do Y. This doesn’t even require human intervention. You can stop a problem before it happens.
Gather More Data
Data analytics is an enormous part of any company’s success. The more information you have, the more ability to have to judge processes, evaluate equipment, and determine how you will handle future events. Data presents a story; analytics interprets it and draws out the lesson.
This works better if there is more data. The more complete a picture you have of any event or events, the smarter and clearer the story you can tell. RTUs capture data. That’s what they do best. The kind of data they capture includes:
- Real-time data
- Logging data
- Historical data
You can have a complete picture of your system, and be able to manage the right information.
We’ve been over how you can save money by fixing problems and avoiding spending too much on windshield time. But there are a lot of ways that intelligent RTUs save you money. They include:
- Better security
- Lower people costs
- A better allocation of human assets
- More uptime
- Avoiding breakdowns and repairs
- Extending the life of your physical assets
The last one is the key here. Your physical assets are money. They are a huge investment. By monitoring them, you can make sure that they last for as long as possible, running efficiently, adapting to change, and providing the service you—and your customers—count on.
Intelligent RTUs for A Better Reputation
At the end of the day, there are a few audiences you have to please. Shareholders, maybe. Regulators for sure. End-users? Absolutely. No matter if you are public or private, perception matters. And if you have breakdowns which inconvenience or harm people, your reputation suffers.
Physical assets are how you establish your reputation. Protecting them is how you protect your credibility.
That’s why it is so important to have an Intelligent remote terminal unit system. Knowing everything that is happening with your physical assets means making the best decisions. It means solving problems in real-time. It means having the data to make better decisions. And, it means protecting everything that matters.
DPS Telecom has the experience and expertise to help companies monitor what matters most—including their costs. Our technicians can work with you to install RTUs with easy-to-use interfaces for more automatic responses. Reach out and get a quote today!
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