SCADA for water

How is SCADA Used for Water Systems?

By | Blog, SCADA

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 widen, clogged filters, broken pumps, and eventually, rusted tanks. To prevent maintenance issues and streamline operations, cities use SCADA for water systems.

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SCADA railway

How SCADA Improves Railway Electrification

By | Blog

Recently, Indian Railways, the national railroad carrier of India, made a bold announcement: they would have completely 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 primary source of power. And in the U.S., there’s a growing trend toward moving away from diesel, especially for freight transportation so there’s an increased need for overland freight solutions.

If you’re responsible for creating and/or maintaining a railway electrification project, you understand the scope of this undertaking. Most importantly, you know that there’s a lot that can go wrong. You know that for the project to be successful, you have to monitor every inch of it and make sure the electricity keeps running.

To do this, you’ll need a comprehensive SCADA (Supervised Control and Data Acquisition) system. This gives you real-time updates on your entire electrical system and lets you automate immediate solutions to problems.

Freight is crucial to the future of the nation, and more and more, freight will be shipped on electrified railroads. Protect that freight, and your business, with SCADA for railway electrification. With the right partner, it can be done.

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snmp configuration

A Comprehensive SNMP Configuration Guide for Effective Conversion

By | Blog, SNMP

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 protocol, impeding the installation of different equipment.

Without a way to bridge the communication gap, companies may have to replace all older equipment at once, increasing conversion costs. However, by installing equipment that can convert various communication protocols to SNMP, companies can continue to use older equipment as long as it remains functional. This simplifies equipment updates, reducing disruption and saving money.

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remote tank monitoring

Optimizing Remote Tank Monitoring Solutions for Industrial Reliability

By | Blog

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 safely drill into and extract, while safely optimizing and monitoring production.

Your remote oil fields and well pads are vital to your business and are performing dangerous tasks every day. Ensuring the system keeps running means paying attention to an incredible number of moving parts. No one person or team can be everywhere at once. And that’s where remote tank monitoring solutions come in.

Monitoring solutions are the best way to make sure that you maintain the flow, pressure, and temperatures you need to keep running efficiently, effectively, and safely.

By installing remote tank monitoring solutions at your oil and gas sites, you’ll have up-to-the-second control over all your operations. And, that’s a good use of time.

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rtu plc

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

By | Blog, RTUs | No Comments
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 to prevent and detect maintenance or security issues at remote locations.

While PLCs monitor the equipment they control, RTUs issue commands to equipment via control relays, however, these functions are secondary. While RTUs may be less suited to control assembly arms; PLCs are out of place monitoring fuel tank levels at a distant outpost. 

So “RTU vs PLC” is an easy question to answer: each device is best for doing what it was built for. PLCs allow for nimble manufacturing and local area control. And, RTUs provide operational oversight, even over large geographical areas. Here’s more:

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remote terminal unit smart

A Rugged Remote Terminal Unit for the Smart Grid Market

By | Blog | No Comments

Throughout recent months, as fires ravaged thousands of acres of California, the Northern California company PG&E was forced to make a terrible call to completely 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 Pines, just east of Placerville, died shortly after his power was turned off. He required oxygen and was no longer able to get it. While there hasn’t been a 1:1 absolute link concerning the causation between the cutoff and his death, it’s a terrible tragedy that everyone involved wishes could have been avoided.

Avoiding such tragedies is the promise of the RTU-powered smart grid.

The smart grid, which is developing from dream to reality, is an electrical grid that can make targeted slowdown, shutdown, or ramp up a decision, based on usage, need, and other factors. It can make instant decisions, and not get into situations like the one in California. But doing this requires a remote telemetry unit for the smart grid that actually works. RTUs have to be able to monitor vast amounts of information across the grid and send them to a master station that can make the right decisions.

That means that the RTUs have to be able to withstand whatever nature can throw at them—they must be rugged. As the smart grid is the way of the future, it’s crucial to get it right. That means understanding what the smart grid is, finding the best remote terminal unit for the smart grid, and ensuring it will work effectively as a part of your SCADA system.

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gas well monitoring

How to Manage an Effective Gas Well Monitoring System

By | Blog | No Comments

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 all conditions to start the process that keeps our modern society running.

The complexity of gas wells involves maintaining countless pieces of equipment and adhering to a host of related safety, regulatory, and environmental standards, all while providing a positive ROI. This means that every part has to work well, and be monitored, to avoid accidents or breakdowns—which  cost money—and affect every aspect of your operation.

Watching gas wells requires an extensive remote monitoring system for oil and gas that can stand up to the conditions and tame the vastness.

A gas well monitoring system can give you a real-time look at everything happening in your fields and can keep those pumps moving continuously, ensuring the effective management and monitoring of your gas well operation.

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How a Remote Facility Monitoring System Improves Maintenance Quality and Security

By | Blog | No Comments

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 needed to operate primary systems.

If any aspect of these fails, due to a number of causes, the cascading effect can render the facility inoperable. This can lead to expensive downtime and repairs.

Remote facilities have another area of exposure: unwanted human activity. By definition: removed from populated areas, remote facilities are vulnerable to intrusion. Trespassers may be simply looking for temporary shelter, but could also invade to vandalize, steal, or sabotage expensive property. In order to prevent both equipment degradation and unwanted intrusions, facility owners must invest in a capable remote facility monitoring system.

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wastewater treatment plant monitoring

Identifying a Cost-Effective Wastewater Treatment Plant Monitoring System

By | Blog | No Comments

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 water sanitation is what allows modern society to flourish. But while many of us take water for granted, people who run wastewater treatment plants are keenly aware of the work it takes to keep them running.

These are enormous, interconnected systems, employing everything from reverse osmosis to UV sanitization to basic filtering. That’s a lot of moving parts, and they all have to work right.

If you’re in charge of making sure things go right at a wastewater treatment monitoring plant, you are probably thinking about remote monitoring systems. These systems let you know what is happening at your plant, pump stations, and treatment operations, alerting you if anything is going wrong, so you can fix the problem before it goes public.

You need a cost-effective system that works. By partnering with a wastewater treatment plant monitoring system provider that helps you install and implement the right system, you’ll save money, solve problems, and get a great return on your investment. It’ll keep your books in order while keeping the water clean.

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What is SNMPWalk and When Should You Perform One?

By | Blog, SNMP | No Comments

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 take an SNMPWalk.

An SNMPWalk is how you get a list of everything in your SNMP-protocol network that might be queried, and how you test the effectiveness of each agent’s response.

In short, it’s how you make sure things work. You can do this before you use your SNMP system in real scenarios, and you can do this to troubleshoot if anything goes wrong.

The SNMPWalk is more than walking around the car kicking tires: it’s doing a full-scale test of every situation, every condition, and every sudden stop your equipment might take. It’s a full picture of how your SNMP devices communicate information. It’s a walk that enables you to run.

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