Blog

A New Way to Easily Expand Your SCADA Communications Network

  • January 25, 2017
  • Kristy Cartier
  • Reading Time: 2 minutes
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You might consider CalAmp to be a hardware-only company. Yet, did you know that we have over 480,000 unique software application subscribers? Our software is used for device management, fleet management, vehicle finance assurance, supply chain integrity and more. Our APIs enable integration with third-party business solutions. CalAmp has a comprehensive set of developer tools that clients and partners can use to configure CalAmp’s modems, gateways and routers. A new partner utilized one of our developer tools to create a new tool which can make it simpler to expand your SCADA communications network (download the full brief here).

Industrial industries such as energy, oil & gas, and water & wastewater are often comprised of fixed plants along with remote sites or difficult-to-reach components (pipes, valves, compressors, etc.). It’s very common for these assets to be monitored by devices that transmit status data and can perform certain functions like switch on/off or control open/close depending on a given condition. In the past, these nodes could only be monitored and activated from a centralized operations center.

Today, distributed control systems (DCS) are a collection of smart sensors and actuators which take measurements and apply control inputs to the physical system infrastructure. A big difference from a central-only system is that these devices can talk to each other as well as the main control board.

DCS

These remote terminal devices transmit the information through a SCADA communication network to the programmable logic controllers. Utilities have been constrained to using assets from one manufacturer or using another vendor and bear the burden of reprogramming to get them to “speak” to each other – a significant investment of time and money.

What if the utilities wanted to build a more efficient system by selecting the most appropriate device?

AGM Communication & Control decided to tackle this problem by developing their R-Win Inside solution. The vendor- and spectrum-agnostic application was built using the CalAmp Open Developer Platform™ (ODP) on the Vanguard 5530. ODP simplifies the development of embedded machine-to-machine (M2M) and IoT applications. This tool comes pre-installed in the Vanguard line of routers. The Vanguard 5530 specifically is a multi-function cellular router that features high-speed, secure LTE broadband wireless connectivity in a rugged industrial design.

Industries with remote assets are now able to expand their networks without the tedious process of major reprogramming, which could take months of working with their SCADA integrator. Read more about the success story here. And visit with us and AGM at DistribuTECH from January 31 through February 3, 2017 in San Diego – we’re at booth #1536.