Why Should You Consider Wireless M2M for Your SCADA?
Are you considering an upgrade to your SCADA system, or do you need to implement a new system? If so, you should consider how wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies can help you reduce your deployment and maintenance costs and improve the efficiency and functionality of your SCADA system.
A properly designed and installed SCADA system that makes smart use of wireless technology will give you the best return on your SCADA investment and protect your assets. With the fast-paced evolution of wireless M2M technologies there’s now a wide range of cost-effective wireless solutions for your SCADA including wireless mesh, point-to-point data connections, satellite links, cellular and digital mobile two way radio systems.
Here are some areas where wireless M2M solutions for SCADA can benefit you:
Did you know that advances in M2M wireless technology allow you to implement wireless solutions throughout your SCADA system? For example, wireless equipment can be deployed in your I/O, letting you replace wired connections between your sensors and RTU/PLC with wireless links. Not only does this free you from having to install and maintain wiring, but it allows you to place sensors and remote units in areas of your operation that were previously unreachable by wiring.
Wireless is a viable solution to create network extensions across physical barriers such as waterways or highways, and to sites located in remote or offshore areas where there is no physical communications infrastructure. Cellular and satellite networks offer excellent coverage with high speed data and Internet connectivity for these areas. Taking advantage of these networks allows you to bring a higher level of SCADA functionality to your remote sites.
Would you like to save money on your SCADA deployment and maintenance? The deployment costs for a wired network can be high, especially with rising labour rates and the costs of installing conduit, digging trenches and pulling wire. Because wireless systems consist only of end-units, their installation costs are much lower than with wire, bringing you big savings on installation. Wireless networks are also less expensive to maintain as they are not reliant on easily-damaged physical connections.
Do you operate in an environment where wired connections can be easily disrupted or damaged, or are you dependent on single wired I/O or backhaul links to critical equipment?
With solutions such as cellular and satellite networks, or local wireless mesh networks, wireless can provide a much higher level of network reliability and redundancy for your SCADA than wired connections. Cellular networks provide wide coverage and high reliability and availability, making them an excellent choice for mission-critical connections. In areas not served by cellular ,or where a wide area network makes sense, radio mesh networks can be deployed that provide high reliability and redundancy.
What are your plans to upgrade or expand your SCADA system in the future? Wireless systems are easily upgradeable and scalable, making them a good investment for future growth. Wireless sensors, PLCs and RTUs can be upgraded via over-the-air firmware upgrades or by simply swapping components. Wireless data rates are always increasing, meaning that you will always be able to obtain the additional throughput you need as you expand your SCADA system.
Wireless PLCs and RTUs can host numerous sensors, allowing you to add additional sensors as needed without having to upgrade your field equipment. Wireless RTUs and PLCs can also be linked to one another, allowing them to work as a scalable wide area network.
If you are looking to upgrade or develop your SCADA system, you should make an informed decision about the benefits wireless technology can provide. Nova Communications can help you along the way by providing systems and needs analysis to determine your current needs and where wireless solutions can help you. We can assist you with sensor and RTU selection, system and network design, frequency planning, system configuration and ongoing support, and we also supply SCADA equipment and field commissioning and system staging services to get you up and running.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you put wireless to work in your SCADA systems, give us a call today or check out the Professional Wireless Services brochure below.