Arcom Enables Central Networks to Roll Out GPRS Telemetry System

8/27/2004 - Arcom, the leading UK supplier of embedded industrial computing platforms, systems and network gateways is pleased to announce a contract with Central Networks to supply gateways which enable the use of conventional DNP3 equipment over a GPRS cellular wireless network.

The solution is based on Arcomís Director series platform and will be used at remote nodes on the electricity distribution network. It will facilitate the transmission of data via GPRS from existing units originally designed to operate over serial communication links. It provides the necessary protocol translation and manages the remote connection and transfer of data to the SCADA host via the wide area IP network provided by the GPRS transport. This dramatically reduces both the capital and operating costs of the system when compared with other communication options available to these remote locations.

Providing independent channels at each remote site for both DNP3 data and remote reconfiguration serial streams to the RTU (remote telemetry unit), the Directors will initially be deployed at over 500 remote locations. To assist in remote fault detection, the units also give diagnostics information concerning message flows and RF signal strength via a standard telnet session.

This is the first time that Arcomís protocol gateways have been deployed on a UK GPRS network, although previously they have been used to provide similar functionality over IP networks using transports such as satellite, low power private radio and PSTN as well as over more conventional wired networks. ADSL connections are also planned for future sites on the clients system, where the units are viewed as an important tool to assist them in their corporate goal of migrating all communications to TCP/IP over the next few years.

ďBy using Arcomís DS3 we have been able to extend the reach of this project beyond DNP3 RTUs to include those using older, legacy protocols; the DS3 solution has proved to be extremely flexible and straight forward to implement and manage.Ē said Roger Hey, Project Manager for Central Networks.

Arcom has extensive experience in the supply of industrial network gateways providing protocol conversion for over 100 legacy SCADA interfaces for major clients in the oil, gas and utility sectors. The Director can also serve as a direct interface between a data acquisition system and IBM WebSphere based enterprise level applications (using the IBM Websphere Integration Broker). Furthermore, the Director can be used as an RTU/PLC in its own right by fitting Arcoms industrial I/O boards and programmed using industry standard IEC61131-3 development tools.

For more information about how Arcom can help you migrate your legacy SCADA systems onto modern communication networks, or integrate your SCADA and Process Control Systems with your Business Enterprise Applications, contact Tim Taberner (for EMEA) or Kurt Hochanadel (for US).

IBM and WebSphere are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both.

About Arcom (
Arcom, a Spectris company (LSE: SXS.L), is a leading supplier of embedded computer and communications technology to industry. Founded in 1982, Arcom has developed a broad range of standard embedded hardware and software solutions for control, data acquisition and data delivery systems. From its design centers in Kansas City (USA) and Cambridge (UK), Arcom is also able to offer Design Services to meet the needs of high volume OEM and specialized customer requirements.

About Central Networks (
Central Networks is the new name for Midlands Electricity and East Midlands Electricity. The company brings power to 4.8 million customers across the East and West Midlands of the United Kingdom through 133,000km of underground and overhead cables and via almost 97,000 substations. Central Networks covers an area from the Peak District in the north, to parts of Bristol in the south, and from the Welsh Borders to the Lincolnshire Coast.

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