Utility equipment: High performance communications modules

utility supplies utility equipment GE Intelligent Platforms
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GE Intelligent Platforms announced three new PACSystems RX3i modules that provide infrastructure OEMs and systems integrators with communication protocols as “in rack” solutions. The PACSystems family of automation controllers, standardized on the market-leading PROFINET industrial network, provides an extremely high performance, reliable, yet simple to configure and install distributed I/O network.

The Ethernet modules align with a growing industry trend regarding the adoption of Ethernet-based communications and work in environments where downtime is not an option. They enable connection at the device level to the software level of infrastructure organizations using object-oriented programming for greater access to actionable data.

“By replacing proprietary networks with an Ethernet LAN and modern automation systems, industrial companies can improve device-level connectivity, network reliability, simplify deployment and leverage data from their machines to improve operations,” said Mark Reitzel, Mission Critical Segment Leader for GE Intelligent Platforms. “Electrical subsystems have a rich heritage of communication standards, and the PACSystems platform now integrates with them.”

The three new modules include IEC61850, DNP3, and IEC60870-5-104 Ethernet-based communication protocols, enabling improved access to data and time-stamping of events via object-oriented programming. This allows users to troubleshoot and identify the root cause of downtime and/or system disturbances, and eliminate those disruptors. The new modules enable two-way communication between the SCADA and Intelligent Electrical Device (IED) levels. By uniting the control and software layers under a common architecture, information stored in the controller becomes more accessible and actionable.

An integrated solution enables rack design, reducing engineering time for OEMs and improving time to market. In addition, the support of fiber optics simplifies system design and provides more reliable communication and greater transmission distance, which should prove attractive for customers.

“GE Intelligent Platforms understands the value that today’s control systems can bring when open standards are leveraged to connect third-party devices,” Reitzel concluded. “And, GE¹s extensive expertise in large infrastructure projects provides us with unparalleled insight into the challenges of OEMs/SIs in this space. Our continued investment in connecting machines with high performance automation solutions for today¹s Industrial Internet world is enabling new business models and value added solutions. “

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February 2014
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