Know Your Options: Communication Platforms for Remote Monitoring Systems

Posted on Mon, Jan 24, 2011 @ 8:44 AM

Remote terminal units, or RTUs, allow municipalities, utilities and manufacturers to remotely monitor facilities and equipment and communicate data or alarms to personnel via phone, fax, pager, cell phone, email or voicemail. Traditionally, RTUs transmit data or alarm notifications via landline telephone, but more options are now available. They include:

• Conventional landline: The conventional landline option is the simplest—an RTU transmits data via the landline network to the predetermined device.

• Cellular networks: The prevalence of cell phones means the RTU can transmit through a cellular network to the landline network.

• The Internet provides a third transmission option—machine-to-machine, or M2M. An RTU transmits data packets via an M2M network to the cellular and landline networks, which transfer the information through an M2M service provider gateway to the RTU manufacturer’s website. A notification is then sent to notify personnel that they can access data through the manufacturer’s website.

Consider your facility’s remote monitoring needs when choosing a communication platform. Systems that require frequent, high-volume data transmission are best suited to cellular and landline networks, since they allow unlimited transmission and data logging from up to 256 channels. They also are highly reliable communication methods.

In the past, when analog cellular was the only way to transmit, M2M was best for systems that require less frequent monitoring, since transmissions and data logging were limited and it was more difficult to call in for status checks.  However, with the transition to digital, much more data now can be sent at a higher frequency and lower cost. Additionally, with more steps in the transmission process, M2M also opens up more chances for an outage that could result in a delivery failure.

Download RACO’s white paper “Information Delivery for Remote Monitoring Systems” to learn more about RTUs and communication platform options.

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Case Study: Alarm System Increases Response Efficiency for Municipal Utilities

Posted on Fri, Jan 21, 2011 @ 9:18 AM

The Evesham Municipal Utilities Authority in Marlton, N.J., found the alarm reporting system for its water and wastewater facilities troublesome. When the system sensed an alarm, it alerted the supervisor. But to find out exactly where the alarm occurred, he had to visit the plant’s main instrument panel and then send out maintenance personnel to investigate the problem. However, the fault often turned out to be just temporary, causing delayed response times and unnecessary overtime. To resolve these problems, the authority opted to install a unique alarm monitoring and reporting system c... Continue Reading

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Tip of the Month: Buy American

Posted on Thu, Jan 20, 2011 @ 12:07 AM

The “Buy American” provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) requires public works projects to use iron, steel and manufactured goods produced in the U.S. All RACO products are made in the U.S. and meet the provision. Download RACO’s Buy American Certificate of Compliance in Word format from our website. Type your information into all fields highlighted in yellow. After completing the form, e-mail it to or fax to 510.658.3153 for RACO’s signature, and we’ll send it back to you. Visit the ARRA section of our Support Center for more informat... Continue Reading

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Welcome to RACO’s blog!

Posted on Tue, Jan 18, 2011 @ 10:13 PM

Welcome to RACO’s blog! You’ll find information on alarm and remote monitoring systems, case studies about utilities that have successfully applied these technologies and tips for consulting engineers, systems integrators and users at municipal water and wastewater treatment plants. Whether you’re an engineer or a plant operator, our posts will help you keep in tune with our technology. Subscribe via our RSS feed or through e-mail to stay up-to-date, and check in twice a month for new blog updates. To learn even more about RACO and our technologies, visit our Facebook page and bec... Continue Reading

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RACO: Your source for 24/7 alarm autodialer support

Posted on Thu, Jan 13, 2011 @ 9:19 PM

Tap into RACO's 60+ years of expertise in remote monitoring and alarm notification! Get live chat support or log into our 24/7 Support Center to submit questions and search our database of FAQs and product details, including manuals, specs, installation guides and maintenance information. We continually expand this knowledge base to better support you, creating the industry's most robust support center. Click on the following tutorials to learn more: Free 24/7 Support Center Search FAQs - Browse through our ever-growing database of 500+ frequently asked questions. Search by prod... Continue Reading

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