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Utility Company Saves $1M With Wireless Communications

PacifiCorp needed to monitor a 10-mile stretch of canal near the North Umpqua River 24/7 to prevent environmental damage. A reliable solar powered communications device with a small enough footprint to fit inside protective cabinets needed to be managed remotely when engineers are not available to make adjustments to the device directly.

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  • SUPPLIER
  • CalAmp
    CalAmp is a proven leader in the mobile resource management (MRM) and machine-to-machine (M2M) space, connecting clients to business-critical data and transforming it into actionable intelligence for people, systems and machines.
  • INDUSTRIES
  • Construction & Buildings
  • FUNCTIONS
  • Quality Assurance
  • CUSTOMER
  • PacifiCorp is one of the West's leading utilities, serving approximately 1.7 million customers in six states, covering 136,000 square miles.

  • CONNECTIVITY PROTOCOLS
  • SOLUTION
  • The Viper, a robust communication link with a ruggedized case, is able to withstand Oregon’s weather conditions and is small enough to fit inside the compact, stainless steel cabinets that reside along the canal. Additionally, the Viper can be accessed and managed remotely by engineering teams at headquarters in Portland.

  • DATA COLLECTED
  • Asset Status Tracking, Labor Costs, Man Hours, Reportable Environmental Incidents, Uptime
  • SOLUTION TYPE
  • SOLUTION MATURITY
  • Emerging (technology has been on the market for > 2 years)
  • OPERATIONAL IMPACT
  • Impact #1
    [Efficiency Improvement - Maintenance]
    Real-time status reports enable maintenance personnel to remotely diagnose the status of a canal.
    Impact #2
    [Efficiency Improvement - Production Uptime]
    Real-time visibility, monitoring, and control of equipment 200 miles away improves asset uptime while minimizing labor costs.
    Impact #3
  • QUANTITATIVE BENEFIT
  • Benefit #1

    Instead of spending $1M to build a fiber cable to transfer data, the Viper solution cost PacifiCorp $200,000.

  • USE CASES
  • Process Control & Optimization (PCO)
    Process Control and Optimization (PCO) is the discipline of adjusting a process to maintain or optimize a specified set of parameters without violating process constraints.The PCO market is being driven by rising demand for energy efficient production processes, safety and security concerns, and the development of IoT systems that can reliably predict process deviations.Fundamentally, there are three parameters that can be adjusted to affect optimal performance:- Equipment optimizationThe first step is to verify that the existing equipment is being used to its fullest advantage by examining operating data to identify equipment bottlenecks.- Operating proceduresOperating procedures may vary widely from person-to-person or from shift-to-shift. Automation of the plant can help significantly. But automation will be of no help if the operators take control and run the plant in manual.- Control optimizationIn a typical processing plant, such as a chemical plant or oil refinery, there are hundreds or even thousands of control loops. Each control loop is responsible for controlling one part of the process, such as maintaining a temperature, level, or flow. If the control loop is not properly designed and tuned, the process runs below its optimum. The process will be more expensive to operate, and equipment will wear out prematurely. For each control loop to run optimally, identification of sensor, valve, and tuning problems is important. It has been well documented that over 35% of control loops typically have problems. The process of continuously monitoring and optimizing the entire plant is sometimes called performance supervision.
  • HARDWARE
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