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Collect Data along a Gas Pipeline

A major natural gas utility was looking to gain access to real-time or near real-time data communications from new PLCs in 340 locations across a stretch of pipeline. Plans called for the majority of these PLCs to be housed in specially constructed and certified enclosures along the distribution/transmission pipeline network. However, data must also be collected from hard-to-reach points along the pipeline.

The utility wanted to use a wired connection to capture data from the enclosures and a wireless product for the remote collection points to reduce on-site visits. Both solutions must convert Modbus/TCP data to serial and meet safety and security requirements for hazardous locations. Ultimately, the utility wanted a cost-effective, efficient solution that would reduce failure points and intensive manual labor.

Having had some previously successful experience with Digi products, the utility tested the Digi One® IAP Haz serial server for the wired connections and the Digi Connect WAN® IA hardened cellular router for the remote locations.  

  • Digi One IAP Haz performs industrial Modbus/TCP protocol conversion/bridging for the wired connections
  • Digi Connect WAN IA utilizes “always-on” GSM or CDMA cellular networks to collect data from remote locations; also converts Modbus/TCP data to serial
  • Both products offer Class 1, Division 2 certification, a key requirement for hazardous locations
  • Extended operating temperature tolerance (-30° C to 60 ° C) eliminates need for expensive enclosures or built-in heaters

The Digi wired/wireless solution enabled the utility to quickly realize Return on Investment (ROI) by reducing points of failure since no manual labor, truck rolls, or extra equipment for Modbus/TCP conversion is needed.

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Problem:
Connecting data from PLCs in hazardous locations

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Utilize wired and wireless connections to capture data from equipment in hazardous locations

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