Monthly Archives: September 2013

The integral role of an Oriel Systems telemetry outstation or RTU

Of all of the components that are critical to the smooth running of remote telemetry, the actual device for collecting that all-important data – the telemetry outstation – cannot be overlooked. Also referred to as a Remote Terminal Unit or even Remote Telemetry Unit (RTU), a telemetry outstation is located on each monitored site, gathering information on a 24 hours a day basis from all of the sensors at that particular remote site. When customers across the water, chemical, print and oil and gas industries choose Oriel Systems (, they can specify a video outstation, intelligent outstation or low power outstation.

Such a unit has digital and analogue signals wired directly to it, and is capable of relaying information on events, alarms, analogue (floating) values and more to the host station. It’s also possible to configure communications for local communications to SCADA and further local intelligent devices. The specific RTUs that have been developed by Oriel Systems include a video outstation capable of the simultaneous transmission over the Internet of as many as eight live feeds – optionally with audio – from the given remote site. Oriel Systems’ AWAX software can then be used for monitoring and controlling the cameras, as tabs are kept on other onsite functions.

Customers of this intelligent video unit from Oriel Systems’ large installed user base across the world appreciate the various resolutions at which it can transmit video – whether the requirement is for a low network bandwidth system, or a high bandwidth application from which television quality video can be produced. But Oriel Systems is also known for its intelligent outstation that can be programmed for the monitoring and control of the remote site’s plant equipment. The system can be fully configured for the client’s site, with the Unit being attachable to IO modules of various types, as well as to PLCs and other intelligent devices.

Clients choose the Intelligent Telemetry Outstation (ITO) partly on account of the wide range of communication transmission options that can be specified with the connection of the unit back to their master station. These include both licensed and un-licensed Low Power radio, PSTN (land-line), Internet, satellite and GSM/GPRS mobile. However many previously recorded values need to be sent back, that can be accomplished, with a live feed also being delivered of on-site events.

Finally, Oriel Systems also offers a low power outstation that has been designed for small solar panel and/or mini-windmill power. The unit provides clear and confident readings, with its internal charge pump enabling the generation of its own 24 volt supply for analog sensors. With this unit, radio or GSM/GPRS modem are usually used for communication to the AWAX master station, and a repeater station is not generally required. Such features make this unit just one more of the many telemetry solutions that have helped to make Oriel Systems ( such a go-to company for a wide range of specialised remote monitoring requirements.


The telemetry functionality greatly assisting the printing industry

Much has been made of the struggles of the printing industry in recent times, with newspapers and magazines having to fully embrace the rise of online or, in some cases, succumb to it. In the meantime, newspapers are having to respond to declining circulation figures by streamlining their businesses, with costs being cut wherever possible. One of the most vital commodities to the printing industry, but also one of the most expensive, is printing ink, and the telemetry systems of Oriel Systems ( can help to ensure that no supplier lets a newspaper down.

Not only are newspapers dependent on their suppliers’ continued smooth operation, but the supplier is under pressure to ensure that its customer does not run out of ink – and to ensure that, information needs to be available on the levels of product at the customer’s site. The supplier needs to receive regular notification of customer tank levels, and when the time comes to deliver ink, the supplier will not want to have to return with a partial load – instead, it will want to be able to completely empty the tank. This is where the remote tank monitoring solution of Oriel Systems proves invaluable.

The Vendor Managed Inventory solution of Oriel Systems allows for the constant monitoring of the ink levels in customer tanks, courtesy of an Intelligent Telemetry Outstation present at each site. If, overnight, there is unexpectedly high usage resulting in the tank level falling below a certain pre-defined limit, the system overrides the whole operation, with the supplier being contacted so that it can respond accordingly. But it also helps the supplier to save costs if it has the ability to better plan production in advance, and sure enough, consumption is also monitored so that the supplier can better ascertain the newspaper’s likely future needs.

Over its more than 25 years in business, Oriel Systems has accumulated significant expertise on the requirements of a wide range of clients, with its large installed user base worldwide empowering the technical team to provide the most appropriate inventory monitoring solutions for various applications of different levels of complexity. A recent case study in relation to the printing industry is Oriel Systems’ installation of a telemetry system for one of the major, Spanish-based customers of the leading ink supplier, Flint Ink.

Specialising in periodic magazines and brochures, the purpose-built printing facility in Tres Cantos near Madrid is some distance from the plant in Wolverhampton, UK where the ink is actually manufactured, with the ink management contract being managed in the Netherlands. Nonetheless, Oriel Systems ( was able to supply and install an Intelligent Telemetry Outstation on broadband providing instantaneous tank level readings back to Flint Ink’s Holland headquarters. Information on the next ink delivery, the colour that needs to be planned and historical ink consumption are also all provided by a system that is highly cost-effective and flexible, in line with the customer’s exact technical requirements.


Oriel Systems fosters strong international links

The very nature of telemetry, whereby data is collected and measurements made at inaccessible or remote points prior to the transmission of such information to receiving equipment, might suggest that it is an especially internationally-oriented technology. Sure enough, telemetry owes its very existence to a series of developments far beyond these shores, from the mid-19th century development of one of the first data transmission circuits between the Winter Palace of the Russian Tsar and army headquarters, to subsequent innovations in France. It all points to the importance of any telemetry systems provider, like Oriel Systems (, being distinctly outward-facing.

Sure enough, since its 1986 inception, Oriel Systems has gradually developed into what is now a highly internationally-oriented high technology services provider, with an emphasis on providing the most flexible, reliable and cost-effective remote monitoring systems to what has become a sizable installed user base worldwide. Clients across the likes of the water, chemicals, printing and pharmaceutical industries turn to Oriel Systems on account of its in-depth expertise relating to these particular sectors, combined with specific data acquisition solutions of a proven level of reliability and functionality.

Such clients know that the telemetry systems of Oriel Systems are as powerful as they are scalable. They know that as such systems can be installed quickly and easily, start-up and operational costs can be kept down, while they are also aware that such solutions can be incorporated into a wide range of remote equipment to avoid an existing investment having to be thrown out. In addition, they know that with Oriel Systems, they do not find themselves investing in telemetry infrastructure that they do not actually need. Whether a small-scale or plant-wide system is required, customers know that an Oriel Systems solution can be easily adapted to suit ever-varying needs.

However, clients may also be interested to learn about the national and international links with other major stakeholders in telemetry software and hardware, that put the Oriel Systems technical team in such a strong position to respond to the widest range of needs. The company has a presence in various parts of the UK, with a manufacturing, research and development facility in south west England being complemented by Manchester and north London sites, out of which the company’s installation engineers work. But the firm also maintains strategic alliances and agents in Europe and the Far East – indeed, more than half of its revenue is international.

Such in-depth expertise as gathered from across the world has been instrumental in attracting such high quality and frequently multinational clients as Cadburys, BASF, Nestle, Unilever and Fling Group Netherlands B.V. Customers both throughout the UK and overseas also benefit from a head office located in close proximity to all of the major transport links, as well as the wide range of languages in which the telemetry solutions of Oriel Systems ( can operate around the world. Such factors all help to make the company a continued first choice for national and international clients alike.