Monthly Archives: October 2013

Oriel Systems – specialising in the most cutting edge SCADA software

If there’s any acronym that will be more than familiar to those in such industries as water and waste control, energy, oil and gas, telecommunications and transportation, it is SCADA, referring to supervisory control and data acquisition. This is the term for a computer system that gathers and analyses real time data from industrial processes, as has such fundamental importance in the monitoring and control of a plant or equipment. Certainly, Oriel Systems ( is noted for the high standard of its own AWAX SCADA software, which is as cost-effective as it is cutting edge.

SCADA systems are types of industrial control system (ICS) that have been historically distinguished from other such systems by the large scale processes involved, potentially encompassing very large distances and multiple sites. Examples can include industrial processes like manufacturing, fabrication, production, refining and power generation, or public or private infrastructure processes like wastewater collection and treatment, oil and gas pipelines, large communication systems and water treatment and distribution.

Also potentially covered by SCADA systems are facility processes in various public and private buildings, ships, airports and space stations, with the likes of ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems being monitored and controlled. There are various subsystems that tend to make up a SCADA system, including the human-machine interface or HMI that presents the human operator with processed data, which enables the monitoring and control of the process. Other subsystems include a supervisory (computer) system that acquires data and sends demands, as well as the remote terminal units (RTUs) that connect to sensors, converting sensor signals into digital data that is then sent to the supervisory system.

When people talk about SCADA, they are generally referring to centralised systems for the monitoring and control of entire sites, if not complexes of systems of a large geographical spread. So the term could refer to the processes of one industrial plant, or an entire nation. It is the RTU at which the remote monitoring systems begin acquiring data, with the resultant meter readings or equipment status reports being communicated to SCADA as required. This is followed by the compilation and formatting of the data in such a way that supervisory decisions to override or adjust normal RTU controls can be made by a control room operator making use of the HMI.

Those with an interest in the most reliable, scalable and powerful telemetry systems – of which AWAX SCADA software can be a key part – are advised to get in touch with Oriel Systems’ ( technical team. The company’s own SCADA software connects to its own range of remote units, as well as to most programmable logic controllers (PLCs)and various other hardware types, including the remote units of other vendors. Continual program development has seen the introduction of greater functionality to the software, so that it embraces the most recent technological advances and remains absolutely relevant to current needs.


A closer look at Oriel Systems’ work for a wide range of clients

One of the definite selling points of turning to Oriel Systems ( for the supply, installation and support of a telemetry system has long been its ability to cater for a genuinely wide range of requirements across the oil and gas, water, printing and chemical industries. The high technology industrial services provider has spent more than 25 years developing an understanding of the most specialised demands that can arise, accordingly developing systems that are flexible, scalable, high-performing and affordable.

With a list of valued customers that includes BP, Unilever, Virgin, Roche, Chick Master, Thermo, AAK, Aviagen, Nestle, Oxfordshire County Council, SunChemical and many more instantly recognisable names, prospective customers may be interested in Oriel Systems’ work with them. Such assignments have included the supply and integration of CCTV and remote monitoring and control systems into the Driver Controlled Delivery system of BP, at every single BP LPG site across the UK. Each site saw the installation of a PC based Control and Monitoring software system, which meant that when a tanker arrived out of hours, a voice communications channel would be opened between the filling site and the Scotland-based Central Control Station.

On another occasion, Oriel Systems was contacted by the King’s Lynn Consortium of Internal Drainage Boards, which is responsible for providing 16 member IDBs with administrative and engineering services. The total area that it looks after spans some 100,000 hectares, so it wasn’t perhaps so surprising that the firm entrusted Oriel Systems with the creation of a feasibility study and proposals on the best means of achieving a cohesive telemetry strategy. Oriel Systems played an integral role through successive phases of the project, not only installing the entire system but also managing, supporting and maintaining it from a nearby East Anglia office.

Whatever the exact remote monitoring requirements, Oriel Systems has continually met them for so many different organisations, as was the case when Cambridgeshire’s Middle Level Commissioners got in touch about a replacement telemetry system that needed to meet strict criteria. With two disparate systems already in use, providing useful information and having been purchased relatively recently, the MLC did not want to abandon them in one go. This led to the choice to have an Oriel Systems telemetry system installed that offered enhanced functionality and enabled the integration of the disparate systems into one.

From the implementation of VMI software that enables the confident monitoring and control of all manner of remote sites, to systems that can communicate over the likes of radio, PSTN and GSM, there are so many specialised telemetry requirements that only a firm with the innovative, but cost-minded approach of Oriel Systems ( can realistically meet. When companies from a wide range of backgrounds get in touch with the firm about their own big or small project, they too can discover the extent of its technical team’s expertise in everything from wireless telemetry to SCADA systems as part of the complete telemetry service.


Oriel Systems – implementing the most and least ambitious projects

How many telemetry systems providers can claim to cater for the full breadth of needs that customers may have? Oriel Systems (, with its more than 25 years of industry experience, is one firm that can certainly claim to cover all of the bases through its telemetry services. As soon as a prospective client gets in touch, whether by phone or email, the technical team can provide the most tailored advice on their requirements, and how an Oriel Systems solution can cater for them.

It doesn’t matter whether the project is big or small, consisting of the most elementary coupling of a telemetry outstation to the most obvious sensors, communications and technologies, or instead one that calls upon the company’s most specialised expertise in oil and gas, chemicals, water or printing industry telemetry. Certainly, Oriel Systems’ knowhow in many different industries allows it to offer solutions offering certain specific functionalities. An outstation for the water industry, for example, can support various pumping profiles based on the client’s energy tariffs, enabling energy usage cost savings, while for chemical industry clients, a complete range of sensors – including Radar, Ultrasonic, Guided Microwave and pressure transducer – is offered.

Oriel Systems is renowned for its choice of groundbreaking hardware, including a video outstation that can transmit as many as 8 live feeds over the Internet from a remote site. Video can be transmitted at various resolutions by the streaming unit, so some clients may opt for a low network bandwidth system for cost or other practical reasons, or a high bandwidth system if the wish is to transit television quality video. Oriel Systems’ Intelligent Telemetry Outstation (ITO) is also highly flexible, with many types of IO module able to be attached to it. Even the lower power outstation – designed for small solar panel and/or mini-windmill power – allows the client to have as many analog and/or digital inputs as they require.

The Awax SCADA software that Oriel Systems offers is also designed for both small and large projects – including the possibility of the former needing to become the latter. That’s because most PLC systems and various other hardware, including the remote units of other vendors, can be connected to it. This allows for the easy upgrading of existing systems without a client’s existing remote units needing to be replaced.

But in many ways, it isn’t a series of specific products and services, but rather a truly all-encompassing approach that allows the company to provide the most suitable telemetry installation for seemingly any and every circumstance and level of need. Scalability and connectivity to all manner of remote plant and equipment are qualities integrated into Oriel Systems’ ( remote monitoring systems from the very start. It all helps to explain why the firm has become such a consistent port of call for such a wide range of prestigious and valued customers, from BP and Virgin to Unilever and Nestle.


Telemetry Resilience

Now that we’ve all enjoyed the great summer we’ve had and you’ve attended to all those summer jobs of weed control, bank cutting and pump station refurbishment and now as the autumn & winter seasons will soon be upon us, it may be a good opportunity to review and make some plans for improving the resilience of your current Telemetry System.


The term resilience seems to be a commonly used phrase at the moment within the drainage industry and for good reason.  Have you thought what would happen to your telemetry system if you have a power failure ?  If a local electricity substation that you are dependant upon is flooded ? Or your computer crashes ?  How will you get your vital telemetry information ?


Luckily for you if you’re an Oriel customer a number of solutions are available.  We’ve been installing Intelligent Telemetry Outstations with dual-communications options for our customers over a number of years.  The dual-comms option ensures that you will always have a “fall back” position of an alternative communications method if your primary communications network goes down.  For instance if you have a radio-based system which gives you real time live data from around your area, we can add a mobile broadband option offering GPRS/3G (or 4G when available in your locality that will automatically and seamlessly switch over in the event of your current communications network failing.


What about if your main Telemetry PC crashes or the hard disc fails, what about your archived data ? How will you recover your important data ?  How long will it take to restore ? Are you performing back-ups as regularly as you should ?


Again, if you’re an Oriel customer, we can offer you a number of options.  From providing regular automated back-ups to a secure area of your computer network or whether you require a “hot-swap” system which essentially “mirrors” your current system and gives you the ability to have an instantaneous change-over with no loss of data to a new PC to ensure there is no down-time to the system and no loss of data.


Alternatively, we can also offer you a totally internet-based system which is hosted by our secure server and again will allow you to access all your vital telemetry information on any internet connected device.

We can also offer you a parallel internet cloud based system which is hosted by our secure servers and again will allow you to access all your vital telemetry information on any internet connected device, in the event of your normal system going down the remote sites will instead communicate and send all the data to the cloud. Control actions, e.g pump start or stop, weedscreen or penstock control can be sent from the site view area of the internet application.