As the need for instant access to critical information rises throughout different industries, municipalities and companies alike are seeking to answer the challenge without exploding their budgets. In oil and gas processing, water and wastewater treatment, and power generation utilities, there exists a need to connect customers to access data from field equipment and crews without having to invest in additional infrastructure. These industries require a solution that gives field crews secure access to data traditionally available only in the office and helps reduce cost and time needed to maintain their infrastructure.
With these needs in mind, GE has released its latest Industrial Internet solution, the MDSTM Orbit MCR-4G, designed to help owners of private communication networks, such as utilities, oil and gas companies, and energy-intensive industries leverage public cellular networks to securely communicate with field crews and industrial equipment and reduce the cost and time associated with maintaining their infrastructure.
Designed for industrial infrastructure companies that rely on private mission-critical communications networks, the MDS Orbit MCR-4G is an industrial router that they can use to take advantage of public cellular infrastructure to bring valuable asset and operational information such as equipment pressures and temperatures or well production data, from the field to their operations centers.
It also allows field crews to access data on their corporate network that has traditionally only been available in the office. For oil and gas customers this can mean that well servicers can use the Wi-Fi hotspot at a well to access the corporate network to get their next work order, eliminating the need for them to drive back to the office to get their next assignment.
Enabling infrastructure companies to utilize public cellular communication infrastructure gives them a cost-effective option for extending their communications infrastructure to remote locations without significant capital investment. The MDS Orbit MCR-4G also provides customers with the network design and application flexibility they need, along with an unparalleled ease of use, due to its common user interface and variety of physical interface options.
GE’s MCR-4G provides a solution to communications problems across utilities, oil and gas production facilities and water/wastewater plants. It improves crew communications in areas where reliable communication previously would not have been possible. As a result, technician efficiency can be increased and firms could realize a reduction in the number of truck trips required to maintain and operate field equipment.
Built on the MDS Orbit platform, the MCR-4G addresses the need for a highly secure, industrial-grade wireless communications solution for broad-based applications, such as substation or oil/gas production, pad device monitoring and video surveillance. It features both Ethernet and serial interfaces to provide connectivity to current and previous generations of technology, along with a Wi-Fi radio using the 802.11 b/g/n standard, combined with a cellular 4G LTE modem. The MCR-4G is equipped with robust security features, such as AES 256 encryption, supports RADIUS and AAA servers and supports current NERC CIP and FIPS 140-2 requirements.
It also streamlines deployments for customers by providing both Wi-Fi and cellular technology in one slim package. Its -40 to 149 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 to 70 degrees Celsius) temperature rating and compact design make the MCR-4G ideal for mission-critical operations and customers facing challenging terrain and environmental conditions, providing them with the functionality they need to access public networks and communicate crucial information effectively.
Built for harsh environments, the MCR-4G is the next step in the industrial internet’s growth. By integrating cellular and Wi-Fi technologies without the need for expansion cards or external modems, this device makes practical sense for a range of users looking to add remote monitoring and communications without the exorbitant cost of system-wide infrastructure investment. The MCR-4G provides a secure solution that is easy on budgets, secure in commutations, and simple to use. ■
GE’s Digital Energy business is a major solutions provider and thought leader in the effort to modernize and optimize how we generate, move, and consume energy. For more information, visit
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