Case Study: Modernizing Remote Asset Management and Data




A regional utility was looking to improve their existing remote asset management infrastructure. Their cost of ownership was a drain on their operating budget and they needed a solution. Their outdated system relied upon hardwired telephone lines to provide alarming and station information. The goal was to reduce operating costs, allow for future expansion, and improve on system reliability.


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The Problem


Older infrastructure did not provide the capability to easily monitor additional remote assets. A large financial investment was required to expand their hardwired telephone networks in remote areas. The monthly operational cost carried a significant weight and there were limitations to what information could be collected by their main site from certain locations.

The Solution


ONYX Engineering designed, built, and installed a network of cellular modems to replace the existing telephone line communications lines to all of their remote asset monitoring stations. PLC controllers were also installed and programmed in locations that did not previously have asset collection capability. New stations were brought online seamlessly and phased in so services would not be interrupted.

The Results


The cellular solution provided a substantial reduction in monthly operational costs in addition to a more cost-effective solution to accommodate future expansion. The solution allows for a more efficient response to hardware failures if they were to occur resulting in decreased time to repair. The cellular solution allowed the customer to bring on new systems quickly and with minimum planning and preparation. It also in some cases had the benefit of providing remote support capability where it previously required on-site assistance.

Project Details



About 18 months





                   Client: 1                                                     

Onyx: 1 Controls Engineer 

       1 Project Manager








Services Provided

Control engineering and design

PLC/HMI programming

Panel Fabrication 

Start-up and commissioning 







Allen-Bradley CompactLogic PLC

Allen-Bradley MicroLogix PLC

Allen-Bradley Micro 800 PLC

Modbus RTU, Modbus TCP and EtherNet/IP

Wonderware Archestra

Microhard Modem LTE

ProSoft TCP/IP Enhanced Communications Module