Industrial Internet Solution to Give Electric Utilities Secure Access to Public Wireless Networks

GE has released its latest Industrial Internet solution, the MDS Orbit MCR-4G, designed to help owners of private communication networks 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 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.

GE’s MCR-4G provides a solution to communications problems across utilities. 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 WiFi radio using the 802.11 b/g/n standard, combined with a Verizon 4G LTE modem. The MCR-4G is equipped with robust security features, such as AES 128 encryption, supports RADIUS and AAA servers and complies with current NERC CIP and FIPS 140-2 requirements.

It also streamlines deployments for customers by providing both WiFi and cellular backup technology in one slim package. Its -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.

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