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August 02, 2012
Patton's EnviroNET Suite Delivers VoIP Routers and VoIP Gateways for Industrial Environments
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Communications within the corporate environment look very different today than they did 20 years ago. Gone are many of the standalone analog systems that kept channels in silos and limited the amount of information that could be captured and managed. With the convergence of voice and data communications into a single packet-based network, VoIP routers enabled a communications environment that streamlined operations and lowered costs.
The implementation of VoIP routers and VoIP gateways created significant opportunities for industrial automation systems. The challenge in these environments, however, is two-fold: legacy applications tend to be based on narrowband synchronous and asynchronous technologies and replacement could be cost-prohibitive; and industrial environments tend to be harsh compared with the climate-controlled data centers for which they are designed.
These challenges are not insurmountable, however, according to this Patton (News - Alert) report. It does require expertise in multiple domains. A certain level of knowledge is needed, an in-depth understanding of the state-of-the-art telecom technologies and legacy applications. Domain knowledge is then combined with expertise in asynchronous and synchronous data communications practices and protocols. Likewise, hardened industrial enclosures are needed, as well as a knowledge of NEMA standards.
Patton, a provider of VoIP routers and VoIP gateways, was tasked with modernizing an offshore oil rig to connect to an all-IP transport network. The local Ethernet interface was needed as a connection in order to support voice communications, data communications and device communications.
To provide the right solution, Patton designed a solution that included multi-port analog VoIP gateway routers, Ethernet extension devices, managed multiport RS-232 Async.-Over-IP Statistical Multiplexers, and Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) switches. All functions were provided by Patton as one integrated solution housed in an environmentally-hardened cabinet. At the same time, any of the included solutions could be provided alone, customized according to the needs of the oil rig and housed separately onsite.
Patton offers the development of hardware and software, design and manufacturing all under one name, allowing for the quick creation and production of prototypes, as well as modifications to existing products. Any combination of software, interfaces and enclosures can be accommodated to meet the needs of the organization, as well as their environmental challenges.
To meet the needs in this specific vertical, Patton developed a brand of rugged, environmentally-hardened communications equipment known as EnviroNET. Included in this product suite are Ethernet extenders, WAN routers, DSL modems, VoIP gateways, and device servers all designed to perform in conditions that are less than ideal. Those industries served with the EnviroNET equipment include mines and quarries, oil wells and refineries, railroad environments and ships and seagoing vessels.
Patton has done well to recognize that while some environments are not necessarily conducive to support the delicate technologies involved in communications, industrial industries still need the benefits afforded by VoIP gateways and VoIP routers. Their EnviroNET solution meets the need to deliver that competitive advantage.
Edited by Brooke Neuman
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