TASSTA for Centralized management of multiple plants

Large companies want to take control of all the risks and get advantage of foreseeing and preventing all the possible dangers. While there are many mission-critical communications solutions on the market, the costs of deploying them vary widely. This is where TASSTA stands out.

Our partners and customers don’t need to buy new devices or set up a whole new network from scratch. Let’s see how TASSTA became the most comprehensive, easy-to-implement and at the same time cost-effective solution in the manufacturing industry, partnering with HERMES COMM.

The customer, an Italian multinational energy company, that manages numerous thermoelectric plants, wanted to unite all its national plants’ communication in one central Control Room.

Initially, the technical management of these plants was carried out through a dedicated SCADA system, and the operational management was coordinated through a local radio network. The plants were managed locally: at each plant there was a Control Room where the technical staff could monitor the telemetry data and consequently activate the related maintenance team.

Solution: TASSTA

Sever: On-Premise server

Sector : Production plants

Infrastructure of operating: WAN telecommunication network, 4G, Wi-Fi

Hardware: GrandStream GXV-3370, RugGear RG725, Entel Gateway

The request was to complement the telemetry centralization system (SCADA) with a Push-to-talk Over Cellular (PoC) communication system:

  • A station for each peripheral plant

The plan was to have an operator for each plant, who would be monitoring the plant data and managing communications with on-site work teams. Important: Workers were equipped with different devices, they had either radio terminals or PoC terminals. The new communication system should have worked equally well with all of them.

  • An additional station dedicated to communicating with the entire network

The station must be responsible for the centralized management and supervision of the communication system, for receiving LWP alarms and for managing emergencies.
The PoC solution provided by HERMES COMMS and powered by TASSTA, ideally matched all the requirements for operational communication, coordination of activities, and centralized worker safety management.

The work teams active at the different sites are now able to communicate in Push-To-Talk mode with each other and with their supervisor located in the Control Room. It is utterly important to have a person who always has the team management under control and is capable of receiving notifications when the workers enter or leave certain sensitive areas. In addition, another TASSTA feature, which enables the manager to create temporary conversation groups is very useful for specific activities; not only simplifying the coordination of the workers but also making the work done faster.

It was requested from TASSTA to create and provide a communication, coordination, supervision and safety system with the following features:

  • Push-To-Talk and Push-To-Video communications
  • Emergency calls
  • Lone worker protection, such as Man Down and Immobility alarms, managed from the Supervisor Post
  • Chats, status messages, and data sharing
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Radio network interface (voice only)
  • Temporary talkgroups
  • Recording of conversations
  • Outdoor and indoor positioning with geofencing tools
Among the benefits of such a centralized communication and coordination system, there are:

  • Management of the multiple plants in a standardized manner.
  • The possibility of extending communications to personnel available outside of the plant.
  • The timely management of all aspects related to worker safety.
  • Optimization of the staff engaged in maintenance activities, who may operate alone with the right communication and safety tool, and the supervisory staff, who can support the activities on different sites from a single remote location.

As for the technical aspects, the customer created a WAN telecommunication network for the interconnection of all systems with the Control Room. This connectivity is used for the centralization of the SCADA systems and for the connection of the radio gateways, provided at the plants, using mobile radios, and allows communications in PTT mode between them and the PoC terminals. 4G and Wi-Fi networks are also used for the communications within the plants. The customer requested that all systems must reside in a dedicated datacenter. Specifically, the TASSTA T.Lion communication node together with the T.Brother back-up node was also installed on a customer’s VMWare virtualization system.

The pretty wide set of used devices includes: 1 fixed PoC device, GrandStream GXV-3370, for each seat in the Control Room; numerous rugged PoC smartphones, such as RugGear RG725 for the workers at the production plants; and a connecting PoC-PMR interface gateway (Entel Gateway), operating at all of the plants for each radio channel.

To make the PoC system truly effective, both the software and the hardware should be taken into consideration. In particular, the field use requires the devices to be suitable for specific environments and contexts: the RugGear RG725 proved to be sustainable and resistant to shocks, dust and water; equipped with PTT and SOS buttons, it is easily identifiable even with work gloves; equipped with front loudspeaker with increased volume, for clear communications outdoors.

Future implementation of TASSTA

Since the PoC system allows gradual implementations, the TASSTA and HERMES COMMS solution is being used at a limited number of the plants. At the end of the deployment, the centralized management will be extended to about twenty production plants throughout the country.

The customer also plans a construction of a second Operations Center in disaster recovery, in order to ensure maximum availability of the service.

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