Mobile computers boost efficiency of California power plant

Tags: energy management

CipherLab, a leading innovator in Automated Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) for the retail, warehouse and distribution markets, recently announced that Agua Mansa Power Plant in Colton, Calif., is using CipherLab 9400 mobile computers coupled with Instamation System’s Roundskeeper software to automate data collection of the power plant’s equipment. The joint solution, bundled by global distributor BlueStar, allows workers to instantly report equipment performance and project its maintenance.

“Because we are required to regularly record many visual readings and observations of power plant equipment, finding a mobile solution to automate this process and communicate it back to our database was essential,” said Mike Kolkebeck, lead service technician at Agua Mansa. “By automating data capture with BlueStar’s bundled Instamation-CipherLab solution, we are able to gain enhanced insight into the performance of the power plant equipment. This saves us time and money because we are able to use all of the collected data to quickly and efficiently predict maintenance needs. Before we adopted this data collection system, we attempted to do this manually, which proved to be extremely inefficient and sometimes inaccurate.”

Steve Wagner, president of Instamation Systems, stated, “We evaluated many other products and ended up deciding to pair our software with the CipherLab 9400 due to its ease of use, compactness, embedded Microsoft Windows CE 5.0 operating system, large bright screen, good construction and low cost of ownership.”

The 9400 Series supports Microsoft Windows CE 5.0, is compliant with all popular wireless communications platforms, and is designed to simplify tasks with industry-leading features like multi-form data input (touch screen or keyboard) and the ability to read and write RFID tags. When bundled with Roundskeeper, a software system that automates data collection, a user can directly transmit data to a database where it can be trended, reported or archived.

The Agua Mansa Power Plant provides power to the city of Colton and also to the California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) grid. The ISO grid provides power to other municipalities if called upon in an emergency situation.

“Energy is a precious commodity, especially in California where the state grid has to juggle energy for millions of people,” said Al Crawford, CipherLab’s vice president of technology. “By streamlining the daily maintenance of the Agua Mansa equipment, we’re able to minimize the plant’s downtime, thus reducing the stress on the California power grid.”

About CipherLab
CipherLab is a global leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of AIDC (Automatic Identification and Data Capture/Collection) products and systems. The company's award-winning mobile computers and scanners are integrated into the networks of some of the world's best known government and logistics, grocery, manufacturing, retail, distribution, agricultural and healthcare companies, helping them run more efficiently and effectively via “anywhere mobility,” onsite and on the road. CipherLab Solutions Certified value-added resellers and integrators further extend the company's expertise, particularly within the small- to medium-size business market. Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, with North American offices in Plano, Texas, and operations in EMEA, the Americas, Asia Pacific and China, CipherLab is publicly traded on the Taiwan stock exchange.