PCN Technology Translates Industrial “Tower of Babel” Networks Into Language of the Internet

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problems, according to Drolet, including potential interference from trucks and competing sources of wireless signals that can reduce network reliability.

Drolet, who says he identified and researched the market need for two years, turned to Stumpf to develop the combination of hardware and software that converts standard conductive wire commonly used in SCADA networks into a TCP/IP communications system. Drolet says PCN’s technology enables 20th century industries “to repurpose and recycle their existing, mission-critical copper [wire] infrastructure” for Internet connectivity. PCN’s proprietary technology can be used with a wide variety of conductive wire, including energized AC power lines (below 600 volts), and the technology is “self-managing, self-adapting, and self-healing,” according to Drolet.

“Our goal is to merge the worlds of commercial, heavy commercial, industrial, and utility industries with our product, which provides a new network solution or server strategy,” Drolet says. He adds that the technology addresses such questions as “How do you get a technical solution using what’s already out there and that makes business sense? How do you merge these worlds to enable these mission-critical industrial markets to catch up, and take advantage of the technology available on the consumer side?”

PCN’s technology uses a “dynamic adaptive algorithm” to clean up signal noise on the line, and divide the copper line into independent sub-channels. Drolet says this enables PCN to move multiple types of data, whether it’s on a single-purpose copper wire or a power wire, between PCN modules that act as nodes on the line. “What that allows to happen,” Drolet says, “is to put multiple types of communications infrastructure on old wire, or existing wire.”

Drolet adds, “By the nature of what we do, we’re a cleantech, or green IT company because we’re recycling and repurposing existing wire.”

The markets the company is targeting include utility “smart grids,” oil and gas pipelines and related facilities, automotive assembly plants, lighting systems, and building and plant automation and control systems. Drolet says PCN’s technology makes … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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