RTU Programming

An RTU (Remote Terminal Unit) is an individual device, or a collection of devices, that are installed in a remote site or location which monitors, controls and provides feedback of field devices. The RTU exchanges data between itself and a master unit or database via a wired or wireless (radio, satellite, microwave) communication link. The data being monitored can be analogue and/or digital depending on the field device/s in operation. Some industries that utilize RTU’s include mining, gas & oil, water treatment, agriculture and environmental.

An RTU is a microprocessor controlled device which, in order to function as desired, must be programmed with some sort of software code. The code is just a defined set of instructions that the RTU understands and executes as required. Any error or ‘bug’ in the code may cause the RTU, along with any device it communicates with, to malfunction. Prior to dispatch, RTUs are programmed using an external device such as a PC or laptop and generally require very little maintenance over their expected life.

In order for the RTU to receive and implement the correct set of instructions, the programmer must have knowledge of both the software requirements and hardware elements including the field and telemetry devices. RTUs can have their software parameters modified via the telemetry link; however this may affect some, or all, of the respective field devices, so it’s imperative that any upgrades are managed correctly.

Some common network connections, communication protocols and field devices used with RTUs include

  • PLC
  • Valves
  • Pumps
  • Motors
  • HVAC
  • ModBus
  • CIP
  • RS232/422/485
  • HART
  • Ethernet/IP
  • 4-20mA

To ensure the best RTU performance is achieved, especially when considering the remote nature of the installations and the cost associated with potential malfunctions, it is important that RTU programming is done by trained, qualified and experienced RTU engineers.

Automation IT employs numerous expert RTU programmers and engineers, including highly experienced RPEQ registered, so can offer unmatched technical capabilities with the highest levels of service and support. To find out more about how Automation IT expert RTU programming services can benefit your current or next project then contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..