QEI is a leading SCADA system and substation automation equipment supplier with a long history of innovation and technical leadership in electric network monitoring and control applications. Founded in 1960 as Quindar Electronics Incorporated, the company was an early adopter of solid state technology for industrial applications with the introduction of the first transistorized voice frequency (audio tone) telemetry products for electric network monitoring and control applications. Quindar rapidly became the leading supplier of such products to the electric utility and the transit industry. With the advent of integrated circuits later in the decade, the company introduced a full function SCADA system, the Quindett III, which was widely deployed in electric utility applications and became one of the first applications of a modern SCADA system in public transit at SEPTA. The Quindett system included full function SCADA RTU utilizing high noise immunity integrated circuits. This first generation RTU also utilized a reliable control subsystem with Select Before Operate (SBO) logic to assure correct point selection and current sensing to detect multiple relay operations.
As the company entered its second decade of operation in 1970, new technical developments presented significant opportunities with the maturing of the minicomputer technology and the advent of microprocessors. The company immediately took steps to capitalize on these developments and established a software and firmware research and development group to bring applications of the new technologies to its main stream business and its customers. These research and development activities resulted in the introduction of the first fully computerized SCADA system in 1974. The system included a minicomputer based master station with a standard, user configurable software package (SUPERCOMPILER II) and a microprocessor based intelligent RTU (Quindett V). This was also the first application of intelligent RTUs as a protocol emulator where the RTU is installed in a foreign system and did not communicate with its native protocol. In this particular case the Quindett V’s were installed in a General Electric SCADA system utilizing the GETAC protocol.In 1975, the company was reorganized and its name was shortened to QEI Inc. (Quindar Electronics Incorporated) and continued to serve the same markets with innovative products and systems. In 1978 the company introduced its second generation intelligent RTU, the QUICS 3000, that included further enhancements of its noise immune architecture. The QUICS 3000 was widely deployed in a large number of electric utility and transit applications. The RTU architecture and construction were hardened specifically for application in high electrical noise and mechanical vibration environments of transit substations.
In the 1980’s, QEI introduced new master station software products that resided initially on Digital Equipment Corporation’s PDP11 line of minicomputer platforms and by the middle of the decade they were ported to the VAX family of platforms. System availability and reliability are of paramount importance in both transit and utility applications. QEI made reliability a prime design requirement in both hardware and software development and that was the main reason for moving to the VAX computer platform and the VMS operating system for all master station applications. The initial QUICS minicomputer product has moved from 16 bit to 32 bit and today's TDMS-PLUS product features the fastest 64 bit machines currently available in the market.
QEI has continually maintained cutting-edge technology in its products. TDMS-PLUS features an easy to use graphical user interface (GUI) and interoperability with external programs such as GIS, trouble-call systems and engineering analysis. A recent cutting-edge advancement, open database connectivity (ODA) provides data and control connectivity through a broad spectrum of off-the-shelf applications. TDMS-PLUS features easy to use tools for connection with established corporate LANs and WANs. TDMS-PLUS is an advanced technology combining database, connectivity, and graphical user interface capabilities while featuring field-proven system redundancy, serviceability, reliability, maintainability, expandability and a long-life span of service.
As substation and feeder automation emerged at electric utilities, QEI responded with both system and substation level applications. Peak demand reduction and automatic VAR control were two key applications that provided significant short-term payback to utility customers. In response to market needs, QEI introduced a family of fourth generation RTU products, the 6CPP6 substation processor and 6ACP5 feeder automation device. These single board devices emulated the high-density architecture of modern motherboards and provided further noise reduction as well as increased processing capacity.
Now in its fifth generation of Distribution and Substation Automation products, QEI’s 6ACP6 and ePAQ-9XXX Series leads the market on newest technology, user friendliness, configuration flexibility at the most competitive pricing.
Over the past five decades QEI has been in the forefront of every technical development in SCADA, substation equipment and feeder devices. QEI’s history encompasses the evolution of modern SCADA and substation automation systems. QEI was able to accomplish these achievements by maintaining close contacts with customers and actively participating in a wide range of industry associations which are listed below. The significant investment of being a contributing member of these industry organizations enables QEI to be one of the first vendors to bring industry approved, and, in many instances enabling technologies, to its customers.