Communication converters - communication modules with a built-in PC (eg. RTU7M COMIO-PC2 or RTU7C UC-8162) are powerful tools for communication conversion between different protocols used in power industry, like IEC 61850, IEC 60870-5-101, IEC 60870-5-104, IEC 60870-5-103, DNP3, MODBUS, DLMS, etc. These converter can offer also a secured communication or communication tunnels, like L2TP. Communication conversion can be done between two device or between devices and SCADA system.
Communication gates - not all devices have the communication abilities. An elegant solution is the usage of affordable device (eg. RTU7C) for connecting different single-purpose sensors, switches and controlers of various devices that need to be remotely controlled and monitored.
In both cases, communications can be solved via serial lines, Ethernet or GSM/GPRS/LTE modem, or by connecting digital inputs (they can also act as counters) and outputs for control.