SCADA is an acronym for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition and refers to an industrial automation control system that is widely applied in modern industries. Most of modern automation in industries such as the food and beverage industry, oil and gas, manufacturing, recycling and power plants amongst many others are based on the SCADA software.
They are widely deployed by both private companies as well as various public sector enterprises. The beauty with SCADA is that it can work with a great variety of enterprises as they are configurable for a large number of projects of varying sizes and complexity. Wherever you go, you are likely to find these systems being deployed. They control the behind the scenes of many manufacturing concerns and even in the residential premises.
How the SCADA Systems Work
Any SCADA system will deploy a wide range of both hardware as well as software components and these can help industrial organizations to perform various functions including the following:
- Monitoring, gathering and processing of data.
- They provide interaction along with the control of various machines used in various industrial settings including the motors, pumps and valves that have been connected through a human-machine interface software.
- They provide a log of events
The basic architecture of SCADA involves the relaying of information from either manual inputs or sensors to the programmable logic controllers or PLCs. This information can also be relayed to the remote terminal units or RTUs. This information is subsequently sent to the computers with the help of the SCADA software. This software will perform the analysis of the data and then display it in order to assist the operators and many other workers in the facility in improving efficiency and reducing waste during the manufacturing process.
The most effective systems will offer industries great savings in both time and money. There are numerous benefits and improvements in efficiency that companies can unlock by implementing these systems.
The current SCADA system implementation allow for unprecedented data portability. Real-time data in the shop-floor or production floor can be viewed from virtually anywhere in the world. This can have great implications for any business. For example, they are able to make data-driven decisions on how they are going to improve their processes. Without the implementation of software SCADA processes in the production floor, it will be very difficult to collect sufficient data that allows management to consistently make more informed decisions concerning the manufacturing processes.
Modern systems also offer many other advantages like rapid application development capabilities. Users can easily design and deploy applications even if they are not very experienced in software development. Web applications and standards such as SQL databases allow users to widely extend the functionality of SCADA and gain more efficiency, reliability, security and productivity in the SCADA systems. With standards such as SQL databases, for example, it is possible to integrate SCADA into ERP systems and this allows a high level of integration along with a seamless flow of data within the organization. You can even log in historical SCADA data into an SQL database in order to allow for easy analysis of data and trends.