Even though SCADA has been around since the 1960s, it has evolved along with the growth of industries with multiple plants, making it today a very desirable state of the art automated, networking system.
SCADA stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition. It is a computer controlled system developed as a universal means of remote access to a variety of local control modules, which could be from different manufacturers allowing access through standard automation protocols.
There are two basic elements of a SCADA system: The things you want to monitor, and the devices you will use to perform monitoring and controlling functions.
Having something you want to control is a main component of a SCADA system. SCADA-monitored elements could be just about anything from oil refineries and alternative energy grids to a power-generation system to an organization’s communication network.
Information is collected using a variety of sensors or control relays. These could be used to detect things like an oil leak, a power feed, an open door or if someone just walked into a building.
SCADA is a system of software and hardware elements that allows industrial organizations to do four major processes:
- Control industrial processes locally or at remote locations
- Monitor, gather and process real-time data
- Directly interact with devices such as sensors, valves, pumps, motors and more through human-machine interface (HMI) software
- Record events into a log file
Virtually anywhere you look there is a SCADA system operating behind the scenes: Keeping the local hardware store cool, ensuring production and safety at a refinery, maintaining quality standards at a waste water treatment plant, or monitoring your own home on its energy use.
Other primary SCADA benefits include:
- Saving time — Streamlining all the processes involved in the supervision of various business processes, companies maximize their time investment. The data that SCADA software gathers and analyses assists in figuring out the reasons for roadblocks that might be negatively impacting productivity.
- Alarming –Get alerted instantly by alarm notifications from even minor unwanted events to critical incidents. You can monitor these alarms all the time on HMI screens, or configure your SCADA to send notifications via phone calls or messages.
- Delegate work more efficiently – SCADA helps organizations know what needs to be done to make sure that the work is efficiently delegated. By mapping out all the tasks and the human resources presently available, companies make sure business processes are optimized.
- Data logging and reporting – Companies can select which live data they wish to log in to a database. The data can then be plotted into graphs or charts, and generated into reports based on an organization’s required format, automatically.
Want to know more about SCADA? Tonex offers several SCADA training courses.
Additionally, Tonex offers nearly 400 classes, seminars and workshops in close to four dozen categories of systems engineering training.
For more information, questions, comments, contact us.