Understanding SCADA and How it Can Optimize Your Manufacturing Processes


Greater control and better insight = more efficient operations.


SCADA, which stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, is a term used to describe the software used to monitor and control industrial equipment, which can be done either locally or from a distance.

Typically installed on a computer, SCADA software is designed to collect the data that plays a role in system performance, and displays that information as actionable data for the user.

SCADA has become an integral component of operations for many manufacturers today, and facilities are learning how these systems help make industrial systems work more effectively, cost efficient, modern and well equipped.

 

The key functions of SCADA include system monitoring, controlling process equipment, collecting and analyzing data, and reporting.

 

In order to perform these functions properly a SCADA system will use devices like PLCs (Programming Logic Controllers) and HMIs (Human Machine Interfaces) to gather, and facilitate the data, using sensors, thermometers, valves, fans, and other manufacturing, logistical, and centralized mechanical equipment.

As a whole, the SCADA system could be compared to our body’s nervous system. Our critical neurological components include the brain, spinal cord and nerves that stretch the breadth of our bodies. Comparably PLCs, connect to sensors and controllers that relay information to the appropriate programs within a facility’s system. Operators can then take action according to how the data is analysed within the SCADA mainframe. The HMI displays this information in an accessible and actionable way that can be used by operators and managers. The similarities between our internal human systems and the modern operator systems of today, will continue to be made as these processes advance, evolve and allow for automation to lead the way.

Users can also create historical performance reports for their facility and all of their equipment and tools. SCADA is capable of interacting with external software and systems, as well as historical databases.

SCADA is highly useful for managers and operators across a wide variety of industries. As more and more businesses realize the potential for automating and making even minor tweaks to their operations, not only will they become more resource savvy, they will be able to continue to invest in their production, management, and operations to create a better experience for their customers. From water and wastewater management, to pharmaceutical and biotech, HVAC and commercial building, energy management, pipelines, food processing plants along with fulfillment and sortation; knowledge is power, and our activities show areas that can be improved upon. Implementation of these systems enable the inefficiencies to be discovered and exploited.

 

Posted by Reuben Siebenga | Apr 30, 2020 | Categories: Automation & Controls