SCADA Components for High-level Supervisory Control and Real-time Data Acquisition.

Applied Tech Review | Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Manufacturers use SCADA to monitor operations that require high-level supervisory control and real-time data acquisition.

FREMONT, CA: SCADA software is a remote monitoring and control system that oversees automated processes in factories. SCADA benefits a wide range of industries and applications, and facility owners can easily integrate SCADA systems with almost any piece of manufacturing equipment. SCADA can even control some home appliances, such as smart refrigerators and home security systems.

SCADA consists of five main components, outlined below:

Field Instrumentation

Instrumentation is the array of monitors and transmitters on the factory floor that SCADA applications use. These sensors detect changes in productivity or processes and transmit them to the central hub. Field instrumentation can take the form of proximity sensors, temperature and pressure sensors, machine vision systems, energy monitors, and other devices.

Field Controllers (RTUs/PLCs)

RTUs and PLCs collect and compile data from field instrumentation before displaying and analyzing it via the human-machine interface. RTUs rely on microprocessors to convert sensor data into usable data for the central hub. PLCs operate on a more local level, allowing users to interact with sensors and make changes without affecting the entire SCADA system.

Human-machine Interface (HMI)

HMI devices are control units that allow humans to monitor the SCADA data acquisition process. The HMI, which serves as the system's central processor, will enable users to regulate and modify the plan as needed. Operators also use this to interact with gathered data via graphical user interfaces, typically computer monitors, and compile reports for later use.

Network Connectivity

Throughout its operation, the SCADA system is dependent on maintaining integrated network connectivity. Facilities can accomplish this by using both wired and wireless lines, connecting conversion units to the master unit via landlines or the internet.

Cloud or On-premise

After analyzing and processing the data collected by your SCADA system, you must store it in physically and digitally secure locations. Historian software collects time-stamped data within the HMI and assists you in organizing it into the best format before storing it in a database. Most systems also integrate manufacturing execution systems (MESs) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems using a structured query language (SQL) or web-based applications, making it easier to convert data between different parts of your network.

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