Want to know What is SCADA system? How do the internal parts work and collect data? This is an issue for businesses when aiming for a smooth-running business chain. Let's learn about the SCADA system and its working with Viindoo through the article below.
What is a SCADA system?
SCADA stands for Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition. In detail, what is SCADA software? This is a system that controls and collects data, thereby helping monitor activities and processes remotely. In other words, SCADA is a system that supports businesses in the process of operating and monitoring manufacturing production planning.
SCADA controls and collects data
SCADA systems play a crucial role in maintaining efficiency in the decision-making process of the business. The system helps reduce downtime in the process of communicating issues thanks to supporting features for easier and smarter data processing.
The architecture of SCADA consists of programmable logic controllers (PLC) or remote terminal units (RTU). Both act as a communicator with HMIs (Human-Machine Interfaces), machines, terminals, and sensors. The SCADA software will then route the data to the computer and start processing, analyzing, and displaying the data. Hence, staff and operators can analyze information and make decisions.
Architecture of SCADA
The SCADA system will include basic software and hardware to ensure the operation. Viindoo provides here the details of the parts of the SCADA system.
- Central monitoring station: Includes one or more central servers connected together, creating a system platform called a central host computer server. At this monitoring station, the system will connect with the human-machine interface (HMI) and software programs.
- Intermediate data collection station: These are RTUs (Remote Terminal Units) or PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers). These help communication between actuators such as sensors and switches actuators and control equipment.
- Communication system: This contains industrial communication networks and equipment. The system also includes converters that control and deliver field-level data to the server.
- Field-level devices: These will include sensors, measuring devices, and transducers.
SCADA includes software and hardware
>>>> See More: What is Smart Factory? The benefits and structure of the smart factory model
Working principle for data collecting of SCADA system
In the first step, RTUs scan the information from other connected devices. The taking amount of time for the process is the same as the internal scanning time. The servers then carefully scan the RTUs to collect information and data.
To perform data collection, servers send the request signal to RTUs, allowing RTUs to signal other devices.
The SCADA system can function data collection process
Application of SCADA system
Simply knowing what is SCADA is not enough. Businesses need to know also the applications of this system. In fact, many businesses, from small to global scale have applied SCADA to their operations.
Monitoring plays a key role in all aspects of the automating enterprise production process. SCADA helps collect useful data and monitor it, thereby optimizing production and maintenance costs.
SCADA helps managers monitor the process
Businesses of all sizes can use SCADA to monitor the control process. However, the requirements of each are different. For instance, the SCADA system of oil and gas companies is different from that of a power plant.
Some industries and fields that are favoring SCADA applications are
- Manufacturing sector
- Energy, petroleum, etc.
- Food and drink
- Water and wastewater treatment
What are the benefits of using a SCADA system?
Learning about the SCADA system is to achieve which missions and how do businesses get the benefits? The system will support managing, exploiting, and controlling the operation of devices by managing and storing all information and servers. Thanks to the superior feature, the system has generated significant benefits in diverse areas.
- Improve productivity: The system can analyze data from the production process. As a result, managers can leverage data to improve work efficiency, technology, and productivity.
- Improve product quality: Managers can find deficiencies in the production process and improve them through data analysis.
- Reduce operation and maintenance costs: The installation and use of SCADA systems will replace a large amount of manual monitoring work. This helps businesses reduce redundant personnel and save more maintenance costs for remote manufacturing plants.
- Preserve investment capital: SCADA allows the factory to ensure long-term efficiency for the upgrading process. Hence, investors and business owners can adjust and modify for the appropriate production scale.
SCADA helps reduce operating and maintenance costs
What is SCADA system in compared to MES system
SCADA system and MES system have their own characteristics. MES supports businesses with production management features. Specifically, the system will control and monitor the operation process inside the factory and improve the quality. In addition, MES provides inventory and production management solutions such as OEE, KPI, or method management.
MES provides production management features
Meanwhile, SCADA works more with the machine system at the factory, collecting and distributing data as input for the MES system. Hence, the MES platform transmits all the process information and the order to the manager. As a result, the operator can consider the actual time while processing the production. In particular, the MES system will provide the following data:
- Order Status
- Resource usage status
- Material usage status
SCADA cannot perform the same but only collect data and monitor the operation. However, these two systems can togetherly combine and complement each other effectively.
The MES system performs information transmission
Notes when choosing SCADA software for businesses
The more learning about the SCADA system, the more utility is found in this system. However, businesses need to carefully consider the system before implementing it. Viindoo shows here some notes which can be useful when choosing SCADA software.
Date of validity
Currently, technology software is developing rapidly and is increasingly innovative. Therefore, businesses need to pay attention to the expiry date of SCADA. This is because software often becomes obsolete after a period of time. SCADA systems in years of use will be different from modern communication standards.
You need to be aware of the lifecycle of SCADA
RFI (Request for Information) is the support of the provider during the time the business uses SCADA. At that time, businesses will be continuously updated with features, errors fixed, or function expansion.
RFI is the support of the supplier for the business
Ability to store data
Wondering not only what is SCADA software but also its data storage capacity? The ability to record and store data of SCADA helps managers analyze diverse factors. This secures the safety maintenance and optimization of the production line. Businesses also reduce many costs and risks.
For industries, SCADA systems play a vital role in storing information. The medicine or food industry also has regulatory requirements for data recording (FDA 21 CFR Part 11). It is useful to learn more about SCADA's ISA-88 control standard.
SCADA has the ability to store information
It is beneficial to learn what is SCADA and its database. SCADA's database is a place to store all the collected information. Managers can use the database to build reports and analyze internal factors.
SCADA's main database is SQL (Structured Query Language) - a popular programming language used to manage data. Businesses can use SQL to edit, import or export data, or save their databases in the cloud or on a private server.
SQL is the popular programming language of SCADA
OPC and OPC UA
When applying SCADA, businesses need to pay attention to the compatibility of the system with PLC and RTU platforms. Businesses can use OPC (OLE for process control) client technology to support SCADA to connect and access data from PLC.
OPC is used to support SCADA to access data from PLC and RTU
The PLC is installed to become the OPC server. The software will translate the data into a language that conforms to the OPC protocols. Most of the currently existing PLCs support OPC. Therefore, you can buy SCADA from other vendors than the default PLC used.
Most SCADA systems will have warnings following order and priority. Users or systems can define this warning alarm. The user will program it if the alarm is hardware related. Currently, human-programmed alarms are divided into two categories: analog alarms and discrete alarms.
The discrete alarm type operates on the numeric state of a bit. Otherwise, the same alarm will be triggered through values beyond the defined limit. However, the SCADA system is quite limited in setting alarms. Only when a problem occurs that a new alarm is triggered.
What is the visual data of the SCADA system? These are screens that record the visual operation of the system. Operators can easily monitor and control data through these. Visual data is often represented by graphs or charts, thereby helping managers to observe the change in specific values.
Visual data helps operators easily control
The SCADA system uses many colors to help easily visualize. Besides, some new standards such as ISA-112 and ISA-101 claim that the gray color helps HMI to be more efficient.
Ability to analyze data
Businesses need to pay attention to SCADA's data analysis capabilities. In the 4.0 technology era, the system needs to be further upgraded to survive. For the most part, SCADA will provide a place for data reporting, presentation, and production. However, the operator needs to carefully analyze the information to optimize the production process.
SCADA has good data analysis capabilities
Understanding what is SCADA and its benefits is essential for businesses. Thanks to data collection and remote management, businesses can optimize the production process. Viindoo hopes businesses can have more useful information about the SCADA system.