An Introduction to SCADA
SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system is a well-known and essential element in the digital transformation of enterprises. However, for businesses at the beginning of the 4.0 industrialization journey, this may still be a new concept. So, what is exactly a SCADA system? How does it work? What are the common applications and types of SCADA on the market? In this article, let’s discover with ATTS.
What is SCADA and how does it work?
SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) is a system software used to monitor, control and collect data. SCADA is often used in factories to monitor and control production lines and machinery. In the automation pyramid, it is considered to be the connection between OT (Operation Technology) and IT (Information Technology). SCADA performs control and monitoring of underlying operating devices and systems such as PLC, sensors, etc., and also sends and receives information from the MES or ERP system above.
The basic SCADA architecture starts with a programmable logic controller (PLC) or remote terminal unit (RTU). PLC and RTU are micro-computers that communicate with a wide range of objects such as factory machinery, HMI, sensors, and terminals, then route information from those objects to computers using SCADA software. SCADA software handles, distributes, and displays data; helps operators, monitors data analysis, and promptly makes important decisions.
Application and some benefits of SCADA system
SCADA has many different applications, used in large-scale factories and even businesses, corporations have many factories in different locations. Monitoring plays an important role in every aspect of automation because it allows for the collection of useful data. The recorded data will be used to analyze, support the development of better maintenance plans, reduce costs, minimize downtime, and optimize production.
Some fields and industries of SCADA systems are widely used, including manufacturing, food & beverage, oil and gas, pharmaceutical industries, energy plant, water treatment plant, etc. The complexity of the system SCADA used will vary based on the industry and business size.
With many outstanding features, SCADA system has been applied in many modern technology industries to:
- Improve productivity: In the process of analyzing the production process, managers can use this information to increase production efficiency.
- Improve product quality: Through the analysis of the products, enterprises can find timely solutions, preventing errors in the production process.
- Reduce operating and maintenance costs: Businesses will not need too many employees for the management and supervision of field equipment in different factories, leading to travel cost saving thanks to management on centralized systems.
- Investment capital preservation: Every time we invest in upgrading production activities, we need to ensure that the upgrade is long-term use. An open-designed SCADA system will allow customization and upgrades tailored to the production scale.
The most popular SCADA systems
Nowadays, there are many SCADA system providers. Here are some of SCADA systems from leading suppliers you can refer to. The advantages of the widely used models are high compatibility, good support service, and better stability.
Wonderware InTouch Software – Schneider Electric
Produced by Schneider Electric, the world’s No. 1 HMI and SCADA supplier to food and beverage businesses, Wonderware InTouch is used in a third of the world’s factories and in many industries. Whether you’re an engineer or controller, end user or system integrator, an OEM or VAR, Wonderware InTouch Software can provide you with the necessary features that match your operational productivity and technical level. Intouch software stands out for its powerful, user-friendly graphics capabilities, team logic database, centralized management, remote deployment, versatility, and scalability.
EcoStruxure™ Geo SCADA Expert – Schneider Electric
Having high-performance graphics, geographic displays, analytics and smart alarms, EcoStruxure™ Geo SCADA Expert is designed to collect real-time data to support operational business optimization and remote asset management. Geo SCADA works well not only in small houses but also in multi-regional systems with the ability to extend to millions of monitoring points.
SIMATIC WinCC – Siemens
SIMATIC WinCC is a Siemens product that was first launched in 1996 and has continuously been being developed. WinCC is rated as a visualization system that supports good digitization in machinery and factory engineering with the functions of order control of formula-based processes; data monitoring, storage and analysis; appointment function; remote control and monitoring of the system; allows configuration according to separate requirements; enables installation support on most platforms.
FactoryTalk View – Rockwell Automation
FactoryTalk View is a complete set of software tools that are quite popular for implementing automation projects and managing the company’s operations, processes and business. FactoryTalk will bring you the best benefits if you integrate this software with other Rockwell’s hardware. This software is recommended for medium and large businesses.
There are many other products on the market for businesses. In addition to the size and application industry, the selection of the right system also needs to consider many other factors such as supplier after-sales support, data storage capacity, compatibility, etc. With the experience of automation experts, ATTS Vietnam can help you choose the most optimal type of system for your business. Please contact ATTS for free consultation now!
Read more about ATTS services: