What is SCADA
SCADA is a term that simply stands for supervisory control and data acquisition. It basically functions in collecting information from the various remote connections and then the whole information is transported to a host or central computer for further processing. In short the term is used to symbolize the control and management options in various industries both small scale and large scale.
SCADA as a system includes hardware’s, software’s, controllers, networks and sensors which transmit and receive signal. Another term you will find common along with the SCADA is the RTU which simply stands for remote terminal unit. RTU are regarded as the brain of the system since it has been programmed to carry out all the operations like processing of data and logical arrangement of the data. Once the sensors have collected the information from the site they send it to the central system, it is in the central system where the RTU is found and further processing of the data is carried out.
The human interface comes in handy in the RTU since the parameters have to be set in relation to the desired outcome. SDA is a real time system meaning all effected changes occur in real time or as the changes are being affected. The human machine interface present in the SCADA system provides a mechanism where the changes can be viewed by the human. In case any changes have to be made then it has to be done through the HMI using the programming logic controllers. It is quit complex how HMI works however, the HMI (human machine interface) is connected to a database from where it collects information and then presents it to the human controllers inform of tables or graphics.
The success and sustainability of the SCADA system depends upon a few factors, first is the use of proven and reliable technology. Failure to do so will result to incorrect and unprecedented results. The next factor is comprehensive and adequate training of staff working in the system; this includes providing all the technological knowhow. If you don’t want to end up with a failed SCADA system then make sure that you integrate all the various aspects of the system.
In the past SCADA system was facing a major challenge in terms of hardware operations but this is not the case since advent in technology has paved way for sophisticated hardware into the system. Currently the major challenge is in the software operations since the complexity of the new software’s are bringing in new challenges to the systems functionality.
Lastly the SCADA system is extremely important to both large scale industries like the nuclear plants and to small scale industries like the weather forecast. They are readily available in the market and can be customized depending on requirements.