SCADA: The Acronym and its Role
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, otherwise known under the acronym SCADA, is a system comprised of software and hardware used to control and monitor a process or application. Typical applications for SCADA include:
- Monitoring and controlling an industrial process
- Collecting, processing and analysing real-time data
- Interacting with hardware such as drives, motors, valves, actuators and pumps
- Collecting, storing an analysing historical process data (data historian)
Specifically, a SCADA system collects data from microcomputers such as programmable logic controllers (PLCs) or Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) and displays the information collected to the user through a Human Machine Interface (HMI).
A typical example of where SCADA would be beneficial, would be in the situation where there may be an issue with a process, the SCADA system would notify the operator through a HMI, who would be able to determine the root cause of the issue, this intelligence allows organisations to react to issues and resolve them, resulting in less down time and improved efficiency.
Who is SCADA for?
SCADA is widely used by industrial organisations, and plays a key role in monitoring their industrial processes. Typically, just about any type of organisation that has a requirement to monitor and control a process, improve efficiency and reduce downtime, can use the technology. SCADA systems are widely popular due to their scalable nature, and range from basic local onsite installations to complex multi-site systems.