Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) is a system of software and hardware elements that allows industrial organizations to:
- Ccontrol industrial processes locally or at remote locations
- Monitor, gather, and process real-time data
- Directly interact with devices such as sensors, valves, pumps, motors, and more through human-machine interface (HMI) software
- Record events into a log file
- SCADA systems are crucial for industrial organizations since they help to maintain efficiency, process data for smarter decisions, and communicate system issues to help mitigate downtime.
The basic SCADA architecture begins with programmable logic controllers (PLCs) or remote terminal units (RTUs). PLCs and RTUs are microcomputers that communicate with an array of objects such as factory machines, HMIs, sensors, and end devices, and then route the information from those objects to computers with SCADA software. The SCADA software processes, distributes, and displays the data, helping operators and other employees analyze the data and make important decisions.
Applications for SCADA
SCADA systems are used by industrial organizations and companies in the public and private sectors to control and maintain efficiency, distribute data for smarter decisions, and communicate system issues to help mitigate downtime. SCADA systems work well in many different types of enterprises because they can range from simple configurations to large, complex installations. SCADA systems are the backbone of many modern industries, including:
- Food and beverage
- Oil and gas
- Water and waste water
- And many more