Explainer: Everything You Need To Know About SCADA Systems

SCADA is an automation remote monitoring and control system that is essential for many companies and industries across Canada. From its early beginnings in the 1950’s to its advanced technological updates now, SCADA automation systems are a colossal component for companies to successfully and safely run their operations.

Unfortunately, a few words explaining what SCADA is, isn’t going to provide valuable information on why it is so vital for companies. This explainer will highlight the key points that come with this world-changing system.

What Is SCADA?

SCADA stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition. In short, SCADA is a system that receives data from various inputs across a workplace station, processes the data and provides the user with information on how to act on it.

It is used in all aspects of everyday life – even though the majority of people didn’t know that companies use it. From the water connecting to your home to the plane landing on time at the airport; all of it managed by the use of a SCADA system.

Major Industries Utilize A SCADA System

Both major public and private companies use SCADA systems to control and maintain their systems, make smarter decisions right at the moment and to communicate with their employees. They are the backbone for many industries, including the likes of:

  • Energy (Electricity, Water, and Oil and Gas)
  • Food and Beverages
  • Manufacturing and Construction
  • Recycling
  • Transportation
  • And many more

Each industry and corporation has its own SCADA automation system that it uses. This way, it ensures that it will be able to maintain and control its own operations.

What Does SCADA Allow Industrial Organizations To Do?

For many industries and companies, using a SCADA automation system is considered essential for the running of their operations.

The implementation of this system in industrial organizations helps provide them with an array of benefits to improve their efficiency. Although industrial automation companies offer many different SCADA systems available – which can be customized to the industry and business – the majority of systems allow a company to:

  • Control industrial processes at either local or remote locations. It provides far-reaching automation, ensuring that a company is always in control.
  • Maximize a communication network that allows them to send commands through radios, cell and landline phones, and the Ethernet.
  • Directly interact with an array of devices across stations, including sensors, PLCs, RTUs, and pump controllers.
  • Use HMI software (human-machine interface) to provide operators with a graphic representation of the process, ensuring that they have real-life data at all times.
  • Utilize an alarm management system to allow operators to view and acknowledge alarms throughout different stations.
  • Record events into a log file, which will provide insightful information on trends and reporting down the line. The historical data can be kept for years, and be used to prepare for emergencies.

As well as increasing efficiency in the workplace, SCADA also allows businesses to improve their operations. The results from SCADA can further push them to decide if any changes within operations need to be made in the long-term, including any:

  • Changes to increase asset availability and the lifecycle of systems and programs
  • Improvements to efficiency without exceeding costs
  • Producing higher-quality products
  • Reducing maintenance costs

Numerous case studies have shown that effective SCADA automation systems can provide a wealth of benefits to clients, resulting in saving time and money.

An Example Of A SCADA System In Action

To highlight the benefit of a SCADA system for a business, let us look at this example below.

A water company has a leak in the pipeline, which can cause a significant issue if it continues running. The SCADA system collects information about the leak and transfers it back to the central site. From there, the operators will be able to carry out necessary analysis, such as determining if the leak is critical. They will then be able to move forward with a plan on how to control and stop the leak.

Without such an advanced system, the leak could continue to grow and cause significant problems down the line. The SCADA automation system can detect the problem and provide on-time solutions for the operational team. It will also maintain a record of the incident to be analyzed and improved in future.

This is an example of how effective the system can be, and how each industry that utilizes the system can benefit from it.

Utilizing Modern Day SCADA Systems

SCADA systems have changed dramatically since their creation in the mid-20th century. Modern-day systems allow real-time data to be accessed from anywhere in the world. It will help businesses, corporations, and even governments, to make at-the-moment decisions that can improve their processes. Without a SCADA software, it would be extremely difficult if not impossible, to effectively run an operation.

Modern systems can be maintained and updated with help from industrial automation companies. These experts offer solutions, adaptations and repairs when it comes to any SCADA system. Their professionalism and experience can help when it comes to managing and improving your operations. If you have any enquiries, speaking to an expert can help you with your SCADA software and system.

CDN Controls has been providing the oil and gas industry in Western Canada with the high-quality services they need for their business. Since 2010, our professionalism and expertise in the field have made us the stand-out company in the industry. Whether you need instrumentation and electrical services, combustion and emissions equipment, or communication and automation to improve your business’ operations, we have the services to enhance your business. CDN Controls is ready to provide you with the service you need. Call our Toll Free number on 1-855-530-8151 to speak to one of our representatives.

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