Technological advancements have led to the automation of many business activities. Many businesses make use of the available resources and tools to increase their production, quality of the output, and raise the profitability of their companies.
Here is a detailed guide of one of the most crucial tools that make the automated processes in businesses more manageable, the SCADA system
The Definition of SCADA and Automation
SCADA stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition and refers to a system of hardware and software components. It allows businesses to control their processes both on-site and remotely, gather, monitor, and process data in real-time, and record and file any activities and events. Through Human-Machine Interface (HMI), it also allows you to interact with appliances like pumps, sensors, valves, and motors, among many more.
Automation refers to the development and application of technology to monitor and control the production and delivery of different services and goods. It replaces many activities that were previously performed by humans. Automation is seen today in various industries such as utilities, manufacturing, operations, defense, transport, information technology, and many more.
The Necessity of Automation and SCADA
Automation and SCADA form a fundamental part of many industries as many processes rely on the technologies to function at optimal levels. Through remote terminal units, it is unlikely for personnel in charge of power systems to miss costly errors in different areas. Additionally, by feeding the centralized data promptly to the human interface, it assists management teams in directing repairs appropriately.
The Importance of SCADA System
It is crucial to exercise control over processes in your company to ensure continuous monitoring of every business-related activity. Staying on top of everything ensures that you correct mistakes before they turn into a catastrophe and even anticipate some issues before they occur hence saving a lot of resources. SCADA guarantees that you generate time-sensitive reports promptly, and stay informed of any critical incidents.
Monitoring also ensures that you allocate resources appropriately to maximize profits. You can reinvest the money you save and even the gains on new technologies to streamline the day to day activities in your business. SCADA system significantly benefits your company because it allows you to monitor everything from a central system.
The automation capabilities of SCADA allows businesses to examine carefully and anticipate the requisite responses to various conditions while facilitating an automatic response at all times. It eradicates human errors and the need for performing routine activities every day. Therefore it increases productivity, reduces the chances of occurrence of specific environment-related disasters, and facilitates real-time management of machine failures.
Before you equip your business with a SCADA system, you must make critical decisions on the budget and choosing the personnel to perform the automation. Employ expert individuals and ensure that you stay within your budget by looking at different kinds of service. You have the choice to pick not-to-exceed purchase, lump sum, and time and materials plans.
It is essential to make sure you receive proper service without spending a massive amount of money on your automation project. Make sure you determine whether you need on-site training, design builds, or any other function to give you an idea of what to expect and also develop and precise plan.
Some companies implement and maintain SCADA systems on their own, but it’s a massive endeavor. For many businesses, the better option is to bring in a professional company like Telstar Instruments who can map the perfect strategy, handle the installation, and continue testing periodically to ensure the system is working exactly as it’s supposed to.
The Key Components of a SCADA System
The hardware, software, and network make up the crucial components of a SCADA system. Although components like the Remote Terminal Unit (RTU), Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), and the Human-Machine Interface (HMI) do not necessarily form part of the SCADA system, they work jointly with the SCADA Software to produce optimum performance.
RTU collects both analog and digital data from different assets within your business and sends it through the network to the central SCADA system. RTU may also receive actionable data on specific occasions. In the past, RTUs were not programmable, but they can now perform basic Boolean logic operations.
The PLC performs the same functions as the RTU. With the help of sensors, it gathers data and transmits it via the network, therefore, facilitating communication of data over long distances. It can also make changes if it receives additional instructions on recorded outputs.
The HMI allows humans to view the data collected from the PLC and RTU in an organized format from a central location. It can run the needed changes through it and also receive reports, graphs, and statistics. Furthermore, it can make adjustments to the settings of the PLC.
In addition to the SCADA software, you can also install the Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS) software to assist in analyzing and application of the data. It helps produce Corrective Maintenance work orders, a document that outlines the nature of the problem, the tasks needed to correct it, and the resources need to complete it.
SCADA transforms the way businesses perform their processes as it makes it possible to monitor company activities remotely.