To understand the roots of SCADA, we must know the industrial organization’s problems which are trying to solve. Before the SCADA concept was introduced in the mid-20th century, several industrial floors, plants, and remote sites depend on personnel to physically control and monitor apparatus through analog dials and push buttons. As industries began to scale out in size, solutions were required for equipment controlling over long distances. The group of Industries has started to use relays and timers to offer some level of supervisory control without taking to send people to remote sites to network with each device.
While timers and relays solved several problems by giving narrow automation functionality, more problems began to rise as organizations sustained to scale out. The reconfiguration of Relays and timers were difficult. A more effective and fully automatic control system and checking were needed. The term “SCADA” was invented in the early 1970s, and the growth of microprocessors and PLCs during that period increased enterprises’ capability to monitor & control automated processes more than ever before.
What are SCADA Systems?
The term SCADA stands for supervisory control and data acquisition. It is one kind of a central control system which comprises of controllers, network interfaces, input/output, communication equipment & software. These systems are used to control and monitor the equipment in the process of industries which comprise production, manufacturing, fabrication and also development. The infrastructural methods comprise an electrical power supply, gas, oil and water distribution. Public services contain bus traffic system, airport. These systems take the meter readings and check the status of sensors in a fixed interval so that it needs the minimal interference of human.
Before discussing the SCADA Systems Architecture, mainly we must know the basics of the SCADA system. The block diagram of the SCADA system shown in the below figure which comprises different blocks, such as
- HMI (Human-machine Interface)
- Remote terminal units
- Supervisory system
- Communication infrastructure
- SCADA Programming.
Types of SCADA systems
SCADA systems are classified into four types which can be considered as SCADA architectures of four dissimilar generations:
- First Generation: Early SCADA systems or, Monolithic
- Second Generation: Distributed SCADA systems,
- Third Generation: Networked SCADA systems &
- Fourth Generation: Internet of things (IoT technology), SCADA systems
SCADA Systems Architecture
A large number of methods occur in large industrial formation. Every process, you need to monitor is very difficult because every machine gives dissimilar output. The SCADA system used to collect the data from sensors and tools which are located in a remote area. The computer then processes the collected data and presents in an appropriate manner. The SCADA system gathers the information and transfers back to the system while giving the signals that leakage has happened and displays the information in a logical and organized mode. The SCADA system runs on DOS and UNIX operating systems.
Usually, the SCADA system comprises different components, namely operating equipment, local processors, PLCs, remote terminal unit, instruments, intelligent master terminal unit, electronic device, host computers and a PC with HMI (human machine interface).
The above figure shows the basic SCADA architecture. The term SCADA stands for supervisory control and data acquisition. These systems are different from distributed control systems which are frequently found in plant sites. When these systems protect the plant site, SCADA system protects much larger geographic areas.
Above the architecture shows an integrated SCADA which supports UDP, TCP/IP, and other IP based communication protocols along with industrial protocols like Modbus TCP, Modbus over UDP, or Modbus over TCP. These all work over the private radio, cellular or satellite networks.
In difficult SCADA architectures, there is a range of wired, wireless media and protocols involved in receiving data back to the watching site. This lets application of powerful IP based SCADA n/w over landline, mixed cellular and also satellite systems. SCADA communications can employ a varied range of wired and wireless media.
The choice of the current communication depends on the classification of a number of features. The features are remoteness, current communications infrastructure, polling frequency, accessible communications at the remote sites, and data rates. These features influence the final choice for SCADA architecture. So, an analysis of SCADA systems development allows us to well understand many security concerns.
Applications of SCADA
The applications of SCADA mainly include industries, companies to control and maintain efficiency. Allocate data for smarter choices, and transfer system problems to help mitigate down time.These systems work well in several types of enterprises because the range of these systems can range from simple configurations to large, complex installations.These systems are the support of many current industries, including:
- Food and beverage
- Oil and gas
- Water and wastewater, And much more
Nowadays, virtually if you look anywhere, there is some kind of SCADA system running behind the scenes: keeping the refrigeration systems at the local supermarket, confirming production and security at a factory, attaining quality standards at a waste water treatment plant, or even tracking your energy use at home, to give a few samples.
Current SCADA systems can affect an important savings of time & money. Several case studies have been available highlighting the aids and savings of using a current SCADA software solution such as Ignition. We hope that you have got a better understanding of this concept. Furthermore, any doubts regarding this concept or to implement Automation based projects, please give your feedback by commenting in the comment section below. Here is a question for you, what is the function of SCADA systems?