Introduction: Sensor Data Acquisition and Monitoring System
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition is a category of software application program for process control, the gathering of data in real time from remote locations in order to control equipment and conditions. SCADA is used in power plants as well as in oil and gas refining, telecommunications, transportation, and water and waste control.
Components of SCADA
1. Human Machine Interface (HMI) It is an interface which presents process data to a human operator, and through this, the human operator monitors and controls the process.
2. Supervisory (computer) system It gathers data on the process and sending commands (or control) to the process.
3. Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) It connect to sensors in the process, converting sensor signals to digital data and sending digital data to the supervisory system.
4. Programmable Logic Controller (PLCs) It is used as field devices because they are more economical, versatile, flexible, and configurable than special-purpose RTUs.
5. Communication infrastructure It provides connectivity to the supervisory system to the Remote Terminal Units.
- SCADA systems include hardware and software components.
- The hardware gathers and feeds data into a computer that has SCADA software installed.
- The computer then processes this data and presents it in a timely manner.
- SCADA also records and logs all events into a file stored on a hard disk or sends them to a printer.
- SCADA applications warn when conditions become hazardous by sounding alarms.
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Step 1: Working of SCADA Systems
SCADA systems deploy multiple software and hardware elements that allow industrial organizations to: Monitor, gather, and process dataInteract with and control machines and devices such as valves, pumps, motors, and more, which are connected through HMI (human-machine interface) softwareRecord events into a log file.
In basic SCADA architectures, information from sensors or manual inputs are sent to PLCs (programmable logic controllers) or RTUs (remote terminal units), which then send that information to computers with SCADA software. SCADA software analyzes and displays the data in order to help operators and other workers to reduce waste and improve efficiency in the manufacturing process. Effective SCADA systems can result in significant savings of time and money. Numerous case studies have been published highlighting the benefits and savings of using a modern SCADA software solution such as Ignition.
The term SCADA usually refers to centralized systems which monitor and control entire sites, or complexes of systems spread out over large areas (anything between an industrial plant and a country). Most control actions are performed automatically by Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) or by programmable logic controllers (PLCs).
Host control functions are usually restricted to basic overriding or supervisory level intervention. For example, a PLC may control the flow of cooling water through part of an industrial process, but the SCADA system may allow operators to change the set points for the flow, and enable alarm conditions, such as loss of flow and high temperature, to be displayed and recorded. The feedback control loop passes through the RTU or PLC, while the SCADA system monitors the overall performance of the loop.