The Basics of SCADA Engineering

All You Need to Know

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What is SCADA?

Have you ever heard of SCADA engineering but don’t know exactly what it is? SCADA, which stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, is a system used in industries to monitor and control operations remotely. SCADA systems play a vital role in the automation of power transmission networks, manufacturing units, oil and gas facilities, and building management systems. In this article, we explore the basics of SCADA engineering to help operations and plant managers, technicians, and business owners understand the basics of this technology.

A combination of software and hardware components is the foundation of any SCADA system. The system comprises of sensors, RTUs, servers, communication networks, and monitoring software. The sensors or input devices are installed in the machines, equipment, or systems that need monitoring. These sensors transmit data collected by the Remote Terminal Units (RTUs). The RTUs transmit the data to central systems or servers through communication networks like Ethernet, Modbus, and PROFIBUS. The monitoring software is installed in the central system or server, displaying the data collected to the users.

The software used in SCADA engineering can perform several tasks, such as data logging, alarm notification, real-time monitoring, and trend analysis. The software collects data from multiple sources and displays the same on the user interface. The user can monitor, analyze, and control the operations, based on the data collected. The programming language used in SCADA systems is similar to scripting and software development knitted with IEC 61131-3 controller programming languages, which describe the control process as diagrams.

SCADA system architecture can be customized to suit different industries’ needs. The system can be standalone or networked, based on the industry requirements. With the advances in cloud computing and storage, SCADA systems have been securely deployed in the cloud infrastructure. To create a more comprehensive automation solution, SCADA can be integrated with other automation and business intelligence systems, such as Building Management Systems (BMS) and Industrial Control Systems (ICS), Accounting, and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. Power transmission companies also use SCADA systems to monitor power quality, fault analysis, and outage management systems.

SCADA engineers play a vital role in setting up, configuring, and maintaining SCADA systems. They are responsible for the customization of the software, installation of hardware components, and integration of different systems. The role of SCADA engineers involves the identification of possible glitches that could occur during the implementation phase, and they ensure that the system complies with the industry standards.

The Recap
SCADA engineering is an essential technology used in various industries to maintain and manage critical information from remote sites. The system monitors and controls operations by collecting data from different sources, transmitting it to a central system, and displaying it on a user interface. The SCADA system architecture can be customized to suit the industry’s needs and integrated with other automation technologies, such as historians, GIS, ICS, and BI systems. Strata Innovative Solutions’ engineers are critical in setting up and configuring the systems, ensuring the system complies with industry standards. By understanding the basics of SCADA engineering, operations and plant managers, technicians, and engineers can make informed decisions and ensure smooth operations in their respective industries.
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