Monday, April 6, 2015

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) System to Control Industrial Processes

SCADA typically refers to computer based industrial control system which basically aids to monitor and control facility based industrial processes and infrastructure. Here industrial processes include production, power generation and manufacturing in a repetitive or continuous batch and infrastructure includes treatment of wastewater, water distribution and treatment. Infrastructure processes could be private or public.

SCADA basically works as a centralized controlling and monitoring system for the entire project area or sites. It is practically used in gas refining, power plants, telecommunications, water and waste control systems and transportation. SCADA system includes software and hardware components. This process requires SCADA software installed in a PC where hardware aids to gather and feed data into the computer. Data processing unit of the computer then processes the gathered data of the SCADA system in a timely manner. SCADA also keeps record of all events as a stored file on the PC memory. By buzzing alarms SCADA gives warning of the hazardous condition of processes.

SCADA controls and monitors a process in a loop system. As an example- in an industrial process there is a PLC system to monitor and control discharge, pressure and temperature of steam flow through a pipeline. These parameters bear a significant effect on production. That is why it becomes necessary to control these parameters perfectly to have better production with minimum cost. So the significance of controlling industrial process parameters has become clear to us. Now, the value of discharge, pressure and temperature can be controlled manually by putting required values by an operator. In that case SCADA aids to control the total loop system of the steam flow process. The same thing happens after any chemical plant, and here SCADA plays a great role to overcome the critical situation with pressure and temperature control systems. To produce sulfuric acid, it is necessary to control the temperature and pressure of the process accurately. To do it aptly and easily SCADA loop control system becomes necessary in that production process.

Data acquisition starts at the PLC level with all readings of pressure, temperature and flow status reports which are communicated to SCADA. The system then compiles the data and allows an operator to monitor position to take necessary supervisory decision. The data acquisition system allows an operator to override or adjust PLC controls.

Finally, it can be said that SCADA refers to the wide range of implementation of distributed database. SCADA systems bear significant importance in the field of water supplies, electric grids and pipelines.

I came to know about all these from online research. I believe this article would help others to know about SCADA and Data Acquisition System.
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