What is SCADA?
SCADA stands for Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) this is a system of software and hardware that makes it possible for industries to monitor and control their industrial processes remotely. This is done by collecting and processing real-time data using sensors that are installed on valves, pumps, motors and other industrial components and are monitored through machine interface software.
The basic architecture of SCADA consists of Remote terminal units and programmable logic controllers that can communicate and collect data from an array of objects and route this information to a computer with SCADA software.
Who uses SCADA?
Various industrial organizations or companies in both the public and private sector can make use of SCADA for the purpose of maintaining control and efficiency. SCADA can be applied for both simple configurations and large installation in industries like Energy, manufacturing, oil and gas, recycling, power, automobile, water and waste management, and so on.
What are the benefits of SCADA?
SCADA allows you to collect and process data that can help operators monitor vital machine operations and make important decisions. SCADA can help industries to maintain efficiency, by promoting smarter and faster access to vital data and communicating possible system issues. For example, SCADA can notify an operator that a machine is malfunctioning. This helps to prevent the total breakdown of the machine which can lead to a total breakdown of operation and undesirable downtime.
Are there downsides or drawbacks to using SCADA?
Despite its long list of benefits, SCADA also has its own drawbacks. On top of the list of possible issues is the fact that SCADA is quite expensive. It can be quite expensive to install and maintain which can make it quite difficult for industries who can’t afford the cost.
Is there a cheaper alternative to SCADA?
SaaS is a viable alternative to having an isolated SCADA system for your industry. It helps to achieve similar results or even more while keeping cost low with simple fees and free upgrades of existing systems.
What is SaaS?
SaaS is an acronym for Sensing-as-a-Service. It is a sector of the automation and control service industry which deals with the collection and delivery of sensor data via a continuous data stream on demand. Sensing in the generic sense refers to the process of collecting data in any form. This could be something as simple as GPS location data on a mobile device, to street cameras, time and so on to the more vital and complicated process required to manage machineries in big industries. You can think of this is an even more modernized form of SCADA. It leverages new technology like IoT, cloud services and others for the remote collection of data and makes it possible to see, control and analyze this data online conveniently.
Instead of having every IoT device use its own network of sensors which will lead to an unnecessary amount of unneeded sensors, SaaS offers a shared network of sensors that communicate with each other as a service to industry.
Benefits of using SaaS for Automation and control
Asides the fact that SaaS is a cheaper infrastructure for automation and control, here are some of the other potential benefits of the system.
See and control processes from anywhere: Using SaaS for total automation and control gives you full control over your systems and processes from anywhere you are. It uses a web-based cloud service to convert any browser into a Human Machine Interface. This makes it possible to monitor the status of your machine and control processes from anywhere with just a single click.
It can connect to any type of Programmable Logic Controller: It can be integrated with virtually any type of logic controller. This ensures seamless connection and smooth operation of processes.
Access to the previous database for comprehensive analytics and better decision making: you can always pull from a database of vital historical data with insightful visualization to assist you with making important decisions that will increase machine productivity and efficient control.