SCADA

Supervisory Control and Data Aquisition Systems are nothing new but they are most definitely a Smart Idea. Engineers in Process Control and Instrumentation have been familiar with these systems since way back and it is probably a good idea to familiarize ourselves with why Scada came into being in the first place. It will also become clear as to the difference between SCADA and DCS.

One of the best ways to start is to introduce people to experenced people who have taken the time to give us an introduction to the history of Scada Systems.  A broader understanding of Smart ways helps us to appreciate networks and control systems and how they are used in the oil and gas industry, refineries, chemical plants, water distribution, waste water, utility plants and industry in general. It is important to know about Scada because control engineers are very experienced with concepts and practical applications surrounding measurement and data whether local or remote.  They know about transitions from older systems e.g using alarm panels with manual reset to the implementation of the PLC (programmable logic controller) and Scada. They definitely have the best pools of experience that needs to be tapped into because they are qualified to speak about Smart Meter Data since it is an elementary subject to them. Scada experts are an important resource to  a wider audience who is trying to learn about practical ways to interface with end devices.  A simple example is something called an RTU (remote terminal unit) which has always been "Smart" and is getting smarter every year. There are plenty of smart people in Scada with many individuals already familiar with historical data on security issues and what needs to be done to develop secure systems. It is important to remember that Scada is a bedrock for Smart Utility Systems and deserves our best attention.


     



To have a better appreciation of where we have come from, the following media presentation shows the alarm panels in the background with the modern data systems in the foreground and just as new technology is continually being developed, so is a new language and better ideas. Maybe someone might want to be introduced to something called "Aspect Object Technology" and if that  is you then you might enjoy watching a short message about it.



     

As previously mentioned, the RTU is evolving. It might be interesting to know about Multi-Smart Pump Station managers if you have never seen one since manufacturers are continually making local and remote control smarter. In the following presentation one can clearly see the role of the RTU firstly gathering information from end devices which in many cases is Meter Data and in this example we see a wireless RTU interfacing with a Scada System which will manage data and improve control and efficiency levels for operators and owners of a process (in this case a water pumping station)