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SCADA for Industrial Automation

SCADA for Industrial Automation

SCADA stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition. Before these systems were created and introduced in manufacturing, industrial, and utility operations, workers would be required to manually operate and monitor this equipment. With the development of programmable logic controllers and microprocessors, these systems could be automated, which meant that manually operating the system was no longer necessary.

Automated monitoring became considerably more advanced and effective throughout the latter years of the 20th century. By the early 2000s, open-source SCADA systems were widely adopted. These systems are now able to be connected to tablets and mobile devices in completely remote locations for easy access and control. When property implemented, these systems are comprised of hardware and software components. Industrial facilities that use these systems can:

  • Gather and monitor real-time data
  • Control various industrial processes locally or remotely
  • Record different events via a log file
  • Interact with additional devices throughout the facility, which include valves, sensors, motors, pumps, and HMI software

While SCADA systems have been used in many different industrial facilities, they are exceedingly popular in water treatment plants because of the various types of data that can be gathered and analyzed. Once a SCADA system is properly installed, plant operators are able to gain instant access to the information they need to make critical decisions. Because the systems throughout the water treatment plant are monitored through digital means, the data is considerably more precise and up-to-date.

As mentioned, water treatment plants can use this information to identify such problems as chemical imbalances, leaks, and overflows. The flow meters that are installed throughout the facility will send data to terminal units, after which the data is transmitted to plant operators. By gaining quick access to this information, it’s possible for plant operators to correct the issues early on, which should reduce system downtime.

Real-time Data Analysis & Security

Modern SCADA systems are based on a combination of software and hardware, which work together to provide plant operators with real-time data analysis as well as extensive security. As touched upon previously, the flow meters that are installed in your water treatment plant will collect and send data through the SCADA system in real-time, giving you the ability to perform instantaneous data analysis.

Automation with SCADA

Many modern SCADA systems provide users with extensive automation features, which allows plant operators to avoid completing some of the more basic and repetitive tasks that must be performed at a water treatment plant. Even though experienced plant operators are necessary for any water treatment plant, SCADA can be used to identify some of the smaller inconsistencies and issues that might be missed by plant operators.

Keep in mind that automated systems are more energy efficient than manual systems. If you have an automated SCADA system installed in your facility, it should be easier to avoid overflows and similar problems that typically result in violations of EPA regulations. An automated SCADA system will tell you when repairs are needed.

SCADA systems can be used for many distinct applications in water and wastewater treatment plants, the primary of which include:

  • Filtration plants
  • Pumping stations
  • Distribution networks
  • Plant security
  • Data maintenance