While SCADA technology was developed somewhat later, similar monitoring systems have been in use since the 1960s. Such systems are collectively called DCS (Distributed Control System). DCS have conventionally been used for facilities like factories.
However, such systems are not effective in covering large geographical areas like those involved in gas transport systems.
SCADA has been specifically developed to meet requirements covering large territories. Therefore, such a system can be used in various industries and for industrial processes, including: manufacturing, water and sewage, electric power generation and mass transit. This is why SCADA programming plays such a crucial role in the system's development.
It can also be used for facility processes in private or public facilities, including: buildings, airports, ships, or space stations in order to monitor and control: HVAC, access control, and energy consumption management. The possibilities are endless.
Data collection begins at the PLC level and includes readings and equipment statuses that are communicated to a master as required. Data is then compiled and formatted in such a way that a control room operator using an interface terminal can make appropriate supervisory decisions that may be required to adjust or override normal PLC controls. The tags (data) are collected locally in the SCADA software database or into a Historian (distributed database) to allow trending and other analytical work. SCADA programming by a technician adjusts the system as needed.
These distributed measurement and control systems provide manufacturers with a flexible software solution that can be tailored to meet their specific manufacturing needs.
RTUs and PLCs today are capable of controlling the operations within their range of vision through closed loop feedback systems. The central station oversees the overall performance of the one or more RTUs/ PLCs under its control. SCADA systems also allow operators or supervisors to change the settings as appropriate at the level of the RTU or the central station. Alarming conditions like high temperature can then be recorded and displayed.
Therefore, SCADA system development involves programming at various levels. In SCADA programming, data is collected at the RTU and has to be converted into signals, which is followed by interpreting this data that requires HMI. Often this data also has to be compiled and stored (history databases) for recognizing trends and analysis work. As a result, customized database systems have to be developed. Networks and communication systems bring in more varied requirements for SCADA programming
Add to this the fact that SCADA programming systems are still in the process of evolving. Industries are awakening to challenges like the possibility of terrorist strikes.
It is therefore necessary for research and development to be instrumental in creating a better, more foolproof system for both hardware and software levels to be integrated with SCADA programming.
It is therefore easy to see that SCADA programming has a lot of possibilities.
The DPS Telecom SCADA Guide is a tutorial that teaches the fundamentals of SCADA with a practical focus. This guide also recommends product features that you can ask vendors about when you are expanding your monitoring.
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