SCADA: Make Your PLCs Call You With Voice Alerts...

by Mac Smith

If you have a SCADA (monitoring and control) system at your organization, it's likely composed of many small remote devices called PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers). Your PLCs monitor all sorts of vital processes, like flow rates, temperatures, and manufacturing stages. They report data back to your central master station (HMI), giving you reasonable visibility of your actions.

But how many times have you had a problem that went undetected until it caused major trouble? You can't be in front of a computer screen all the time, and you can't expect that your human staff will instantly recognize every important issue.

What you need is a device that connects to a handful of your most important PLCs. When one of these PLCs detected a vital problem, your new device would receive a contact closure and call your phone immediately. You'd receive a detailed voice message describing the problem. What's more, if you didn't respond to the message within a few minutes, an alternative operator could be contacted.

When you wire a NetGuardian Voice 16 into one or more of your PLCs, you'll be able to receive detailed voice alerts as described above. Your PLCs will still send data to your central master (HMI). But, with a Voice 16 deployed, they'll send a supplemental voice alert to your phone. You can also connect the Voice 16 to non-PLC gear that outputs contact closures.

You can set up voice alerts for as many or as few alarms as you need. Then you won't be overwhelmed with unimportant "nuisance" voice messages. If you have a large team managing your SCADA system, a PLC contact closure can trigger up to 8 sequential phone calls. The NetGuardian Voice 16 will keep escalating the call until someone "Presses 1" on their phone to acknowledge the alarm.

Redundant voice alerts also offer protection against network failure. Even if your PLCs can't talk with your master, the NetGuardian Voice 16 will still be able to dial out using its built-in modem.

PLC Voice Alerts Diagram

The NetGuardian Voice 16 allows you to receive voice alerts on your phone when important PLC devices detect threats to your actions. You can at the same time collect alarms from any other equipment that outputs contact closures.

If you have PLCs (or any other devices that output contact closures), you can use the NetGuardian Voice 16 to improve your responsiveness to alarms, improve your productivity, and improve your bottom line. Call DPS Today at 1-800-693-0351.

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