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Where is SCADA Used? Examples of SCADA System Applications

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Video: What Industries Use SCADA?

The term SCADA stands for Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition system. They are used to manage a wide variety of gear and multiple servers in SCADA industries and SCADA environments. A single SCADA system may use multiple different communications protocols.

Typically, SCADA systems are used to automate complex processes where human control is impractical. SCADA uses in industries including the challenges of providing 24/7 monitoring. Staffing logistics and costs can quickly create value for implementing basic SCADA control systems.

Industrial processes where there are many control factors can also benefit from modern SCADA systems. Careful construction of rule-sets can assist system operators with routine management functions. An automated system will process data and send commands. Systems using human-machine interface (HMI) software lets you focus on making decisions based on real-time data.

Take a look at a SCADA manufacturers list

Examples of SCADA Applications in Industries

Where is SCADA used
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Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems are very important for the automation of processes. They allow you to be aware of potential network issues and to make informed decisions to respond accordingly every time. Relying on remote monitoring devices for management and control of equipment virtually eliminates human error.

Also, it provides automation to routine tasks that were once performed by your technicians. This increases your productivity, the management of important machines in real-time, and minimizes possible problems that might impact your revenue.

SCADA systems can be found in many different industries, especially in places where human presence is impractical or unsafe. The reason behind that can be due to many factors. This includes having a facility in a very remote site that is hard to reach in a timely manner.

Industries that apply SCADA include:

  • Electric power generation, transmission and distribution
    Electric utilities use RTUs (or PLCs) and HMI SCADA to detect current flow and line voltage of remote sites. They also use them to monitor the operation of breakers, and to take power grids on or off. SCADA systems can be found at electrical power distribution from gas-fired, coal, nuclear, electrical power transmission and distribution, etc.
  • Water, wastewater and sewage
    State and municipal water use SCADA applications. They monitor and regulate water flow, reservoir levels, pipe pressure, wastewater collection and treatment facilities, water treatment centers and distribution, and other factors of the field devices.
  • Buildings, facilities and environments
    Facility managers use SCADA to monitor and control HVAC, temperature sensors, refrigeration units, lighting and entry systems.
  • Manufacturing
    SCADA manages parts lists for just-in-time manufacturing and regulates industrial automation and robots. It also monitors quality and process control in industrial plants.
  • Mass transit
    Transit authorities use SCADA protocols to regulate electricity in remote locations. They also use it to automate traffic signals, to track and locate trains and buses, and to control railroad crossing gates.
  • Traffic signals
    SCADA regulates traffic lights, controls traffic flow, and detects out-of-order signals.
  • Oil and Gas
    SCADA software applications are used to remotely monitor and control equipment related to pipelines, pumps, storage, offshore platforms and onshore wells, refineries and petro-chemical stations, etc.
  • Food and Beverage Production
    Keeping temperatures within a proper range is very important when making and processing food. SCADA systems will be used to monitor and control temperatures within these facilities.
  • Other processes include telecommunications, agriculture/irrigation, healthcare, pharmaceutical, and many others.

SCADA Advantages

The reason why you can see SCADA systems deployed in many different industries is that these systems can bring many benefits. Some of them are:

  • Receiving real-time information to monitor equipment
  • Remote industrial control
  • Storage of performance data for later analysis
  • It allows for proactive maintenance and decreases downtime

Example of a Real-World SCADA Application

A common SCADA network can be set up to monitor leaks on a pipeline. When a leak is detected, the system will carry out pre-configured commands. The devices that will carry out these commands are either a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) or a Remote Terminal Unit (RTU). RTUs are usually the device of choice because it brings more automation and control features for your management system.

Your RTU will send you an alert to notify you about the leak. Depending on the device, it can also immediately close the valve to minimize the damages to your operating system and to your bottom line.

It doesn't matter if you have a small and simple application (like a small office building) or a big and complex network (such as a nuclear plant), your SCADA system should be custom-designed to exactly meet all the requirements for your specific scenario. But, being able to work with a competent SCADA company will directly affect how efficient your system is going to be. Take a look at the best SCADA system companies.

Next Page: The Value of SCADA
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