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Intelligent Automation Solutions With SCADA Systems

Intelligent Automation Solutions With SCADA Systems

One of the most important types of tools for manufacturing in today’s industries are SCADA systems, which stands for supervisory control and data acquisition. It is comprised of an assortment of software and hardware components used by industrial groups for a variety of essential aspects of their daily routines. You may be surprised to find out just how many components rely on each other in order for production to go smoothly, and even if you’re not familiar with SCADA system tools, chances are you most likely use them already without even knowing.

If a company is to uphold efficiency, it must be able to ensure that every process is being carried out, sometimes from remote locations. For this reason, SCADA provides remote monitoring and access of key machinery within the production line. It can interact with sensors, pumps, valves, motors, HMI devices, and software. It can even be configured to create a file which holds all recorded events within the system for later review and cross-examining. Many SCADA developers, such as Telstar Instruments have made it their goal to streamline architecture from start to finish to make integration and operation as smooth as possible for each human operator.

This system starts with programmable logic controllers or remote terminal units. They are the microcomputers which allow for communication between various kinds of devices like assembly machines, sensory devices, HMIs, and those at the end of the production line. The information gathered from the signal chain is transmitted to the computers running the SCADA programs. Once assessed and processed, factory workers are then sent each element needed in order to ensure productivity at the stations in which they are located.

Inductive Automation explains how when there is a considerable number of errors detected within SCADA, the system then sends this information to the HMI in order to evaluate the possible source. This is essential in order to prevent loss of product or even dangerous conditions that could put workers in harm’s way. At the end, where the HMI is located, some software elements can even be designed to provide the operator with suggestions and options for resolving matters more efficiently.

SCADA is not just used in manufacturing facilities, but by other types of industries as well. In fact, many aspects of infrastructure that are essential for modern living utilize these systems constantly. These include energy operations, electrical power and water facilities, oil companies, transportation services for directional purposes, and the food industry. Just about every aspect of modern business today utilizes SCADA systems in some shape or form.

SCADA is more proof that necessity is the mother of invention, for it was originated in theory as a result of growing industrial problems. These systems first saw their entrance into industrial factories around the 1950s, when relays, timers, and analog devices needed more immediate attention from management and operators than could be given, while meeting production expectations. The ability to access, monitor, and correct possible inconsistencies or other problems within the production line from anywhere in the world became the main development and feature goal.

What first began in only mainframe computers, soon evolved into an army of well-connected networks that allowed each aspect of an industry to speak and even complement another in a more efficient manner. Although LAN connections allowed for various components of a system to speak directly with another one within the company, they were not able to communicate across different vendors at that time. Over the next few decades, changes were made that allowed for these types of communications to be distributed among different vendors, thanks to the introduction of Ethernet Network SCADA system advancements.

Remote monitoring systems and HID machines should be upgraded every five years, even if they seem to be performing well on the surface. When these SCADA systems break down, it can completely halt your whole line of production, causing significant loss of valuable time that could otherwise be dedicated toward maintaining profits and ensuring worker safety. Even though they are usually significant investments, they are well worth it, and utterly essential if a business is truly planning to succeed.

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by Brian Perry // Brian Perry is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.