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What is SCADA and how its used in Manufacturing

What is SCADA?

SCADA, or supervisory control and data acquisition, is a system comprised of hardware and software components used to monitor and control industrial processes. With a SCADA system, manufacturers are able to collect and analyze real time production data, monitor and manage alarms, and program automatic control responses triggered by certain events or system parameters. 


The core functions of SCADA include:
  • System monitoring
  • Automated control of industrial processes and machines
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Event and Alarm Notifications
  • Reporting
To perform these functions, SCADA integrates with sensors and other measuring devices, which can be in either digital or analog form, to collect data. The collected data is then sent to  remote terminal unit (RTU) or programmable logic controller (PLC) to be translated to usable information. Finally, the information is relayed to a human machine interface (HMI) or other types of displays for operators to analyze and interact with.

SCADA systems also enable the ability to automate the control of industrial processes and machines that would otherwise be too complex for manual human control. Through the use of sensors and measuring devices, SCADA systems can detect abnormal parameters or alarms and automatically respond with a programmed control function. For example if an alarm occurred signaling to much pressure in a line, the SCADA system would trigger a programmed response to open a pressure relief valve to return pressure levels to a normal amount.

SCADA Platforms & Applications

There are numerous SCADA platforms on the market; however, the most popular platforms include Rockwell Factory Talk, Siemens WinCC, Wonderware Systems Platform, and Ignition. Each of these platforms can be programmed with modern web languages such as HTML5, Python, and PHP, and integrated with generalized database software such as SQL.

Energy-use monitoring and metrics is a common application for a SCADA system. In this application, the SCADA system can help operators analyze energy use data taken from connected equipment and use that data to cut costs and energy waste. SCADA is also often used for water/wastewater treatment plants to manage the various stages of water treatment, as well as in food and beverage facilities to optimize production rates and increase product quality.

Who Uses SCADA Systems?

Process Solutions has completed SCADA projects for clients across a wide range of industries:

  • Food and beverage processing
  • Pharmaceutical/Bio-tech
  • Water/Wastewater management
  • HVAC and commercial building management
  • Energy pipelines and utilities
  • Seafood processing
  • Sorting and fulfillment
  • Energy management and refrigeration

How Can SCADA Help You?

Applying a SCADA system in your facility can help decrease production waste and boost overall efficiency by providing useful production insights to operators and management. The information derived from a SCADA system can facilitate data-driven decisions and lead to increased output, reduced costs, and greater control of your processes.

Another benefit of SCADA is instant notification and automated response to system alarms. With the immediate knowledge of issues in the production process, operators and back-up systems are able to respond quicker to reduce equipment downtime and wasted product.

At Process Solutions, we have a team of certified SCADA engineers that work with our clients to develop custom systems to match any manufacturing environment. For more information about SCADA software, or to request a demonstration, please contact us below to discuss your requirements.

About Process Solutions, Inc.

Located near Seattle, Washington, Process Solutions has over 30 years of experience providing high quality and reliable control systems. With over 100 engineers and technicians on staff and an output of over 3,000 control panels per year, Process Solutions is the Northwest largest control systems integrator. Process Solutions’ control systems services include custom control panel design, build, and commissioning, PLC and HMI programming, robot system integration, energy management and refrigeration systems, SCADA software, and machine monitoring software.