An effective supervisory system can save industries a lot of money and boost profitability. However, using property improperly can overwhelm businesses into a pit of cost, delays, and limited performance. SCADA software helps improve operational efficiency; it can also be fully integrated with the plant’s operation.
SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) is a computer system that automatically obtains real-time data and stores all the information entering the system. It allows industrial organizations to:
- Control industrial processes in different locations
- Record, collect and process real-time data
- Collaborate with sensors, valves, motors, and other human-machine interface software
- Registers events into a log file
SCADA System Functions and Components
SCADA systems are commonly used to observe and control industrial process equipment. These industries include manufacturing, fabrication, production, and development. Below are the functions of the SCADA system:
- Acquiring Data
Data is acquired through connected devices and sensors linked to a PLC or RTU. These devices measure temperature, speed, pressure, or weight as raw data. After measuring, the data is delivered to a PLC or RTU, translated into user-friendly and understandable information. After decoding, they are sent to a human-machine interface and are displayed to operators to analyze or take action.
- Controlling Decisions
Another SCADA function is automating process control determined by definite set-points. It can perform control decisions based on the specifications received from the networked sensors. There are instances when SCADA could automatically turn on a generator to restore power if the software detects an abnormal condition like power loss. Control functions concerning power, speed, temperature, and more.
- Triggering Alarms
Unusual conditions are a common occurrence within a process. The SCADA system can help by triggering alarms to alert the operators that there is something wrong. Alarms are exhibited in different forms like sounds, lights, graphics, text messages, or even phone calls. SCADA helps improve operational efficiency by ensuring that serious problems are not ignored and responded correctly.
Components of a SCADA System
SCADA system consists of multiple computer components (hardware and software) working efficiently to gather, translate, and present data. SCADA hardware usually includes data gathering devices like PLC or RTU and data display devices like HMI or monitor. Predictive maintenance programmed control, and machine learning can also be executed with SCADA software depending on the system.
Data collection devices like inputs and sensors can be analog or digital. They are in control of measuring and controlling the parameters of a machine or device. These devices can also manage simple binary commands and complex orders like adjusting flow, pressure, and temperature.
PLC and RTU
PLC or “programmable logic controller” and RTU or “remote terminal units” collect data from different data collection devices to transform the data into understandable information to be used by the SCADA system and operators. Additionally, PLC and RTU can connect signals from the SCADA system to control functions.
Who are the Users of SCADA?
Different industrial organizations use the SCADA system. May it be public or private companies, the SCADA software is efficient in controlling, distributing data for wiser decisions, and communicating system issues to help minimize downtime. It also performs well for other types of enterprises because it ranges from simple frameworks to large complex installations.
Many industries have SCADA System as their backbone; a few of them are:
- Oil and gas
What are Lift Stations’ functions?
Knowing how lift stations work helps companies avoid problematic situations. Lift stations are a vital part of the entire sewage and drainage systems.
Lift stations are pumping stations that move wastewater from a lower elevation to a higher elevation. It helps the raw sewage to continue transporting towards a wastewater treatment plan.
To have useful, well-operated, and well-designed wastewater lift stations, it must conform to specific standards.
- It must match pump capacity with the amount of wastewater being treated.
- It must operate thoroughly without interruption.
- It must avoid excessive release of odors.
- It must prevent flooding.
- It must allow future capacity and expansion needs.
Sewage is a dangerous material and needs to be handled properly. Lift stations make the process of movement of sewage to a treatment center more efficient. By doing so, it reduces the cost of putting underground sewer pipes. If you are interested in lift stations, you can learn more here.
Incorporating SCADA to Lift Stations
There will be cases when a lift station is malfunctioning, and operators must be notified as soon as possible. In regards to this, lift station alarms must be set to inform operators immediately to avoid severe problems. Traditional alarms can be used, but most people are no longer confined to a landline.
Fortunately, operators of lift stations do not have to go it alone. Automation made operators’ life lighter. Auto-dialer systems are quickly giving way to SCADA systems. With SCADA systems, operators can receive notifications in real-time via email, text, or phone call on their mobile devices. It also enables users to monitor pump status, canal levels, rainfall and flow rates, and radio signal.
Besides, adopting a SCADA system reduces costs for utilities, and there will be fewer equipment repair costs. Other benefits of incorporating a SCADA system to Lift Stations are:
- Early detection and automatic diagnosis of errors reduce unwanted expenses.
- More efficient use of utility personnel time and resources
- Minimal capital
- Availability of historical data
Although often overlooked, lift stations are a vital asset to most companies. It is their primary defense line from flooding, accidental overflows and can also prevent lawsuits and claims. Without lift stations, plumbing and disposal systems will not work continuously. It can create a severe unwanted problem that most companies avoid.
Using the SCADA system efficiently enables companies to improve product quality and prevent unexpected failures and downtime. When issues are quickly detected, operators can promptly prevent public health problems and economic issues. It is critical in today’s case of scarcity.
Anywhere in today’s world, there is SCADA software running behind the scenes, from refrigerators of local supermarkets to quality standards of a wastewater treatment plant. Any production plant of business equates money to time. SCADA software helps save time and energy by automating processes, allowing companies to do more within a short time.
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