Acronyms 101: What is SCADA (and why do you need it?)
SCADA is a word you'll see a lot on our website, and it's one of several acronyms which have been perplexing our new blogger. If it's perplexing you, too, you've come to the right place. Join us while we unpack the acronym, and get to grips with SCADA.
What does SCADA stand for?
SCADA stands for Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition. Clear as mud? Don't worry - while the acronym breakdown may not make it any simpler, it's really not as complicated as it sounds.
What does SCADA mean?
So what does it all mean? Well, if you'd rather not read to the bottom of the page, here's the basic takeaway: A SCADA system feeds people real-time data on their automated processes. This enables operatives to monitor and control automated processes, with the flexibility to do so remotely. SCADA systems free up a lot of time, ensure that errors are flagged and caught quickly, and make industrial processes far more efficient.
If you're a big reader, we'll delve into SCADA in a bit more depth from hereon in...
Control industrial processes (either locally or remotely).
Use Human-Machine-Interface (HMI) software to communicate with and control devices.
Monitor processes, and gather data.
Log and flag events.
So, as the acronym suggests, a SCADA system supervises, controls, and acquires data on a given industrial process. It improves efficiency, makes processes smarter, and keeps human operators informed.
What are SCADA systems used for?
SCADA systems are, by this point, integral to the global economy. They're in play in a big way across a huge variety of sectors. SCADA architecture is very adaptable - you can have a huge, complex SCADA system with thousands of control loops, or a really small and simple one - meaning that the benefits of SCADA can be brought to bear on pretty much any industrial process. They're the lynchpin of a great many industries, including:
Oil and gas
Water treatment and distribution
Food and drink manufacture and distribution
They're also used within internal facility processes. For example, a large facility's heating and/or air conditioning is far easier to understand and control, and many times more efficient if it's looped into a SCADA system.
How does SCADA work?
SCADA uses PLCs and/or RTUs (and/or a number of other perplexing acronyms denoting types of microcomputer) to communicate with sensors and interfaces attached to machine components. They collect data from the machines, and send that data to computer-based SCADA software. The software crunches the numbers, and displays the data for human operators. These operators can then make decisions based on the data presented.
Do you need SCADA?
If you're automating a process of any kind, and could benefit from remotely-accessible, real-time data on that process, then you need SCADA. A SCADA system can get you closer to your processes, giving you more data and more control over what's going on in your facility. Ultimately, SCADA systems save you time and money while making your industry more efficient.
MASK Control Systems can design and construct a secure SCADA system tailored to your precise needs. Wherever you need feedback and control, we can provide the SCADA tool for the job. Contact us now to find out more.