SCADA Applications

A Brief Look at some SCADA Applications

In the simplest of terms, SCADA is a versatile software system that automates the modern industries of today. With its robust features, ease of access and simple installation, SCADA has become the backbone of the industrial foreground today.

With its diverse applications, SCADA can be used in almost all industrial processes. A majority of the modern day industries benefit from the controlling and monitoring abilities which SCADA offers.

Some of the major areas where SCADA is heavily employed include:

  • Substations
  • Power Systems
  • Manufacturing
  • Petroleum Industry (Oil and Gas)
  • Beverages and Foods
  • Recycling
  • Wastewater Treatment
  • Water management
  • Transportation

Read on to find out how these domains benefit more from SCADA:

1. SCADA Applications in Substations

Substations are critical to maintaining the load control and electrical supply, medium and high voltage electrical distribution networks. There are a number of complex equipment and paraphernalia that need constant supervision such as line mounted capacitors and switches. Most of these utilities employ SCADA for automating control and monitor. Another advantage of using a SCADA system is that, with better maintenance and effective troubleshooting capabilities, the life of substations can be extended significantly. Using SCADA systems is beneficial financially because the system provides historical data which cuts maintenance and other associated expenditures. Since electrical distribution networks have a number of remote sites and applications, using a SCADA system becomes all the more necessary for monitor and control.

In the substations, the SCADA systems comprise of a master control station that may have one or more PC dependent HMIs. The operator can view information provided by the HMI for supervising the substations and related equipment. Modern day SCADA systems are highly adept at coping with a large influx of data which is mandatory for monitoring the electrical states of all the power lines, cables and equipment.

2. Applications of SCADA in Oil and Gas Industry

Oil and Gas Industry comprises of multiple sites that are remotely located and are difficult to access. With SCADA systems, this difficulty is overcome easily. The SCADA systems used in the Petroleum Industry are extremely flexible, secure and easily maintainable. These solutions are built over software architecture which are robust, secure, single, open and scalable. They can cater to virtually any kind of automation systems, RTUs, servers, PLCs, databases, electronic field measurement (EFM) and other business systems in vogue today. Some of the major benefits of using SCADA systems in the Oil and Gas Industry include significant deductions in the efforts, time and integration costs, easy creation of applications and performing maintenance across the remote facilities, greater reliability, stability and dependability of a system.

Because of the apparent hazardous nature of the industry, the Alarm System of SCADA is vastly used for forecasting and prediction purposes.

3. Applications of SCADA in Power Systems

SCADA Application in Power Systems
Application of SCADA in Power Distribution

Power systems deal with power generation, distribution and transmission sectors. Regular monitoring is a must in this domain and this is where SCADA systems prove beneficial. Implementation of SCADA across the power generation units aggravates the overall efficiency of the system which in turn increases the optimization, control and supervision of the generation and transmission systems. A robust SCADA installation in a power system network allows for greater system stability and reliability for the integrated grid operations.

Some of the main applications of SCADA in the power system networks include continuous monitoring of frequency and speed, geographical supervision of water treatment process and coal delivery, maintaining a bird’s eye view on the status of safety equipment and paraphernalia including protective relays and circuit breakers.

SCADA systems also help accomplish the general operation planning including Active and reactive power control, load scheduling, turbine protection as well as processing the historical data for all parameters.

4. Applications of SCADA in Manufacturing Industry

All areas of manufacturing industry whether process or discrete rely heavily on complex automation. All of these niches have one end goal which is producing high-quality goods quickly and cost efficiently. In such a scenario, where system downtime can have a catastrophic effect, installation of SCADA systems is a boon. These systems not only respond quickly to reduce the downtime, but they also help pump up the overall production process. SCADA systems used in the manufacturing industries are highly scalable, robust and can monitor thousands of parameters simultaneously. Some of these parameters include PLCs, databases, maintenance applications and so on.

Some of the major work flows which are boosted with the installation of SCADA include lower downtime, reduced labor expenditure and shortened response time during emergencies. Read more on how SCADA technology is applied in manufacturing the industry.

5. Application of SCADA in the Food Industry

SCADA platforms have been successfully implemented in a number of sectors of the foods and beverages industry. Since the storage and production processes are subject to Quality Control Laws, SCADA systems efficiently give the workers possibility to comply with the requested control on quality while retaining the production and investment costs.
SCADA systems provide a continuous monitored environment to all significant variables involved in a process. This provides high quality control accompanied by graphical trends which help in certifying the compliance of the producing lot. SCADA systems also help monitor that the storage processes do not cause any deterioration in the quality of the stored products and beverages; while keeping their original characteristics integrated. Any abnormal condition while producing or storage is promptly signaled with a local alarm.

6. SCADA Applications in Wastewater Treatment

Industrial and Municipal Wastewater has to be administered efficiently for sustaining a healthy, safe and clean environment. In such a scenario, implementing standard SCADA solutions maintains a positive effect on the maintenance, operations and process development. SCADA systems in the Wastewater Treatment plants contribute to the architecture, act as an interface of the process hardware and help create comprehensive real-time application environment for modern wastewater management plants.

SCADA systems in wastewater industry help in reducing the operating costs significantly all the while improving the system reliability and performance. Most of the expensive alarm call-outs can be avoided because of the unique alarming system of SCADA. Most of the manual work can be done away with as the data is continuously logged and recorded on a daily basis. All this data can be viewed or downloaded when required, from a laptop, cellular phone or tablet over The internet.