Historian systems in Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition

A historian comprises of a software service that collects boolean events and alarms along with time-stamped data. This collected info is fed into a database that is then used for generating queries or populating graphical trends. Therefore, a historian is a client that requests data from the data acquisition servers.

Historians facilitate high performance and long-term archiving functionalities for integrations into the SCADA systems. They process data, as well as messages, can be saved into the central archives in real time.

Working of the Historians

Data historians are typically found on the level of manufacturing execution systems. Unlike the single view of information provided by the PLC and DCS, the historians are capable of pulling data from multiple systems and across multiple levels. Moreover, the advanced analytical capabilities of historians allow operators to function better.

Function and Design

Modern day historians are scalable. These can integrate seamlessly with the SCADA systems with redundant configurations. The data is acquired and archived in real time in the databases without any constraints on the subsystems and data quantities. This aids in the quick decision-making process, thereby increasing productivity.

Historians are typically deployed as single system plants, but they can also be set as enterprise historians that configure information from the several historians that obtain information from a single plant. This further optimizes the process manufacturing.

How does a historian make sense as a SCADA integration?

a. Fundamental Purpose

A typical historian system is focused towards geared plant management. The primary goals of a historian are the analysis of plant operation as well as root cause analysis.

b. Architecture

Present day historians are designed to gather and disseminate plant information rapidly and efficiently. This information comprises of flow levels, temperatures and pressure. This information is gathered from multiple systems including PLCs, DCS, LIMS and the entire SCADA system for formulating an entire context of the development process.

c. The Time Horizon

The data historians possess excellent analytical capabilities which is why they are used for plant management for longer time durations.

d. Analytics

Historians are excellent for performing a broad range of tasks including identifying patterns in data for root cause analysis. This information can be downloaded conveniently into spreadsheets for detailed analysis.

e. Trend Capabilities

Historians possess the strength for loading multiple variables from different systems over longer time horizons effectively.

f. Enterprise-wide applications

Historians can be used as standalone systems or function as enterprise-wide systems for setting up benchmarking.

Applications of Historian Software

1. In manufacturing, historian controls the processes such as flow rates, production status such as downtime reason tracking, quality control, and expense costs, etc.
2. Historian software in the utility industry help in transmission and distribution.
3. Management of data centers for recording device performances and accounting purposes.
4. Monitoring of heavy equipment and readings of instruments and equipment for maintenance.
5. Environmental monitoring such as sea level, atmospheric conditions and ground water contamination.

Benefits of historian software

• Easily identifiable causes for process variability
• Effective analysis of complex process data
• Reduction in the identified process variability
• Convenient report generation from the data collected, reducing overhead costs.


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