A Guide to SCADA training

The usual SCADA and PLC training take place in a six-week time span. During this time, the students are taught the basic concepts of the working of the SCADA systems, its components, the working of PLC units and the architecture, along with programming concepts.

There is a lot of scope once you are a trained SCADA professional.

Let us go through the basic curriculum structure of the six week SCADA training:

1. Introduction to SCADA systems

• SCADA systems history and origin
• Types of SCADA systems including distributed measurement, large scale, and control system
• Control principles and real-time monitoring
• Industrial Control Systems: Overview
• Network and Control Components
• Components of Distributed Control Systems (DCS)
• Application, Working, and Areas where SCADA systems are used
• Value and Instances of SCADA systems currently available in the industries
• Best practices for SCADA systems
• Challenges and Next generation SCADA systems

2. Overview of the SCADA systems

• Subsystems in SCADA
• Architecture: Hardware, Software, Interfaces, Real-time database and communication between layers
• Human Machine Interface (HMIs)
• System Components and Hardware Solutions
• RTU: Remote Terminal Units
• PLC: Programmable Logic Controller
• Communication infrastructure and protocols
• Programming Language: IEC 61131-3
• Real-time operation and formats of data representation
• Packaging, Design, and Features of RTU and PLC
• Control concepts of Open and Closed-Loop
• Modbus/Fieldbus Architecture
• IP and Ethernet Protocols
• Master Terminal Units: Architecture, Working, and Application
• Graphical Display Units

3. Operation and Integration of the SCADA systems

• Development of Applications
• System Requirements and Analysis of SCADA systems
• Master-Slave Architecture in SCADA
• Communication Requirements in SCADA Systems: Connections, Redundancy in Communications, IP Connection, and Dial-up modem connections
• Types of SCADA networks
• Configuration of the SCADA systems
• Computing concepts behind SCADA
• Network protocols in SCADA
• Planning and Management of SCADA projects
• The phases involved in deploying a functional SCADA enterprise
• Commissioning and Implementation of SCADA systems

4. Evaluation of the SCADA systems

• How to evaluate the SCADA hardware and systems
• Sensors and Networks in a SCADA system
• TCP/IP and Ethernet: An Overview
• SCADA master and LAN in the master station
• Connectivity of LAN: Bridges, Switches, and Routers
• Wireless systems, media, and signals
• Error detection and control features
• Types of Modem and their features
• Access controllers and Alarm
• Logs and Archives
• Reliability, Redundancy, and Safety of the SCADA systems
• Models of the SCADA reliability systems
• Failure modes
• Analog interfaces
• Concepts of Instruments

5. Security and Vulnerability in the SCADA systems

• Securing SCADA via encryption and firewalls
• Management of Users: Authentication and Access Controller
• TACACS, RADIUS, and Diameter Authentication Services
• Detection and prevention of Intrusion
• Security issues in wireless connectivity
• Challenges in SCADA security
• Vulnerability points in SCADA

The training session is usually followed by a mandatory project submitted for evaluation and certification.
There are a number of institutions which provide training in SCADA and PLC. Before selecting a training institution, make sure to check about the reputation, quality of the curriculum and placement assistance given after the course completion.

There are a number of prominent institutions in USA and UK which provide training and specialization in SCADA and PLC programming. Two of the most reputed institutes are ATS and Tonex. While ATS has schools in both US and the UK, Tonex is operational in the UK.


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