System optimization is the goal of any organization in the 21st century. Automation is at the forefront of business; however, industries still want to remain autonomous over their machines and systems. SCADA, or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems, provides businesses remote dominion over industrial facilities.

The initial component of SCADA is the HMI, human-machine interface. An integral component of SCADA; is the relationship between the human and the machine. The machine will relay communication to the user from a remote area. The HMI can be either a screen or a series of control switches. The HMI will monitor the data, and SCADA will signal information to a supervisory system.

The second component of SCADA is the supervisory system. The system will send a copious amount of information(depending on system) — facility-wide control functions, data collection, video, reporting, diagnostics, key performance indicators (KPI), and predictive maintenance functions. In order to manage the amount of data, there needs to be a remote control system that the SCADA System divulges information. Think of the supervisory system as the control center and liaison between the machine’s processes and the human control center.

The software components of SCADA are programmable logic controllers and remote terminal units. Both play a significant role in how the technology works. Remote terminal units(RTUs) are “0 and 1s” that are the middleware between the SCADA System and the supervisory system, sending the data to the supervisory system. Programmable logic controllers(PLCs) are the base layer of automation for external applications. PLCs and RTUs are connected — to a central power unit. Finally, the last component is the communication infrastructure. This is the connection; between the internal system(PLC and RTU) and the supervisory system.

Now you know what SCADA is, let’s review some implementations of SCADA. The first group is renewable energy, oil, and gas, where RTUs and PLCs monitor critical data efficiently. Next; is manufacturing, where information is reviewed for no issues. Finally, SCADA drastically improves water infrastructure. Fabricating; custom electrical control panels, PLC programming, and water/wastewater pump control systems customized to meet the unique requirements of each municipality.