What is SCADA? – About SCADA Software

What is SCADA? – About SCADA Software

Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) is a system of software. In automation projects, PLCs and other automatic devices automatically perform the necessary control operations. Uses the Human Machine Interface which we abbreviated as HMI for data entry and monitoring of the values within the devices. These screens have limited capability. Because they are asked to be cheap and long lasting. SCADA softwares are activated when we want to move the automation project to the next stage. SCADA softwares have a wide range of capabilities. In particular, data storage and network events are at the forefront.

SCADA Network Structure

Consider the water distribution network. Hundreds of distribution stations, warehouse and pump control monitoring are done with SCADA. Not a single SCADA, of course. While hundreds of SCADA softwares perform local checks, the larger SCADA softwares, which are also found in the main centers, combine data from other SCADA softwares. This network capacity is one of the features that differentiates SCADA from HMIs. Below you can see the picture of the network facilities of WinTr SCADA.


Scada Network

Scada Network

As can be seen, without any limitation, SCADA stations communicate with each other.

Communication with Automation Devices

SCADA softwares must be in communication with other Automation devices. Almost every PLC has a different communication protocol. The SCADA software must communicate with all PLCs. The number of communication protocols required can reach thousands. SCADA softwares contain commands for major communication protocols. They can communicate with many PLCs without the need for an external program. At the beginning of these protocols comes Modbus. Both Ethernet infrastructure and serial port can be communicated via Modbus protocol. Another method of communication is OPC server-client applications. The organization called OPC Foundation made it possible to connect client-server connections with the program parts it developed. SCADA manufacturers add client codes to their programs. PLC manufacturers add server code.
The OPC Foundation application performs the data transfer of the client and server. Thus, the SCADA software will communicate with all PLCs, as long as the manufacturer of the PLC has produced OPC Server software.

SCADA Data Storage Feature

SCADA softwares store data in SQL Server or Oracle databases. Some SCADA softwares with limited capabilities record data to MySQL. Today, the most reliable data storage method is to save to Database. Some SCADA softwares also sell the Database as a yet Historical package. WinTr SCADA program is available free of charge. Historical reports are created after the data is saved in various formats. Reporting is as important as giving the save. Although every SCADA program has the ability to generate reports, it may not always be enough. Therefore, only reporting software is produced.

SCADA Alarm Feature

Automation systems do not always work well. Warnings should be generated by operators in case of unwanted situations and should be transmitted as visual, audible, illuminated and message according to priority. Alarm scenarios are first configured to interfere with the PLC. The operator of the PLC must be notified. Alarms generated by “Alarmview” alarm monitoring objects are monitored in SCADA softwares. The operator must mark the Acknowledge alarm on this object. A number of advanced SCADA programs store alarm events in the database. Thus, when the alarm occurred, a lot of data will be recorded, such as what the operator has done. In the picture below, you can see the WinTr SCADA alarm monitoring screen.

Alarm Window

SCADA Recipe Feature

SCADA is often used for monitoring and control operations. One step of production control is the recipe system. The recipe system records the list and values of the selected PLC variables. The same variables may be desirable to have different values as the manufactured goods change. For example, when making bread in the bread oven, the temperature of the oven temperature can be 200 degrees, while it can be 180 degrees when making the bagel. The cooking time may also be different. While the temperature and time variable are the same, they must have different values when producing different bagels while producing bread. In SCADA softwares, the recipe format is prepared by the programmer. Prescription values are saved by operators. The values saved in each production change are loaded into the PLC with the recipe module. Thus, it will always be possible to produce products with the same characteristics.

SCADA Script Feature

SCADA softwares are programmed with high level code. It is preferable that the SCADA programmer usually programs with visual objects. But this is not always possible. The SCADA programmer should write the c#, vb or etc. and run it in SCADA. In many automation projects, automation work with script writing has been achieved. The Script feature is also available on some HMI devices with limited capabilities. In the picture below you can see the WinTr SCADA Script editor.

Script Writer

SCADA Training

SCADA There are many organizations providing training. You can watch a lot of training videos prepared by SCADA producers on Youtube. After watching the training videos, you can start the training with the demonstration of SCADA program. This way you can learn to quickly program SCADA. Advanced SCADA programming skills will be achieved by project requirements. It is patient and working on the demo SCADA software will be sufficient for SCADA training.

For more information about the SCADA Program, visit the Wikipedia site.

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