Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition
A foundation for operational excellence
SCADA is not a specific technology, but a type of application. SCADA stands for supervisory control and data acquisition. Any application that gets operating data about a system in order to control and optimize that system is a SCADA application. That application can be a petrochemical distillation process, a water filtration system, a pipeline compressor or just about anything else.
SCADA automation is simply the means to an end and not the end itself. At the end of the day, all businesses converge on the need for maximizing return on assets through operational excellence. Staying competitive means continually finding new ways to operate faster and leaner.
The pressure is always on — to increase productivity, efficiency, agility, quality and profitability, all while minimizing costs.
Key questions to ponder when selecting SCADA software
Anyone tasked with selecting a SCADA system for their company must consider how their requirements will evolve over the course of 15 years, which is typically the lifecycle of SCADA systems. Are you able to write a detail RFI or system requirements document that covers 15 years of evolving automation maturity?
It is nearly impossible for anyone to assess the changing automation needs of various SCADA users especially as they grow and increase in their automation maturity curve, and as the connectivity capabilities of plant equipment itself changes. As such, it is critical for decision makers shopping for a SCADA system to understand not only what the available technology can do for their company today, but to find an automation partner familiar enough with the potential of emerging technology to guide them in responding to questions such as the following:
- What are the short and long-term corporate objectives? Is the proposed automation consistent with these objectives?
- What under-the-hood functionality will really help the business over the long haul?
- How will the technology eliminate or reduce current inefficiencies and costs?
Challenges addressed by SCADA
A properly executed SCADA Automation infrastructure allows businesses to better answer the operational questions of How do I…
- Make more, better and with less cost?
- Increase asset availability? Lifecycle?
- Improve equipment performance?
- Produce higher quality product?
- Reduce maintenance costs?
SCADA automation must protect engineering investments
One of the fundamental principles of any SCADA product is to add new capabilities to an existing system in manageable bites. Engineering effort has traditionally been a big part of any company’s investment in industrial software.
Wonderware offers a winning strategy for meeting complex and evolving demands of your automation requirements and system expansion while protecting initial engineering investments. System Platform is modular platform that offers “Plug and Play” components that provide additional capability without compromising or even touching the underlying automation infrastructure.