Efacec SCADA is a powerful supervision and control software tool supporting a continuous maximization of plant availability and efficiency within any automated logistics solution. An animated on-screen graphic display provides a dynamic real-time visualization of your logistics plant and presents up-to-date information on the physical status of all subsystems. This centralized alarm handling platform provides the operator instant status information, error indication, troubleshooting, statistical and maintenance information. It features zoom functionality – down to individual transport elements – to speed up error identification and diagnostics. System information can be presented in different locations and using different methods: from graphic displaying in a local central console or different scattered consoles up to mobile phone or via email.
In basic SCADA architectures, information from sensors or manual inputs are sent to PLCs (programmable logic controllers) or RTUs (remote terminal units), which then send that information to computers with SCADA software. SCADA software analyzes and displays the data in order to help operators and other workers to reduce waste and improve efficiency in the manufacturing process.
Effective SCADA systems can result in significant savings of time and money. Numerous case studies have been published highlighting the benefits and savings of using a modern SCADA software solution such as Ignition.
Modern SCADA systems allow real-time data from the plant floor to be accessed from anywhere in the world. This access to real-time information allows governments, businesses, and individuals to make data-driven decisions about how to improve their processes. Without SCADA software, it would be extremely difficult if not impossible to gather sufficient data for consistently well-informed decisions.
Also, most modern SCADA designer applications have rapid application development (RAD) capabilities that allow users to design applications relatively easily, even if they don’t have extensive knowledge of software development.
The introduction of modern IT standards and practices such as SQL and web-based applications into SCADA software has greatly improved the efficiency, security, productivity, and reliability of SCADA systems.
SCADA Software that utilizes the power of SQL databases provides huge advantages over antiquated SCADA software. One big advantage of using SQL databases with a SCADA system is that it makes it easier to integrate into existing MES and ERP systems, allowing data to flow seamlessly through an entire organization.
Historical data from a SCADA system can also be logged in a SQL database, which allows for easier data analysis through data trending.
The SCADA concept was developed as a universal means of remote access to a variety of local control modules, which could be from different manufacturers allowing access through standard automation protocols. In practice, large SCADA systems have grown to become very similar to distributed control systems in function, but using multiple means of interfacing with the plant. They can control large-scale processes that can include multiple sites, and work over large distances. It is one of the most commonly-used types of industrial control systems, however there are concerns about SCADA systems being vulnerable to cyber warfare/cyber terrorism attacks.
The key attribute of a SCADA system is its ability to perform a supervisory operation over a variety of other proprietary devices.
The accompanying diagram is a general model which shows functional manufacturing levels using computerized control.
Referring to the diagram;
Level 0 contains the field devices such as flow and temperature sensors, and final control elements, such as control valves
Level 1 contains the industrialised Input/output (I/O) modules, and their associated distributed electronic processors.
Level 2 contains the supervisory computers, which collate information from processor nodes on the system, and provide the operator control screens.
Level 3 is the production control level, which does not directly control the process, but is concerned with monitoring production and targets
Level 4 is the production scheduling level.
Level 1 contains the PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) or RTUs (Remote Terminal Units)
Level 2 contains the SCADA software and computing platform. The SCADA software exists only at this supervisory level as control actions are performed automatically by RTUs or PLCs. SCADA control functions are usually restricted to basic overriding or supervisory level intervention. For example, a PLC may control the flow of cooling water through part of an industrial process to a set point level, but the SCADA system software will allow operators to change the set points for the flow. The SCADA also enables alarm conditions, such as loss of flow or high temperature, to be displayed and recorded. A feedback control loop is directly controlled by the RTU or PLC, but the SCADA software monitors the overall performance of the loop.
Levels 3 and 4 are not strictly process control in the traditional sense, but are where production control and scheduling takes place.
Data acquisition begins at the RTU or PLC level and includes instrumentation readings and equipment status reports that are communicated to level 2 SCADA as required. Data is then compiled and formatted in such a way that a control room operator using the HMI (Human Machine Interface) can make supervisory decisions to adjust or override normal RTU (PLC) controls. Data may also be fed to a Historian, often built on a commodity Database Management System, to allow trending and other analytical auditing.
SCADA systems typically use a tag database, which contains data elements called tags or points, which relate to specific instrumentation or actuators within the process system according to such as the Piping and instrumentation diagram. Data is accumulated against these unique process control equipment tag references.
Efacec Handling Solutions S.A. offers wide range of Automated Material Handling Equipments includes Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS), Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs), Conveyor Solutions as well as Baggage & Cargo Handling Systems, Automated Distribution Centers, Order Fulfillment Systems and Baggage Handling Systems, SCADA Supervision Software.