SCADA- Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition

By: Tom Jui

SCADA is an acronym that stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition. Basically, it is a computer system that collects and analyses a constant flow of data and information. SCADA is a very broad umbrella that describes solutions such as monitoring a remote water pumping facility so you can see the motor amps and pump flow rate on the screen of your computer screen miles away.

A SCADA system can best be described as the “brains” of any critical monitoring system. SCADA is a combination of hardware and software that is a central system that monitors and controls a complete site. It’s a technology permitted to collect and process data received from the remote (in terms of distance from the Control Center) objects, and transmit commands via cable or radio communication systems. It is anticipated that SCADA will reduce and eventually eliminate blackouts.

Another major function of SCADA is to protect systems from hackers. Using the continual monitory and data analyses, vulnerabilities can be found before they are breached or hacked into. This technology can not only protect systems from hackers, but also from malicious terrorists. In the past, vital systems have been easily accessed and made vulnerable by outdated systems. SCADA will offer critical protection to these immense systems that control the everyday activities of our world, and ultimately, make us all safer.

SCADA is used in a variety of industries including: Aerospace, Automotive, Power Plants, oil and gas refining, telecommunications, transportation, water and waste control, energy, pharmaceutical, heat treatment and a variety of other industries. In all of these industries, the ability to do much more preventive maintenance will be greatly enhance performance, and as a result, afford much more time to be available to maintenance staff for other important duties.

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