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What Makes a Good SCADA System

Not all SCADA systems are created equally. So, how do you know what makes a good SCADA system? As a decision maker, you�ll need to do your homework to ensure you�re getting the right solution for your needs and budget. Here are a few considerations:

  • Adaptability: When choosing on-site equipment, consider whether it has been designed and tested with the site�s specific physical conditions in mind. For example, does your equipment need to be able to handle extreme changes in temperature?
  • Reporting: The infrastructure must support two-way communication for both reporting of data and reconfiguration of reporting frequency from a web-browser. Response from equipment queries should be received in seconds rather than minutes or hours. The system must be able to provide a quick comparison of metrics, identify key trends, and generate reports using relevant data from different sites. Customizable reports are critical, as they guide decisions that can impact operating costs and capital expenditures.
  • Real-time monitoring: A reliable SCADA system can continuously monitor and transmit equipment data and events, as well as look for remote issues and generate alerts when the need arises. With real-time monitoring and immediate notifications, problems can be resolved as soon as possible to minimize losses.
  • Compliance: SCADA enable users to gather information in a timely manner without having to physically access the sites. This allows for an accurate and comprehensive view to ensure all sites are in compliance from a single, secure portal.
  • Security and accessibility: Measures are necessary to ensure that certain information doesn�t get into the wrong hands. That�s why data needs to be sent from the remote sites using a strong communication backbone that does not require a time-intensive implementation. Once transmitted, the secure access of reports and alarm data from a central location ensures that only the intended parties can access this data. What is the impact of poor security? Check out CSO for more information on SCADA security.
  • Integration: A web-based SCADA system should allow for the input of data into other business systems in various formats and seamless tracking of information. This can count down on the amount of time spent manually inputting data to the various information technology systems supported by your business. Not sure how to accomplish this? Check here to see common causes for SCADA integration failure.
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