SCADA & HMI

SCADA Systems

SCADA systems are crucial for industries since they help maintain efficiency, process data for smarter decisions, and communicate system issues to help mitigate downtime.

The basic SCADA architecture begins with programmable logic controllers (PLCs) or remote terminal units (RTUs). PLCs and RTUs are microcomputers that communicate with an array of objects such as factory machines, HMIs, sensors, and end devices, and then route the information from those objects to computers with SCADA software. The SCADA software processes, distributes, and displays the data, helping operators analyze the data and make important decisions.

For example, the SCADA system quickly notifies an operator that a batch of product is showing a high incidence of errors. The operator pauses the operation and views the SCADA system data via an HMI to determine the cause of the issue. The operator reviews the data and discovers that Machine 4 was malfunctioning. The SCADA system’s ability to notify the operator of an issue helps resolve it and prevent further loss of product.

HMI

Facilitating transparency of information between humans and machines.
Human machine interface (HMI) products feature the necessary electronics to control and signal various types of automation equipment in an industrial setting. HMI products range from simplistic designs with basic LED indicator screens to more complex HMI systems with a touch screen and other features. HMI systems must be robust and able to withstand harsh environments. They should be resistant to dust, water, moisture, extreme temperatures (hot or cold), and in some cases, even exposure to harsh chemicals.
There are numerous benefits to installing an HMI system in a plant or facility. Below are just a few…

null

Alarms/Warnings

Plant operators can view alarms provided by the human machine interface to locate any malfunction of equipment and react faster.  Alarms may be preventive, alerting the operator before an emergency level is reached.  Alarms can also be used to track various problems and to optimize manufacturing processes to increase productivity.

null

Reliable Messaging

Operators can rely on HMI messaging for pages, faxes, etc. when certain events happen. For instance, operators can be alerted automatically when a machine’s fuel level is low and needs to be refilled.

null

Easier Overall Management of Plant

Easily manage and execute recipes using HMI technology. The high-quality graphics of HMI systems provide a realistic view of plant operations, so an operator can control the facility from a central location. This helps with safety as well

null

Accurate Testing with Simulation

Plant managers can easily test devices and equipment using a flexible HMI with simulation.  Testing can be achieved in office without a single piece of equipment.  This helps reduce startup time and improve overall production.

null

Cost Reduction

A human machine interface can reduce operation costs because it can replace hundreds of selectors, push buttons, indicator lights, etc. This means the need for additional panels, cables and consoles is also greatly reduced.

null

Improved Communications

HMI improves communications among various types of equipment throughout the facility with the use of remote I/O, Ethernet, serial port, Data Highway Plus, DDE (Dynamic Data Exchange), and other methods.

As you can see, adding a human machine interface can benefit a facility in operation, safety and productivity.