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Home / Technical Articles / An Introduction To SCADA For Electrical Engineers – Beginners

Control and Supervision

It is impossible to keep control and supervision on all industrial activities manually. Some automated tool is required which can control, supervise, collect data, analyses data and generate reports. A unique solution is introduced to meet all this demand is SCADA system.

An Introduction To SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) For Beginners
An Introduction To SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) For Beginners // On photo Monitor iFIX By ServiTecno via FlickR

SCADA stands for supervisory control and data acquisition. It is an industrial control system where a computer system monitoring and controlling a process.

Another term is there, Distributed Control System (DCS). Usually there is a confusion between the concept of these two.

A SCADA system usually refers to a system that coordinates, but does not control processes in real time, but DCS do that. SCADA systems often have Distributed Control System (DCS) components.

Components of SCADA

1. Human Machine Interface (HMI)

It is an interface which presents process data to a human operator, and through this, the human operator monitors and controls the process.

2. Supervisory (computer) system

It gathers data on the process and sending commands (or control) to the process.

3. Remote Terminal Units (RTUs)

It connect to sensors in the process, converting sensor signals to digital data and sending digital data to the supervisory system.

4. Programmable Logic Controller (PLCs)

It is used as field devices because they are more economical, versatile, flexible, and configurable than special-purpose RTUs.

5. Communication infrastructure

It provides connectivity to the supervisory system to the Remote Terminal Units.


SCADA System Concept

The term SCADA usually refers to centralized systems which monitor and control entire sites, or complexes of systems spread out over large areas (anything between an industrial plant and a country).

Most control actions are performed automatically by Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) or by programmable logic controllers (PLCs).

Host 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, but  the  SCADA system may allow operators to change the set points for the flow, and enable alarm conditions, such as loss of flow and high temperature, to be displayed and recorded.

The feedback control loop passes through the RTU or PLC, while the SCADA system monitors the overall performance of the loop.

A simple SCADA system with single computer
A simple SCADA system with single computer

SCADA/PLC Video Introduction/Example

Waste Water Treatment SCADA System Raising your Plant IQ

Cant see this video? Click here to watch it on Youtube.


Introducing students to Industrial Programmable Controllers

Cant see this video? Click here to watch it on Youtube.

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Bipul Raman

Bipul Raman (@BipulRaman) is a Technology Enthusiast, Programmer and Blogger. Read more at : https://bipul.in

46 Comments


  1. hussein hakki
    Jan 13, 2019

    the subject need to be more advanced


  2. Ismail Abdullahi
    Oct 08, 2018

    I would like to give me a brief concept if its possible and can work that to design a hydropower plant using SCADA software.


  3. John,Prince Wurasi
    Aug 13, 2018

    I am in Port harcourt,Nigeria. I want to be a real time SCADA engineer, how do i get started


  4. Prasad Kuchimanchi
    Oct 20, 2016

    Hi I am a computer engineering student. My family members taken a municipal project for water purification worth of 35 crore. They asked me to join with them. I m good at test automation selenium likely that. I don’t know scada. But they pleased to . so can I join in that as scadac engineer???


  5. Manvi
    Aug 11, 2016

    Good blogging for beginners in engineering, the post also help everyone who wants to know about SCADA systems. It is one gateway to control all the activities in a plant or a company. You can get information on the equipment from a good and reputed manufacturer like Chemtrols. All you neded is to just log into the website and heck for details. You can even ask for a quote.


  6. kishore
    Jun 08, 2016

    I working on Twido PLC TWDLMDA20DRT and would like to control it using movicon-scada. For some reason I am not able to establish communication between PLC and movicon using Schneider comm drivers. Please guide me how to establish the communication.


  7. naresh
    Feb 10, 2016

    Dear sir,

    I am D.naresh, my designation is electrical engineer. Now am doing AUTOCAD Designer in panel board manufacturing company. Sometimes the clients are asking PLC & SCADA Connections to panel. But i dont know how to connect. I want to know that if PLC & SCADA Coaching is important for Electrical engineers


  8. Abdul
    Feb 08, 2016

    can you suggest a good training center to join the course…..pls


  9. Ankit
    Jan 19, 2016

    Hi, everyone.
    We deal with Scada compatible equipments used in electrical Systems.We need some help to integrate the equipments with SCADA system.

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