The Future of Cloud-Based SCADA: Trends and Predictions
System Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems are a growing part of the IT sector. Businesses in many industries are discovering the power of real-time data in enhancing the efficiency of their processes. SCADA technologies are also transforming as new ways of gathering, processing, and analyzing data come online.
Making Sense of it All
SCADA systems involve a group of sensors in an industrial system linked to a central terminal unit. Employees can receive performance data and respond to changes through this central interface. Managers can also program the system to carry out automatic control actions when certain conditions arise.
Types of SCADA Systems
The SCADA industry began in the industrial sector as computer technology became available in the 1950s. The systems have evolved with each networking and processing technology generation.
Hard-Wired SCADA Systems
The sensors in early SCADA systems were hard-wired to the central unit. This arrangement improved the responsiveness of the system. However, the direct connection limited the size and scope of the technology to a single facility.
Wireless networks produced the next generation of SCADA technologies. These new systems could receive data over a larger area, but the physical size of the network still limited their ability.
Cloud computing empowers the current generation of monitoring technology. SCADA cloud computing systems can link assets over a broad geographic area. This flexibility is one reason for the growth of SCADA use in water and energy utilities. A single system can receive and process data from assets throughout the distribution area.
Growth in the SCADA Industry
SCADA systems are currently in a time of fast growth. The cloud-based design combined with emerging technologies like machine learning makes it a compelling investment in efficiency. Markets with growing utility needs, such as India and China, are some of the fastest adopters.
How Cloud SCADA Enhances Operational Efficiency
These technologies lower costs by boosting system efficiency. Facilities can make real-time adjustments that produce consistent results and minimize wasted effort.
Streamlined Industrial Processes
Small changes can have outsized effects on a production line. The real-time data allows managers to analyze the operational efficiency of each step, streamlining the entire process.
Decentralized Data Access
A cloud-based model makes data available to employees at any location through smartphones and other devices. Crews on the floor or field can address system issues and see the results in real time.
Many facilities have worked with a reactive maintenance model. Outside of scheduled tasks, they only perform repairs when something goes wrong. Cloud-based SCADA allows the facility to see performance changes long before a complete breakdown. They can perform maintenance when it is least disruptive to production.
New technology trends are constantly changing the possibilities. Faster and more intelligent processing tools make it an even more powerful resource.
IT professionals recognize that the number of internet-enabled devices is expanding quickly. This growth makes it necessary to think about more efficient processing models. Edge computing involves processing some data closer to its source. The system can prevent delays by analyzing some data in on-site computer assets before sending it for storage in the cloud.
AI and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence and machine learning empower better automatic responses to conditions. AI tools send alerts when there is a problem and can also use data to predict problems before they happen.
These technologies are also essential to increasing the precision of processes. Shaving a few seconds from response times can lead to operational savings over the long haul.
The SCADA Cloud and the Water Industry
Municipal water systems are a natural fit for SCADA technology. Water distribution and wastewater management systems can receive data about flow rates and water pressure over a broad area. Treatment plants using water quality sensors will produce consistently safe effluent. The predictive power of AI will allow for an intentional approach to maintenance that prevents service disruptions.
A Partner in the SCADA Market
At High Tide Technologies, we focus on cloud-based SCADA for water collection, treatment, and distribution systems. Our innovative systems have helped many clients improve the efficiency and consistency of their facilities. To learn how we can help your water system, contact us today.