Until the first half of the 20th century, industry relied on the human factor to control and monitor all the processes that were carried out.
However, operations became increasingly complex and demanding. It was not until the 1970s that PLCs or programmable logic controllers arrived. These opened the way for the transmission of data to control centres, along with the famous SCADA systems.
How does this system apply to today’s industry and how do companies deal with cybersecurity and data protection issues? In this article we will take a closer look at SCADA in Industry 4.0 and the role of Artificial Intelligence.
How to integrate a SCADA system into your industrial business
In general terms, a SCADA can be applied to a complete industrial plant or several plants, automatically controlling different processes and equipment from a single platform.
The managed assets (pumps, motors, plates…) are sensorised, giving them the possibility to collect and archive all kinds of data in real time. This is the first step to obtain all the information on the operation of the plant.
Then, PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers) tools, together with RTU (Remote Terminal Units) terminals, will control the generated data and send it to the next level of SCADA software.
The managed assets (pumps, motors, plates…) are sensorised, giving them the possibility to collect and archive all kinds of data in real time. This is the first step to obtain all the information about the operation of the plant.
Then, PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers) tools, together with RTU (Remote Terminal Units) terminals, will control the data generated and send it to the next level of SCADA software.
The impact of a SCADA system in your industrial company
By integrating a SCADA system into your industrial plant you will achieve:
- Control systems through Human Machine Interface (HMI) software.
- Monitoring and controlling production processes and complete plant operations in real time.
- Collect any kind of valuable data through monitoring and analysis of this information.
- Generate practical real-time operating reports, allowing you to visualise not only what is happening at any given moment, but also what has happened in the past and what will happen in the future with predictive capabilities.
- Automating processes, such as controlling the energy consumption of machinery, production peaks, maintenance, etc.
SCADA systems and cybersecurity
Although this system for monitoring, control and data acquisition is completely familiar to industry, technology is always moving much faster. Cyber attacks on industrial facilities are the order of the day and are mostly caused by malware, viruses and denial-of-service attacks.
Industry faces a new challenge: to combat the countless threats and to protect its data from any kind of cyber-attack.
The question on the table is: How to prevent cyber attacks on industrial SCADA systems?
- Security patching. This would be the first step to ensure the security of operations. It is important to always keep operating systems up to date and to constantly test each patch to keep these fixes up to date.
- Network segmentation. Network segmentation is one of the most important activities in cybersecurity today. In this case, VLAN segmentation is one of the most popular.
- Encryption between control systems and other protection mechanisms. This type of security strategy and architecture will achieve full protection of the data collected with a SCADA system.
- Other actions. Constant assessments, implementations, responses and protocols that effectively deal with any type of incident, etc.
What role does Nexus Integra play in the implementation of a SCADA system?
Today, there is no longer a single company that does without PLCs or SCADAs in its industrial operations. However, with the advent of IIoT and AI, a new paradigm led by Machine Learning and Cloud Computing is opening up.
That means that today, SCADA systems have the chance to improve and optimise their functions to the maximum if they are implemented on an integrated operations platform like Nexus Integra, which provides intelligent SCADAs or Smart SCADAs.
With Smart SCADA you obtain a tool that quickly provides a centralised operating system, giving you the opportunity to manage all the geographically spread assets of a company.
Control, monitor and explore the facilities of your industrial factory through a practical and intuitive map.
Nexus Integra transforms the traditional SCADA concept into an intuitive and intelligent system.
Are you looking for a solution to acquire data and monitor and control your company’s work processes? Nexus Integra is the integrated operations platform that will allow you to get the maximum performance from your industrial assets.