SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data) is a term denoting a computer system for managing data. It is a highly complex system but it is used in a variety of industries owing to its efficiency.

Basic Functions

Its fundamental role is gathering information. It does so by having sensors attached to external locations. It relays these pieces of information to the central station. It is this system that supervises and manages the information being submitted.

Where the System is Utilized

It is currently being used in factories and for monitoring traffic signals. It is also used in the water / power management, mass transit and other similar industries. The reason is simple. With SCADA, the data generated by the various components will be easier to handle. Because information is kept at the central location, it becomes an efficient choice.


There are numerous parts that comprise this system. At its most basic it contains the central computer and software. There are also the signal components, the communication tools and the HMI. The HMI is the user interface.

Another vital part is the RTU (Remote Terminal Unit). These are made up of different parts too. Most of its functions are automated but can also be modified manually. Most of the time, this SCADA component operates on its own.

Other Functions

Aside from retrieving data, the system can perform other functions. This includes supervision and acquisition of real time information. This feature is made possible through sensor monitoring and meter evaluation. This info is relayed to the system at specified times. This information can be viewed and altered by the individual in charge as well.

Hard and Soft Points

The system is usually classified hard and soft points. The former can refer to the actual monitoring process or device. The latter refers to an application. It is also used to designate a calculation. The information relayed here is kept. Thus they can be used for checking progressions and case histories.


This system can be either open or non proprietary. Most of these are large scale and complete. This features means there’s no need to add any more components. But there are systems that can be constructed piece by piece. This is ideal for those who want it custom built.


This HMI (Human Machine Interface) is the face of the SCADA. It may vary from system to system. Its role is the same however. It allows human controllers to assess or change the settings. This setting allows the supervisor to check the RTU and the PLC.

Additional functions of the HMI are presentation of database info through graphs. It can also outline facts about trends, schematics and other logistical information. The system also includes troubleshooting information.

The power and efficiency of the system makes it ideal for running factories and other industries. It is now being used for running and monitoring nuclear factories.

With its many features, the SCADA system has become ideal for evaluating large data. With technology improving, its usage will likely grow.