Increase safety and productivity throughout the facility.
Every business owner knows the many advantages of modern technology. Computers and networks allow accurate record keeping, excellent financial and fiscal calculation, immediate communications and of course vast, intricate analytics and metrics which can be processed at break neck speeds. Computers run the show, and very few people particularly mind, given how easy this technology is to use these days.
SCADA is a prime example of this computing power making lives easier for people in any kind of supervisory, management or other administrative role. Old fashioned managerial techniques were problematic for a host of reasons. A big one is that you can’t be omnipresent, and in an industrial environment, which tends to be a large operation with a large number of distinct departments, it can run you positively ragged.
Obtaining and processing all of the key information from these various sources can be a huge headache, even with the aid of basic software and computers. Worst of all, the random presence and inquisition of management personnel can be very obtrusive to people trying to get their work done. There’s a sense of pressure whenever “the boss” comes around, and providing all the information in a more traditional way takes up their time, fail to mention, providing that information isn’t really their forte most of the time.
With SCADA, all these problems mostly go away. Modern industrial automation, with its advanced sensory and computational backend, can provide all the information you need.
With a well-designed frontend across multiple platforms, complete with robust communications and integration capabilities with other software platforms, you can monitor vast processes and personnel from your desk. People can perform their work without being “bothered”, and you don’t have to try to be everywhere.
Unfortunately, SCADA software isn’t perfect, and sometimes, you need a custom solution …
Integrate System-level Automation & Control
The Problems with SCADA
Like we said, SCADA is remarkably helpful, and there is quite the impressive ecosystem of SCADA solutions available, even specializing within specific industries. However, while it’s a diverse software sector, you may run afoul of some problems that plague a lot of business and industrial software out there.
- Platforms: You may find that your specific platforms (and your particular equipment) aren’t entirely supported by the SCADA solution best suited for your needs. This could be due to custom machinery with custom software, it could be your standard operating systems for computers and handheld devices, it could be a mix of all of these.
- Hardware: Just like with your platforms, you may find that your system hardware doesn’t match the requirements of certain SCADA solutions. This is actually a big problem with a lot of broad-stroke SCADA suites due to the vast amounts of data they try to crunch, the glut of custom UI elements (often less than efficiently-designed) and the sheer volume of use that it requires.
- Integration: You may have specific applications for various processes which need to work with your SCADA, further processing or sharing the information (possibly even a two-way exchange). Finding a SCADA solution which integrates with your entire applicable suite of other applications is something of a unicorn. This goes double for any cases of bespoke software (which you likely do use).
- Feature Bloat: SCADA applications often do specialize somewhat within ranges of industries and business types. This doesn’t mean they don’t still need to generalize for the sake of profitability and userbase size. This results in a lot of unnecessary features which do still use some processing power and memory, as well as get in the way. They also drive the price of the software up, and for what? Not much if you don’t use them.
- Feature Absence: SCADA software tends to be easily tailored to track specific information, but will always tend to be unable to quite handle a specific metric or set of logistics that’re unique to your business, or even to an industrial process that distinguishes you from competition. While many allow the development of extensions, they tend to be something few developers are readily able to work on, being somewhat obscure environments (and often less than cooperative APIs).
Why Should You Use SCADA?
Custom SCADA to the Rescue
You certainly can’t run a complex business (especially an industrial or large-scale service business) these days without some form of SCADA in place. It just doesn’t work. With the problems above being commonplace for companies with distinct ways of doing things, as well as distinct corporate cultures, the logical choice (and the only one) is to go with a custom SCADA solution. This sounds like something that would be a nightmare to have made, but we’re here to help!
With custom SCADA solutions, we can tailor an implementation which eliminates a lot of the problems that off-the-shelf SCADA applications bring. We’ll take a close look at your existing hardware, and equipment or industrial technologies, and consider their architecture and ways of communicating when building the fundamental functionality of your custom SCADA design.
With readily-integrated software, we can get your SCADA communicating with it in short order, and with bespoke software, provided it’s designed for integration or the source code is available, integrating that is also not a problem at all.
We’ll work closely with you to see the types of analytics you most need, and focus the interface and available calculations around those as a central focus, leaving out any features you don’t need. You’ll have a lean, but functional SCADA system which tracks precisely the information you need, and presents it to you in a way that makes sense to you and your employees on a fundamental level.
If you have check-in and check-out infrastructure for equipment and tools, we can integrate that into your custom SCADA with little to no difficulty, and any vehicular use with GPS can be brought in with live tracking and route planning.
We work quickly, having unparalleled experience as well as base designs to build from, meaning that you won’t be waiting long for your SCADA solution to be up and running, fully tested and reliable.
If you’re ready for a SCADA solution that fits your business like a glove, improves your productivity, and is unmatched in reliability, fill out our contact form today, and step into the future!