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What Is SCADA?


The acronym SCADA stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition. It refers to automation systems used in many industrial applications, including the oil and gas industry. When it comes to automating the field operations of the oil and gas industry, SCADA is the backbone that makes it all happen. It is important to understand how this technology offers the ability to control and monitor remote operations.

What Exactly Is SCADA?

SCADA is not a single technology. It is actually a network of software and hardware components that work together to perform a wide variety of tasks including:

  • Monitoring remote components
  • Gathering and processing data
  • Interact with and control various valves, pumps, and motors
  • Record information in logs that offer key information on performance and throughput
  • Report and Alarm on production and equipment problems

A typical SCADA setup works something like this:

Sensors at the remote site gather data from the equipment onsite. That information is transmitted to programmable logical controllers (PLCs) or remote terminal units (RTUs). Those units then send the information, via a network connection, to remote computers, which can gather and process the information. Commands can also be sent back through the same network to the PLCs/RTUs, which trigger certain actions with the equipment.

Development Of The Modern SCADA Systems

The term SCADA was first used in the 1970s. It was during that time when microprocessors started to revolutionize the computing world. Their integration with PLCs gave industrial enterprises greater ability to automate. The 1980s brought integration with networks that allowed for remote viewing and control.

Today's SCADA systems are integrated with modern IT standards and practices. This has improved the reliability, security and productivity of these systems.

Use Of SCADA In Oil And Gas

This technology can be used to perform a wide array of tasks that used to require workers to visit each site. Some of those tasks include:

  • Monitoring tank and pump throughput levels
  • Detecting spills
  • Detecting and reporting equipment failures
  • Securing the site with cameras and other security components
  • Managing and tracking plunger performance
  • Control suction and injection rate of the compressor
  • Monitor what is sent via the pipeline for accountability
  • Capture data for analysis of performance
  • Send email, text or phone notifications of problems

The use of SCADA can improve the efficiency of the workers in the field. Workers now mainly deal with problems at various sites and leave the monitoring tasks to the SCADA systems and the people in the remote monitoring center. This allows for a more productive, cost-effective operation.

Champion Automation can set your wells up with a complete customized SCADA system. Give us a call today.



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