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SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) and Its Operations The SCADA system is a computer application that is used to monitor and control a plant or equipment located at a long distance. Since the SCADA system can be applied to manage any type of equipment, many companies, such as in water and waste control, energy, oil and gas refining, transportation, telecommunications industries, avail of it to automate their complex industrial processes, detect and correct problems, as well as measure trends on a company's operating processes. For SCADA system to monitor and control a company's operating processes, it collects data and analyses them on a real-time basis. The following are the main function components of the SCADA system: data acquisition, network data communication, data presentation, and control. The SCADA system is made up of the following: sensors and control relays, Remote Telemetry Units (RTUs), master units, and a communication network, which consists of input/output signal hardware, networks, Human-machine Interface (HMI), controllers, communication, database, and software, for it to perform its functions. There are two types of devices which are utilized by the SCADA system to perform its controlling function and these devices are RTUs or Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). Comparing the two devices, the RTUs has a more advanced functionality feature allowing for a more efficient and secure monitoring system.
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HMI serves as the master station that communicates all of the analyzed operations data and collected information to the human operator. It is therefore easy for operators to view the system alarms and information communicated by the HMI and from that, decisions are also easily made. Security measures are also considered such that SCADA information are kept back on closed LAN (Local Area Network) or WAN (Wide Area Network) networks in order to prevent any sensitive data from being exposed to outsiders over the Internet.
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Since LAN is an expensive communication network, there is a support system provided by NetGuardian 832A which helps support the existing communication set up, such that this can be used at remotes sites instead of LAN. However, when the company expands their LAN network into their other sites, the cost is still worth the investment as the company will be saving on RTU replacements to support the new network. Although its functions/features are specified by a company, the following are the overall features and corresponding functions of the SCADA system: performs the work of an OPC Server or Protocol Translator, translate between any number of available protocols, includes a protocol analyzer, built in equation editor supports the creation of new data points based on raw data points and /or other equation points, OPC Certified, Conformance tested per DNP3 Intelligent Electronic Device (IED) Certification Procedure Subset Level2, report by Exception (RBE) is supported (transmitting only data changes, saving communication channel bandwidth), supports DNP3 Secure Authentication, supports selective logging of event data into a time-stamped Sequence of Events (SOE) log file, the Communication Protocol Analyzer Window displays and decodes transmitted and received messages, allows translation between data types and control methods from different protocols, supports mapping of points between Master and Slave, two Master, and/or two Slave protocol components.

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