SCADA: Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition
A term commonly used to describe a PC based software package that allows operator control of a process from the PC, and has the PC collecting and storing process information. Often used with PLCs.
Functonal part of SCADA/HMI Software.
SCADA stands for Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition. As the name indicates, it is not a full control system, but rather focuses on the supervisory level. As such, it is a purely software package that is positioned on top of hardware to which it is interfaced, in general via Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), or other commercial hardware modules.
SCADA systems are used not only in industrial processes: e.g. steel making, power generation (conventional and nuclear) and distribution, chemistry, but also in some experimental facilities such as nuclear fusion. The size of such plants range from a few 1000 to several 10 thousands input/output (I/O) channels. However, SCADA systems evolve rapidly and are now penetrating the market of plants with a number of I/O channels of several 100 K: we know of two cases of near to 1 M I/O channels currently under development.
SCADA systems used to run on DOS, VMS and UNIX; in recent years all SCADA vendors have moved to NT and some also to Linux.