SCADA and IoT EMS
The concept of the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system was introduced in the late sixties and, the Energy Management System (EMS) with a set of functionalities that relied on SCADA data was introduced in the seventies. EMS was designed to support the operator's ability to monitor the system's behavior as it goes through various operating states and make decisions in case of any variance in the state.
In today's context, almost 50 years since the introduction of the concept of EMS, the requirement of EMS has evolved to address the current challenges for field-level discrete monitoring for machines, motors, and processes. With more and more digital hardware used in Industries, we have existing systems to collect granular data required for EMS for all stakeholders( factory operator, unit heads, operations head, CXOs) and not only for the operator as the idea of EMS was conceived 50 years back.
This blog highlights the importance of SCADA and IoT EMS and what are the key differences. Both of them make our factory/buildings more efficient and reliable, but SCADA approaches this task at an automation level and extremely quick DIRECT reaction, while an EMS does it by monitoring and energy data analysis over a long period. EMS helps with foreplanning, decision-making, and predictive maintenance.
SCADA is an automation software and works with a short span of dense data for reliable operation. It consists of programmable control logic and is designed to achieve very advance and complex process controls. SCADA records the data from connected devices but has limited on-site storage and reporting capability. It's single computer software and cannot be accessed remotely.
IoT EMS monitors and records energy data in the cloud. It enables all the stakeholders to view the data in one dashboard remotely. IoT- EMS can collect data at every level i.e. field level, process level, and 3rd party software level. IoT EMS comes with a complete suite of reporting tools for energy analysis. The objective of IoT EMS is to identify energy wastage, condition-based monitoring, and predictive maintenance.
Data Monitoring and Recording / Solution Availability
SCADA is an on-premise automation solution and all data storage happens on a physical server in the factory/building. IoT EMS records all data in the cloud server and can be accessed using the internet.
Cloud server has a host of benefits, 24/7 remote access through multiple systems. In the case of multiple factories, IoT-EMS allows the leadership team to monitor all factories in one online dashboard. With SCADA, you get limited to one factory, and data needs to be collated in one place to get the complete picture of factories. IoT EMS enables reduced human effort and error to perform energy analysis. Accessibility and solution availability through the internet are the key objectives of IoT EMS.
The most common concern/myth with IoT EMS is data security and privacy, and we all know the security of data depends on the security protocols used. It doesn't depend on whether the data is on a cloud server or an on-premise server.
Historical data and Energy analysis tool
Both SCADA and IoT EMS track data in real-time. In the case of SCADA on-premise, servers come with limited storage whereas IoT EMS comes with unlimited storage, the industry standard is 18months.
SCADA's purpose is to alert the operator in real-time for any variance in factory operations and not store historical data for 18 months and perform energy analytics.
IoT EMS is specifically designed to store data and enable an organization to implement effective Energy Management with a full suite of energy analysis and reporting tools. No risk of data loss as cloud storages ensure multiple back-ups.
Software and Security Updates
SCADA software runs at the on-premise system, and it is a very tightly coupled architecture. Software updates are difficult and costly for on-premise tightly coupled applications. Over time the cost of maintenance increases.
The security of the SCADA system relies on on-premise security, which may or may not be updated. On the contrary, IoT EMS incorporates the latest fast-paced delivery patterns. IoT EMS makes software updates and security patches very frequently through the internet. Industry-standard security protocols are implemented over the whole stack and users can take advantage of new updates and features without having to worry about the overheads of updating the system.
SCADA is for operating the factory and enables direct response for any variance. It is crucial for large manufacturing units, which requires precision control over various parameters in a process. IoT EMS can fetch data from the SCADA system for energy management and enhances your factory operations together with SCADA.