How PLCs and SCADA Systems Work Together

March 26, 2024
Common questions about the distinctions between PLCs and SCADA systems, their integration, and the differences between SCADA and Distributed Control Systems.

How do programmable logic controllers (PLCs), human-machine interfaces (HMIs), distributed control systems and supervisory control and data acquisition systems relate to each other?

PLCs and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, although inherently different, both play pivotal roles in industrial automation across sectors such as manufacturing, energy and water management, Control Design reports.

PLCs are adept at real-time control tasks, managing specific machinery or equipment by processing signals from field devices and sensors. Conversely, SCADA systems operate at a higher level, serving as a graphical interface for operators to supervise, acquire data and analyze information comprehensively. Together, they form the backbone of industrial operations, minimizing errors, ensuring safety and enabling remote supervision for informed decision-making.

PLCs have evolved to replace older relay and timer systems, enhancing efficiency and reliability in industrial machines. SCADA systems, on the other hand, serve as the brain of plant operations, orchestrating data collection, analysis and visualization through an HMI.

To learn more about the relationship between PLCs and SCADA systems, read the full article from Control Design.

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