What is the difference between SCADA and HMI?

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SCADA systems

Technology is developing at a rapid pace in today’s day, and it has become the need of the hour for industries to figure out the best course of action that can be taken to optimise their business processes. In that context, SCADA has become one of the most prominent forms of technology around. Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems or SCADA systems primarily function as Process Control Systems (PCS). This system is used for monitoring, collecting, and analyzing real-time data from connected devices of houses or office building or a sophisticated nuclear power plant. SCADA software is designed to automate the operations of the electronic system. The system can be programmed as per requirements and working conditions.
SMEs are taking advantage of this by integrating this technology with other distribution and power management systems. This integration has helped to increase operational efficiency, reduce data maintenance efforts, processes that manage outages, coordination, and planning of work and resources.

Industrial automation technology is progressing at a fast and furious pace. To keep up with the efficient flow of power and a healthy environment in the office and industrial space, it is essential to keep on track the security of the systems as well. The controlling mechanisms are electronic circuits known as PLCs or Programmable Logic Circuits. This circuit polls the sensors of data as well as controls the machine. While in control room, the operator needs to ensure the sense of the data as well as issue commands such as turning off the machines. This is the time where the role of HMI software (Human Machine Interface) comes in play. The HMI is generally the graphic layout of the entire system with controls, lights, and gauges situated in the corresponding locations of the machine.

By setting up a proper HMI software (Human-Machine Interface) and employing a SCADA system, one can accomplish this lofty goal with the greatest of ease. No discussion on trends in the automation space is complete without speaking about the maintenance and safety of the connected machinery. As machines often work at such high speeds that it becomes difficult for humans to intervene and compute the actual throughput of the entire system, it is necessary that advanced system like SCADA shall be integrated to allow smooth functioning.

Just one thing that needs to be kept in mind- SCADA is a complete control system, on the other hand, HMI is what the human operator works with. People tend to mix the two, otherwise- HMI is just a part of the SCADA system.

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