SCADA - INTEGRATION - AUTOMATION DIFFERENCES AND SIMILARITIES

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SCADA, INTEGRATION, AND AUTOMATION?

SCADA VS INTEGRATION VS AUTOMATION

Traditional substation design has segmented secondary equipment into separate functional “compartments”. A Remote Terminal Unit performs remote control and monitoring, protective relays provide protection, strip charts record metering data, meter-dials display volts and amps and control handles and annunciator panels provide local control and monitoring. 

The industry has experienced significant change in design philosophy over the last ten years. SCADA has been supplemented, and in some cases replaced, by Integration and Automation Systems. It is somewhat difficult to define strict functional boundaries between the three systems and the terms are very often used interchangeably. 

In the opinion of the authors, the differences can be summarized as follows: 

• SCADA is responsible for providing amps, volts, watts, CB status, etc. This is normally accomplished using a RTU. 
Resulta ng larawan para sa SCADA

• Integration systems provide the same data, typically acquired from IEDs using legacy or industry standard communications protocols. In some designs, the integration system supplants the RTU, in others the RTU is treated as another IED. In addition to the “traditional” SCADA data, the Integration System also has access to additional data like fault forensics, diagnostics, maintenance, alarming etc, extracted from the IEDs. 

The challenge is externalizing these data, and two choices are available – map the data (somehow) into the SCADA protocol the SCADA Control Center supports, or provide a secondary link into the substation to access the data – normally some form of broadband access. 

• Automation systems provide the same functionality as the Integration System with one additional and differentiating feature, namely the ability to turn data into something meaningful and valuable. 
Resulta ng larawan para sa scada automation
What additional characteristics does a substation design have to possess to be deemed an Automation system? It must be capable of providing the following advanced, value-added applications: 

• Protection and Process Automation - the core protection and control processes; 

• Maintenance Automation - tools and tactics to employ Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) and Just-inTime (JIT) Maintenance for transformers, breakers, switches, CTs and VTs; 

• Information Automation - the “art” of changing data to information, trending, alarming, archiving and employing expert decisions; 

• Information Distribution - getting pertinent information to where it can be used.

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