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Visualizing a fully integrated SCADA system



ProSoft Technology, Inc. (Czech Republic) - mySCADA Technologies, an OEM based in Prague, had worked for more than 15 years in the industrial automation field, focused on the development and production of SCADA systems and HMIs. Their process visualization products and solutions, built on open architecture, allowed for modern and effective monitoring of automation processes. They ranged from smaller projects (such as intelligent personal and commercial buildings, or water treatment plants) to large-scale applications, such as tunnel or power-plant control. They have a reputation as being a friendly company with user-intuitive products.

Then they had an idea: why not try to integrate a full-featured HMI/SCADA system into a PLC/PAC? The advantages that this would bring to their typical customer were huge, including ease of installation; a reduced number of required components, helping to reduce costs; increased security; and superior performance. Previously, the end user would have had to install a SCADA system on a remote server and connect it to the PAC over an Ethernet interface. This system required regular maintenance, increasing the overall cost of the solution. The new solution, mySCADA Technologies proposed, would be a modern, Web-based, professional setup featuring complete options for professional visualization, processing, and analysis of real-time industrial processes.

mySCADA Technologies decided to opt for a solution utilizing a Rockwell Automation® CompactLogix™ controller and ProSoft Technology’s Linux Development Module, which fits right into the CompactLogix. The Linux Development Module allows the user to create a fully customizable program in C or C++, and is also available for use in a ControlLogix® system. This solution allowed for an especially robust HMI/SCADA system, company representatives said.

“We have worked with ProSoft Technology’s products for over 10 years,” said Petr Svoboda, Ph.D. and Director of mySCADA Technologies. “ProSoft was always reliable and met our expectations, so they were our first choice for this new software.”

This particular pairing of hardware and software created “the perfect match for the end users,” said Matej Cerny, Technical Director at mySCADA Technologies.

“Running full-featured SCADA as part of the controller brings a lot of advanced features for the end user,” Mr. Cerny added.

He wasn’t exaggerating the scope of this new setup. This solution included the following features:
  • The setup supports all leading Web browsers, and allows visualizations to be displayed and accessed on any Windows, Linux, iOS, or Android devices. On tablets, the system is designed to be zoomed in on easily. Essentially, it can be accessed anytime from nearly anywhere.
  • A complex alarm system allows the process of thousands of alarms per second. The user is able to define alarm activation values; value and time threshold; alarm severity; and notification announcements.
  • Graphical functions such as displays, animations, and effects are easily accessible without coding.
  • The system can be controlled easily by the end user. There are nine user levels with different privileges, making it easier for the end user to customize access. In addition, multiple users can use the software simultaneously.
  • Data and trends are saved directly to the CompactLogix, while a free tool for reporting can be used across multiple platforms and is user-intuitive. Reports can be sent on a user-set schedule depending on the end user’s needs.
  • The installation of the software is done through install script, saving the end user time.
In addition, development time was greatly reduced, with simpler and faster installation. A quick mean time to repair (MTTR) is available in the case of equipment failure since data can quickly be retrieved and transferred to a new module. Maintenance by IT personnel is virtually never needed since this system (unlike a typical PC-based solution) does not require patches, updates, or virus fixes. An HMI/SCADA system without a PC component saves end users money, and is also very reliable.

“Because the ProSoft interface has a much higher mean time between failure (MTBF) rate than a regular PC server, the reliability is much higher,” said Krzysztof Hajzyk, Regional Sales Manager for ProSoft Technology.

Thanks to the Linux Development Module, the sky was the limit for mySCADA Technologies creatively and technologically. The solution the company created helps end users step back from frequent maintenance and focus on what’s really important - visualizing a path of success in their own operations.

For more information about the Linux Development Modules from ProSoft Technology click here.


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