What does it take to design and operate the largest HMI/SCADA systems in the world?

 
More than a million tags? GE has served super-sized SCADA customers around the world.These systems require automation’s best practices, domain expertise, support, stability and longevity of service. But, whether your SCADA system is small or large, there’s a lot we can all learn from the big guys.
 
Here’s just some of the information that I learned while preparing for our recent webinar on Super HMI/SCADA with Automation World. You can view the on-demand webinar by registering here.
 
1. A single pane of glass is even more important when you have dozens of subsystems. The more complexity in your operations, the more opportunities for mistakes, the more time and revenue lost. You can simplify operations with a single view, helping operators prevent mistakes and speed the right response. This doesn’t mean keeping operators in a control room, starring at screens. Instead, you can capture data across systems and deliver the right information, at the right time, to the right person, in the right location.
 
2. Structure your data and take advantage of models. Models are critical. A large system will be overwhelming without models, which save time and drive focus. However,this is true, too, for smaller systems – and you never know when that smaller system is going to grow as your organization changes. Having a model in place now will help you navigate and speed configuration.
 
3. Make cyber security a priority. Larger systems have more opportunities for cyber threats, and security is imperative. This ranges from secure-by-design technologies to secure deployment methodologies to even keeping software versions up to date. Tap into exerts such as Wurldtech.
 
The most foundational thing I learned is that size doesn’t matter. Really. Many of the same best practices apply to large and small SCADA systems. With a larger SCADA system, it’s easier to understand the importance. You might be able to ignore a best practice for a time with a smaller system. If you don’t follow a best practice with a larger system, problems can multiple quickly.You have to follow the best practices in a big system to avoid big problems. But, the best practices are good lessons for all SCADA users.

 

What are your most trusted HMI/SCADA best practices?

About the author

Alicia Bowers

Senior Product Marketing Manager

Alicia Bowers believes that automation software can help industrial organizations overcome many challenges, including retiring workforces, global competition, and tightening regulations. She has published in industry magazines, ranging from Food Manufacturing to Hydrocarbon Engineering, and is the recipient of a MESA Outstanding Contribution Award. Connect with Alicia on LinkedIn.

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