You’ve probably heard the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” When it comes to supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software and hardware, this is an adage too many business owners seem to take to heart. This could be because they fear a loss of investment, think they’ll have to pay for training and licensing, or they simply undervalue the importance of an upgrade.
However, the truth is that regularly upgrading your SCADA could result in significant benefits that outweigh any cons. This can include enhanced efficiency, cost savings, and being able to save on resources.
The Benefits of Upgrading SCADA
SCADA is a supervisory system of interconnected software and hardware that allows industrial organizations to control industrial processes locally or remotely, gather and process real-time data, interact with devices (e.g., sensors and valves), and record information. This system is a crucial tool for industrial businesses, and keeping it updated can provide a number of benefits such as:
1. Safer and Improved Human-Machine Interfaces
The human-machine interface (HMI) is a heads-up display (HUD) that human operators use to interact with the system. This device relays information the operator needs to detect, diagnose, and respond to abnormal situations. Newer devices are able to present the data in a way that’s easier to understand and allows operators to react more quickly to abnormal situations.
2. Maintain Compliance
Most businesses are required to meet certain industry standards for their equipment. For example, many organizations no longer support the Windows XP operating system (OS) and outline Windows 7 as a minimum requirement, with Windows 10 as the preferred OS. The same is true for your SCADA system. An upgrade to your SCADA can help you maintain compliance.
3. Mobile Support
Newer versions of SCADA come with mobile support, giving your operators the ability to access system information from their tablets or phones. Having the freedom and flexibility to check on the status of your system on the go is a highly desired feature. While it’s not exactly a brand-new feature—some systems made within the past five years may have mobile support—today’s systems provide significantly better features such as native apps, for example.
4. Improved Security
Maintaining security is a big concern for any business regardless of industry. If your SCADA software hasn’t been upgraded in the past five years, there’s a good chance it doesn’t comply with security standards. A lack of security can leave your infrastructure open to cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. This is particularly important, as the latest communication protocols are usually only supported by the latest versions of SCADA software.
The industrial landscape is constantly shifting and evolving with each advancement in technology. An upgrade can help future-proof your system by giving it the adaptability and agility it needs to maintain efficiency and long-term viability.
6. Improved Compatibility
The latest versions of SCADA software give you the power to integrate various technologies, applications, and programs. This means added functionality that can increase productivity and efficiency.
7. Lower Costs
SCADA software and hardware can help you maintain a predictable work volume, simplify data processing, and streamline your communication network for efficient performance. This results in less downtime and fewer shutdowns and maintenance issues that can be costly. These issues are much more likely to happen with a SCADA system that is out of date.
8. Elimination of Unnecessary Features
As SCADA systems have improved over the years, features that were once thought important have now become distractions. One of the benefits of upgrading is removing these wasteful features.
HEXA Engineers Can Help
The more informed you are, the better suited you are to make decisions that are right for your business. At HEXA Engineers, our technicians can upgrade your SCADA system so you can effectively monitor, optimize, and fine-tune the status of your equipment without any problems. Give us a call today to learn more about our services.
For over 20 years, HEXA Ingenieros has helped companies around the world realize their performance goals with unique, custom-tailored automated solutions. In the wake of our expansion to St. Louis, Missouri, in 2017, we’re proud to announce that we’ve only grown from strength to strength.