How to Configure a Simple SCADA System
This is a quick start guide on how to configure a very simple SCADA system using only a laptop / PC. In this guide we will target the basic SCADA components:
- Tag (IO)
- Trending / Report
- Screen / Mimic
Tools / Dependencies:
- Ecava IGX (Get Free Download)
- Inkscape SAGE (Download for free)
- Modbus Simulator (One of the examples of Modbus Simulator)
Step 1: Create New Project
Go to Start Menu > Ecava IGX, and launch IntegraXor Editor.
Create a new project as shown below.
Step 2: Create New I/O Port
On the left menu, click on element “IO Driver” to display the content in main window.
Next, add a new I/O port in the existing table content and enable it, as shown in following.
In this quick start guide, Ethernet port will be used to connect the device to SCADA via Modbus TCP/IP protocol.
Address 127.0.0.1 indicates the localhost address.
Step 3: Create New Device
Click on the newly created I/O Port on the left menu.
Create a new device in the table as shown below, choose Modbus from the dropdown Driver list.
Step 4: Create Tags
Tags are one of the main components in a SCADA system, they are variables created in both SCADA and PLC/RTU in order to pass parameters between instruments and SCADA. In this training, 2 tags will be created to indicate an instrument’s measurement value and status.
Note that the “Log” attribute for tag ‘meter_value’ is configured in order to log the tag value into database for data monitoring purpose.
Step 5: Trending
Trending is another basic feature in SCADA for data monitoring purpose. Let’s include one of the tags created to understand how it works.
On the left menu, go to ‘Screen’ > ‘Trend’ > ‘Single Layer’ and reveal the pre-created html code page. Append the following scripts into the html file as shown.
Step 6: Report
Other than trending, reports are very useful for data monitoring in SCADA system. In fact, in many workplaces, process reports are generated for billing purpose.
Click on ‘Report’ > ‘Archive’ to create a report to record the measurement values of our instrument.
In the new report (.htm) file, create a simple table to record ‘meter_value’ tag as shown below.
Next, in order to view the report in front-end, it is required to add it as one of the display screens.
Click on ‘Screen’ and add a new Sub-Menu under ‘Report’, then browse and select the report file created just now.
Step 7: Alarm
Process alarms are important in a production to avoid any unwanted loss. Thus let’s add an alarm to monitor our instrument’s measurement value.
Click on ‘Alarm’ > ‘Group’ > ‘Process’ and add a new alarm as shown below. The alarm will be activated when instrument reading reaches high limit, and similarly for low limit.
Step 8: Screen / Mimic
A mimic screen is necessary to represent a front-end HMI to interact with the SCADA system. Let’s create a fairly simple one by using Inkscape SAGE.
From Start menu, launch Inkscape SAGE. In this quick start guide we will only target on mapping the drawing objects with SCADA tags to understand their inter-relations.
Forget about all the drawing skills and make something simple. Create a text object to indicate values and a shape object that will target to change color according to different status, example as follows. Save the SVG file in the project folder.
Right click on the text and select “Object Properties”. On the “Get” tab, select the tag ‘meter_value’ created in Step 4 as shown below. Hit on button “Apply” and “OK” and save the file.
Next, right click on the circle shape and select “Object Properties”. On the “Color” tab, select tag ‘meter_status” and define the color based on the tag value as shown below. (Again, you may choose any color as you like)
After done, apply the changes save the file.
Other than reading data from devices, most of the time a SCADA system requires setting command to a process.
For example, create a button as shown below to start a process when clicked. Right click on the button and select “Object Properties”. On “Set” tab, choose your tag to trigger the process. In this case, tag “start_button” is Boolean type, where its value will be set to “True” when clicked on the button. You can also add a prompt message for double confirm upon clicking on front-end.
Similarly with meter status above, create a process status light with color animation to indicate the status after the start button is clicked. (i.e. process started = green, otherwise = red)
Apply the changes and save the file when done.
Lastly, add the SVG file as one of the screens in Project Editor in order to view them on front-end display. (Refer to Step 6)
Almost There: Modbus Simulator
Since there will not be any real device used in this training, let’s make use of a Modbus simulator to imitate a real device. There are tons of Modbus Simulator available on the internet, you are free to choose any of them that includes Modbus TCP/IP. All you need to do is setup the connection accordingly to what have been configured in this training, which are:
– Protocol: Modbus TCP/IP
– IP Address: 127.0.0.1 (Port 502)
– Modbus tag address required: 200, 202
That’s it! The configuration is done and the SCADA system is now ready to run.
Click on “Run Project” button from Project Editor to launch Ecava IGX Server and wait for it to do the magic.
Noticed that default web browser will be launched once the project is running, in which all the configured mimic screens as well as reports and trending will be displayed.
Change the value for tag ‘meter_value’ as well as trigger the Boolean value of ‘meter_status” to witness the change in the screen.
Note: Notice also the alarm at footer will be activated (red) when value hits low or high limit, and deactivated (green) once the value went back to safe zone.
Click on the Start button and witness the set command to trigger the correspondent tag value.
Try to change the tag value of address 202 in your Modbus Simulator and notice the changes in the plot.
(To make things simple, you may uncheck all other existing lines and leave only ‘meter_value’.)
Monitor the changes of tag value in report generated.
Have a look at the tutorial video below to understand more on the working concept of a SCADA system configuration, done by using Ecava IGX.
In fact, SCADA systems are all around us. Download your copy, have a look and experience on Ecava IGX SCADA Demo to get a wider image on how it can impact in our daily lives.