SCADA webcast preview: Should you upgrade now or later?

What’s your upgrade plan for supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software? Instructors to a July 16 Control Engineering webcast will discuss how to determine if you’re on the best SCADA path for the implementation.

By Control Engineering July 8, 2024
Courtesy: Control Engineering webcasts

 

Learning Objectives

  • Learn from expert system integrator instructors before the webcast with advice in SCADA webcast content excerpts.
  • Explore learning objectives on SCADA upgrade timing, in regulated environments and examples, along with the live-webcast opportunity to ask the instructors your questions.

SCADA upgrade insights

  • Expert system integrator webcast instructors share information before the webcast by offering advice about SCADA upgrades.
  • Timing can differ on SCADA upgrade timing, especially in regulated environments; the webcast will include examples, along with an opportunity to ask instructors your questions.

Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software platforms can be incrementally upgraded or replaced with new SCADA software or other platforms after outdated. What functions need to be included in the next version? Can improvements be worked into regulated environments without recertification, and, if not, how do you determine if recertification costs are worth next-generation benefits? What are considered best practices for SCADA upgrades or replacements? These are some of the topics that expert presenters will explore in the July 16 Control Engineering webcast, “SCADA: Incremental upgrades or replacements? Ask these questions for best results.”

Those listening to the webcast live July 16 at 1 p.m. CDT will have opportunity for 1 PDH credit, participation in an audience poll, and to ask the instructors their questions about SCADA upgrades.

Expert system integrator instructors, SCADA webcast content excerpts

Two system integrators serve as instructors for the course:

The July 16 Control Engineering webcast, “SCADA: Incremental upgrades or replacements? Ask these questions for best results,” includes advice from system integration experts Jason Israelsen, PE, senior control engineer, APCO Inc. (left), and Joseph Mazzola, general manager, McEnery Automation.

The July 16 Control Engineering webcast, “SCADA: Incremental upgrades or replacements? Ask these questions for best results,” includes advice from system integration experts Jason Israelsen, PE, senior control engineer, APCO Inc. (left), and Joseph Mazzola, general manager, McEnery Automation. Courtesy: Control Engineering webcasts

In preparation for the presentation Israelsen said, “There is a spectrum for the upgrade path. You don’t need to be at either end of the spectrum, in fact, it is probably best to not be at either end. There’s the bleeding edge, when there may be patches and features that are untested and not as stable. Frequency could be in the frequency of weeks of months. The trailing edge is when you’re forced to upgrade at some point. Frequency is in the years to decades.” However, he noted, waiting until the trailing edge has downsides beyond using less-capable software. These include longer cutovers, more items to address, lack of direct conversion paths and significant interruptions.

Timing for SCADA upgrades can vary as the graphic shows from the July 16 Control Engineering webcast, “SCADA: Incremental upgrades or replacements? Ask these questions for best results.” The webcast has advice from system integration experts Jason Israelsen, PE, senior control engineer, APCO Inc., and Joseph Mazzola, general manager, McEnery Automation. Israelsen provided this graphic.

Timing for SCADA upgrades can vary as the graphic shows from the July 16 Control Engineering webcast, “SCADA: Incremental upgrades or replacements? Ask these questions for best results.” The webcast has advice from system integration experts Jason Israelsen, PE, senior control engineer, APCO Inc., and Joseph Mazzola, general manager, McEnery Automation. Israelsen provided this graphic. Courtesy: Control Engineering webcasts

Mazzola noted, ironically, software updates depend on the age of the hardware on which it’s running. While considering SCADA software replacement consider:

  • Age of hardware: Typical warranty/service contracts expire at five years; Servers/workstations start needing replacement at five years.

  • Technologies used: Are there antiquated technologies in place?

  • Health of system: Does system regularly crash, and would it benefit from a clean build instead of a install on top?

  • Lifecycle: Can you still get components for the hardware? Where is the part in its lifecycle?

Learning objectives: SCADA upgrade timing, regulated environments, examples

Learning objectives for the webcast intend to help participants:

  • Understand benefits of incremental SCADA upgrades over time versus waiting many years before new software features are implemented.

  • Explore SCADA upgrades in regulated environments, what changes be made without recertification and when advances merit recertification.

  • Look at example implementations for SCADA upgrades or replacements and the resulting benefits.

Mark T. Hoske is editor-in-chief, Control Engineering, WTWH Media, mhoske@wtwhmedia.com, and webcast moderator.

KEYWORDS: SCADA upgrades, SCADA optimization

CONSIDER THIS

What criteria are you using for SCADA upgrades and are they optimal or feasible?