Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)
Maple Systems offers all the components you need to create your own unique level of supervisory data acquisition and control, from the simplest stand-alone machine to sophisticated multi-device networked production line(s), all the way to enterprise-level operations and IIoT functionalities leveraging cloud connectivity.
Log data from your devices to aid in reporting, to gain efficiencies, reduce downtime, and plan for routine maintenance. Add additional IIoT functionality like MQTT, OPC UA, Ignition, SQL database integration, and more. Our products can help you standardize communications between devices, gluing different systems together for one source to your SCADA. No need to redesign your entire application.
Keep the components that are already working for you, just add Maple Systems components to grow your abilities to supervise, control, and acquire data.
What is a SCADA system?
Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) is a control system architecture that uses computers (PCs), networked data communications, and human machine interfaces (HMI) for high-level process supervisory management, but uses other peripheral devices such as programmable logic controllers (PLC). As you can imagine, this can take on a wide range of functionality, complexity, hardware, and software solutions.
The structure so ingrained in engineering’s understanding of operations leveraging automation for industrial applications puts at it pyramid pinnacle all enterprise-level structures. These include business-management systems that track and command actions on budgets and invoices, raw material stock, outstanding purchasing order statuses, personnel scheduling, production volumes, quality-control statistics, and shipments pending and out.
Such track and command functions are executed by enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, as well as advanced planning systems (APSs) and manufacturing resource planning (MRP) systems.
Software supporting such enterprise-level systems (among other things) log and monitor the status of customer orders, trigger the procurement of materials when needed, and sometimes group orders into batches for efficient production schedules. Traditionally, it was only upon the close of business each day (or order-lot completions) that ERP-logged production information and statistics got used.
Read more about how our basic HMIs, IIoT edge-device HMIs, gateway HMIs, HMIs with built-in IO, and Industrial PCs can help with networking and connectivity in our free HMI Design Guide. Image: Control Design Magazine
Whether you are looking for remote access at the machine level, seeing/acquiring additional information at a supervisory station, or communicating data outside of your factory local network, we will illustrate how Maple Systems can provide your organization solutions that meet your needs today's and sets up your organization for future requirements. Our hardware and software solutions are both scalable and flexible, and we are your one-stop SCADA solution provider.
SCADA then and now
Early on, these types of systems were built using proprietary hardware and software, operating in isolation without connections to other networks. Operators had to reside in a centralized control room or command center because human-machine interfaces
(HMIs) did not support remote access. Any information provided to personnel other than operators was delivered via reports, which often had a significant time lag. Once devices were connected to much larger networks, they became more complex and gained broad capabilities.
Early process control systems (left) were isolated and built on proprietary equipment.
Once they were connected to much larger networks (right), they became more complex and gained broad capabilities.
Log data from your devices to aid in reporting, to gain efficiencies, reduce downtime and plan for maintenance. Our products can help you standardize communications between devices, gluing different systems together for one source to your SCADA. No need to redesign your entire application. Keep the components that are already working for you, just add Maple Systems components to grow your abilities to supervise, control, and acquire data.
Local machine control and remote access
HMI local display to PLC
For a local interface at the machine use a touch screen HMI to interface with your PLCs and controllers. Our HMI configuration software, EBPro, supports 300+ protocols, including Allen-Bradley, Siemens, Omron, Mitsubishi, and more. See list here.
We offer over 25 HMI touch screen sizes, ranging from a low cost full-featured 4.3” display, all the way to Capacitive 15.6” wide-screen display with high-resolution and stunning graphics. With resistive or a capacitive multi-touch displays, Wi-Fi enabled units, dual ethernet options, and Class 1 Div 2 models, we will have an HMI that meets your requirements.
More about the example......
Our HMIs support users remoting into the HMI from anywhere using their phone, tablet or PC to check on machine status, start stop process, and receive email/text message alarm notifications from the HMI. Read more about the different ways Maple HMIs support remote access.
Headless HMI to PLC
Gain access to your PLC data by adding one of our headless HMI to your new or legacy PLC application. Retrieve tag values and make them available for data logging, alarming, and publishing to the IIoT using SQL, MQTT or OPCUA. Save and recall machine setups with built in recipe system. All our headless HMIs support 300+ protocols, including Allen-Bradley, Siemens, Omron, Mitsubishi, and more. See list here.
Pass-through mode on the HMI gives you remote access to your PLC system for debugging, uploading or maintenance.
Create a mobile HMI by remoting into the HMI from anywhere using your phone, tablet or PC to check on machine status, start stop processes, and receive email/text message alarm notifications from the HMI. Read more about the different ways Maple HMIs support remote access.
More about the example......
HMI with a remote display and PLC
Imagine the design and operational freedom that could be provided by a standalone HMI that requires no enclosure. As a result, the position of the display is no longer restricted, enabling you to place operator terminals in the most convenient location. Freedom from the enclosure also offers you significantly more mounting flexibility as the display could be mounted on a tube, support arm, gooseneck, table stand, or wall bracket.
More about the example......
Whether you create a local workstation display/monitor on your machine, or choose a large overhead TV connected to many PLC systems for a more comprehensive Andon display for your facility, our HDMI-enabled HMI is a powerful choice. Read more about our Andon solutions here.
Paired with one of our Industrial Touch Screen Monitors that are designed and tested for harsher environments - making them much more rugged, compared to typical "office" monitors - creating a solution for your unique requirement just got easier.
Monitoring multiple machines and/or PLCs
HMI to multiple PLCs
More about the example......
If you are looking to standardize your disparate production data at the HMI level, create consistent reports in one format to save locally, or publish to a remote server, our HMI solutions can bring this all together.
Because all of our HMIs, using EBPro, support 300+ protocols, including Allen-Bradley, Siemens, Omron, Mitsubishi, and more, they can network with different PLC devices at the same time, acting as the glue to new and legacy systems. See the list of supported protocols.
Using our powerful, free HMI configuration software you can supervise multiple remote HMI stations at once, gain insight, and receive notifications using one of the remote access / IIoT protocols our software supports. With just a click, login directly to the individual HMI on a PC or use your phone/tablet to remote into the system, allowing you to acknowledge alarms, start/stop processes, or retrieve data.
Sharing data at the Enterprise level (ERP) or SCADA
"SCADA is an integral part of a business, not just its operations. The flow of data from the control room to the board room must be seamless. In the past, supervisory control and manufacturing information systems have not been integrated. This is changing and companies are realizing both of these investments only achieve their full potential when they are capable of seamlessly working together. Likewise, native cloud and web technologies are imperative to harness the domain expertise of multiple engineering centers. Fundamental to a successful project implementation is the deployment of the best domain experience. It is very often necessary to use several engineering houses to build a total system– but as soon as a company does this, issues of integration, consistency and maintainability come to the forefront." Read more in our SCADA and HMI Guide article titled "Four SCADA considerations for manufacturers". Image: Control Design Magazine.
For small machine shops and international enterprises alike, collaboration is vital to operational improvement. Regardless of the plant layout, it is advantageous for manufacturers to consolidate all production data for analysis and process improvement.
A full SCADA system integration solution on host panel PC(s) can supervise, control, and collect data from the HMI units, and multiple networked PLCs.
Gain access to your PLC data by adding a Maple Systems HMI to your new or legacy PLC application. Retrieve tag values and make them available for data logging, alarming, and publishing to the IIoT using SQL, MQTT or OPCUA. Save and recall setups with recipe system, to replicate configurations.
PC to HMI and PLC network
More about the example......
Assume an OEM engineer must troubleshoot a downed machine at an important customer’s plant. Traditionally the engineer may have traveled by air to the plant to fix the machine in person. But now more cost-effective solutions and technology let OEMs leverage remote access from authorized devices to immediately access and remedy or walk onsite personnel through fixes to troubleshoot and service the downed machine.
A full SCADA system integration solution on a Maple Systems host Industrial PC can supervise, control, and collect data from the HMI units and connect multiple networked PLCs. Use that data for reporting or identifying inefficiencies to optimize your plant operations. On the host PC add our Aveva Edge SCADA software, or any other third party applications, to customize the reporting or control capabilities for your industry.
For remote access, our HMIs support Pass-through mode, VPN, VNC, WebView, and web-based Apps (EasyAccess 2.0 and cMT Viewer). Read more about how our HMIs support common IIoT protocols, and when paired with Aveva Edge SCADA software running on a Maple Systems Industrial PC, creates a powerful SCADA system.
Industrial HMI and programmable logic controller (PLC) components are increasingly supported with mobile apps. This provides users with remote access anytime from anywhere, with monitoring and control capabilities. To securely access industrial equipment, the mobile device must also employ VPN technology to encrypt the data from the mobile device to the plant network. Without mobile VPN, the firewall ports at the plant will need to be opened, creating a similar scenario to the standard router and leaving the plant network vulnerable to a cyberattack.
A cloud-hosted App simplifies information technology (IT) complexity by creating an encrypted connection from a local VPN router to a cloud-hosted VPN router via the internet. Remote users can securely access the local components and systems via the cloud-hosted VPN. This option provides a high degree of cybersecurity, along with simpler configuration and maintenance.
Cloud-hosted VPNs provide a secure connection with simple setup and network configuration. Typical cloud-hosted VPN options include a local VPN router, a cloud-hosted VPN server, a VPN client and connected automation components. Read more about VPN in our SCADA & HMI Design Guide article "Selecting HMI remote access options"
HMI involvement in global facility operations is where there’s intersection with SCADA functions — especially local or remote- HMI machine control, HMI-based upper-level monitoring, and real-time HMI data collection and logging. In effect, these HMI functions turn the machines to which they connect into IIoT data sources.
Maple Systems HMIs, along with our free configuration software EBPro, support a variety of cloud-hosted Apps and options. Because not all HMIs support every cloud-based app, refer to specific HMI datasheets for more information. Supported cloud-based solutions include:
MQTT is a subscriber/publisher messaging transport protocol that is a great solution for applications where a small code footprint is required and/or network bandwidth is scarce. Depending on the model, our HMIs can function as the Publisher, Broker, or Subscriber. AWS IoT, Sparkplug B, Azure IoT Hub, Google Cloud IoT Core connections.
OPC UA features cross-platform interoperability, high security, and proven reliability. Use Maple Systems HMI as a server or client in your application for secure cross platform data sharing.
EasyAccess 2.0 uses a VPN which establishes a virtual private network over the public Internet to securely transmit encrypted data to your internal network allowing access to our HMIs from anywhere in the world,
cMT Viewer is a client application that enables users to view and control HMI screens, quickly and easily. Only application data is exchanged between the HMI hardware, acting as a server, and the client device – your smart phone, tablet, or PC.
WebView allows authorized operators to remotely access HMI applications from any device capable of hosting a web browser – such as a laptop, smartphone or tablet – without install apps or plugins.
Monitor Mode is a feature exclusive to the Windows version of the cMT Viewer application. It allows real time data to be displayed from up to 50 HMI devices simultaneously at a host PC.
Application Example: Headless HMI to PLC
In this application example, our CMT-SVR-100 headless HMI running EBPro has been added to an existing low cost Maple fixed IO PLC running MAPware-7000. Because the PLC has a serial interface, there is no Ethernet or remote access capabilities. Insight into the PLC operation status requires one of our HMIs to collect and display that information. HMI and PLC communication is established with industry standard Modbus RTU or TCP.
Using one of our free web-applications, cMT Viewer, on their phone, tablet or PC – users can remote into the HMI to check on machine status, acknowledge alarms, or obtain data history logs. This can easily add a visual interface to practically any PLC system, new or legacy. (See all 300+ protocols supported) The cMT-SVR, as with all our HMIs, supports VNC as a way to remotely view screens from any device. Read more about our free web-applications for remote access and SCADA.
Using EBPro, our free HMI configuration software, the data sampling tools can log to the HMI memory, attached USB stick, or published to a remote server. This set-up brings the Maple PLC (or existing legacy PLC system) that normally would have no connection to the local data systems or cloud securely into the IoT universe with our headless HMI as your edge gateway.
Now there is no need to be onsite to service your legacy PLC system. Our headless HMI’s pass-through mode allows programmers to remote into the HMI or PLC devices for maintenance or project updates right from your host PC.
Application Example: Create a Status Display Station
As part of our IIoT edge-device HMIs, this HDMI-enabled unit has all the rich HMI functionality found in our IIoT HMI series, but without a touchscreen display. Monitor PLC operations, gather data, and remotely access your control system on your Apple/Android smart phone, one of our smart displays, or your own tablet/laptop/PC.
The size of your HMI screen is no longer dictated by what you see elsewhere on the market – you can now display your real-time production data on a large, wall-mounted Status Display Station, easily visible from any plant floor location.
This compact, powerful unit turns any HDMI®-compatible TV or industrial monitor into a Status Display Station – efficiently delivering crisp, Full HD 1080P graphics. The HDMI® interface is also easily converted to DVI/VGA/Display Port with an adapter (not included).
You can choose the display or monitor which best suits your application requirements. Choose one of our sunlight-readable monitors for maximum viewability in indoor applications, or pair with a large television display when your process values and visualizations need to be readable from far away. You can even connect this versatile, headless HMI to a projector if you need an even larger display area.
Or you can choose no display at all for applications where you only need data logging or mobile access to the HMI and control system through VNC, or one of our web-based applications for remote connections via phone/tablet/PC.
This HDMI-enabled HMI can also be used as an Andon or Annunciator System. Read more about our Andon solution here. It can collect equipment and quality management data from the production line, process the data, and then send visualizations and sound to a large screen monitor via HDMI®, providing real-time monitoring and alerts to onsite operators. This powerful Maple solution, helps bring more of your Key Productivity Indicators (KPIs) and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) statistics forward to support the employees and decision makers in your company.
Application Example: HMI display to PLC(s)
The cMT2078X HMI is programmed using our free software EBPro. Click and drop objects onscreen to quickly build your interface. EBPro also includes communication drivers for all major PLCs, including the Modbus RTU serial interface used to connect to the MLC1-F0604N PLC. Easily import your PLC project tags for the HMI to then display, update, or control.
This HMI has two serial ports and two Ethernet ports to allow communication to different PLCs devices and protocols at the same time, expanding your ability to consolidate data from different systems.
The Maple Systems MLC1-F0604N PLC is programmed using our free MAPware-7000 software. Create your system control logic and set up the communications to allow your tags to be accessible to the HMI via Modbus protocol.
The HMI takes care of requesting and updating information as the PLC performs its control tasks.
Because our HMIs support over 350 different PLCs and controllers - whether you are connecting one PLC or multiple PLCs, our software creates a cohesive environment for programming.
Application Example: PC to HMI to PLC(s) SCADA
Maple Systems can provide you with all the hardware and software you need to build your full SCADA system.
In this application example, our powerful high brightness 15” Industrial Panel PC is hosting Aveva Edge SCADA software. Aveva Edge connects to each Maple HMI in the field through the Modbus gateway feature enabled in the HMI configuration software, EBPro. This feature is easy to set up and allows you to collect data tags remotely in real time from each HMI system.
Each HMI in turn brings data from the edge controls systems allowing consolidation of different PLC data tags at the HMI level. In this example several Maple Systems MLC2-E0404P0802T PLC systems running our free software, MAPware-7000, along with a legacy Allen Bradley PLC, are connected via Ethernet to the cMT2078X HMI, which then gathers this data to share back to the Aveva Edge host Industrial PC.
This creates a powerful PC supervisory station to monitor your systems within your facility – providing for alarm notifications, process updates, data reporting, and remote access to your systems in the field. The Windows-based PC platform then allows for installation of third party software packages to aid in the analysis and reporting specific for the customer’s industry.
Read more about the types of HMIs — as well as their basic functions and new and emerging HMI functions and connectivity options. Additionally, we discuss the role of HMIs in IIoT operations and the trend towards standardization (for both open source and proprietary setups) in our
FREE HMI Design Guide
Read more about remote access at the machine level, seeing/acquiring additional information at a supervisory station, or communicating data outside of your factory local network in our
FREE SCADA and HMI Guide
In our Support Center we have compiled all of our most common technical support questions into one place to help you find the answers you need. From hardware to software, and everything in between, we've got you covered.