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Strategies to Improve SCADA Data Quality

©2020, zdSCADA, LP. All rights reserved.

Even the best visualization and analysis tools are useless if the source data is incomplete or incorrect. In computer science, it’s called "garbage in, garbage out". In SCADA, bad data means lost time and money. Data quality breakdown happens when communication paths are unreliable, when sensors fail, or when batteries die. When these failures occur, data gaps or inaccurate readings are almost a certainty. Graphs become choppy or unreadable. False alarm notifications, both positives and negatives, are likely. Fortunately, the experts at zdSCADA® can help ensure your SCADA data is high-quality and beneficial.

Improve Communication Path Reliability

Cellular modems are a popular choice for connectivity between the monitored location and the SCADA host. But in rural areas, cellular service can be unreliable. zdSCADA® improves reliability by using a SIM that supports multiple carriers or by installing a secondary cellular modem. We can also provide a broadband satellite connection to supplement or replace the cellular link.

At locations where solar power is the only option, it is critical to correctly size the battery and solar panel. Meter equipment commonly terminates power to the communication equipment when forced to enter a low-power state. The meter may continue to run and log production, but real-time data collection from the meter is cut off. Choosing the correct low-power cellular modem can also make a large difference when experiencing power issues.

Keep Data Consistent and Clean with Onsite Logging

Electronic flow meters (EFMs) typically have 35+ days’ worth of internal archive storage to meet AGA requirements. zdSCADA® systems uses this to a client’s advantage. Syncing an archive, rather than just logging live readings, allows you to have gapless data, even if the communication path to the meter is unreliable. Beyond just meter data, zdSCADA®’s onsite logging also opens up the possibility of storing external pressures, tank levels, and more.

Detect and Resolve Issues Promptly with Alarming

Are your alarms configured to quickly detect and report issues of data quality? With zdSCADA®, communication failure alarms are easy to configure and can report directly to field technicians when communication is down longer than clients deem appropriate. zdSCADA® can also configure more complex alarms to detect issues like frozen sensor value, negative pressures, and low battery.

Use a SCADA Host with a Proven Track Record of High Availability

The only way to ensure end-to-end reliability is to pair all the steps taken on the field side with a dependable SCADA hosting service. A SCADA host going down for even a short time can be catastrophic to data quality. At zdSCADA®, we take pride in building redundant and reliable SCADA hosting solutions for our clients. With today’s advancement in cloud hosting infrastructure, greater than 99.9% uptime on the SCADA application is easily attainable. If you are settling for less than that, please contact us for a free consultation.