Present day Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems have evolved significantly in the last two decades by taking advantage of the developments in information technology (IT). They now deliver unprecedented functionalities for electric grid management that was not available or cost prohibitive in the earlier days. Consequently SCADA systems have vastly expanded their role within a utility - from just a tool that was used by operations team to a strategic platform around which an utility can deploy modern work management processes. Needless to say that selecting a right SCADA platform can become a daunting task while the jargon confusing at times. Having worked with multiple vendor SCADA platforms over the last two decades APA has the unique advantage of providing fact based guidance and bring hands-on experience in implementing leading SCADA platforms in your organization.

APA provides complete project life cycle support in deploying state-of-the-art SCADA platforms:

Conduct Requirement Identification Workshops: This process usually conducted at client site is designed to bring all stake holders together and a compile list of requirements. Usually conducted in two sessions the first session focusses on education about the current offerings and capabilities of utility SCADA and examples of various applications that can be deployed. The second session in the form of a workshop is designed to encourage stake holders to describe their needs and wish list in simple words which APA would translate to high level technical requirements.

Business Case Evaluations: Where appropriate, one or several business case evaluations is prepared to bring out the value and return on investments. For example there can be one high level business case to evaluate the return on investment on the SCADA platform overall, while individual advanced applications evaluated on the own merits. It is not uncommon that many utilities decide to deploy the SCADA platform while choosing to deploy some advanced applications sooner than others or consider a phased deployment approach. 

Conceptual Design: This critical step allows stake holders with various levels of SCADA awareness to start participating in the design and selection of SCADA platform, understand how it will benefit them in improving their productivity in their job. This process allows the stake holders to understand the subtle nuances of capabilities and helps sets expectations from the new SCADA platform at a pace comfortable to them. This eventually leads to creation of a well-rounded formal "Request For Proposals" with contributions from all stake holders ensuring future proofed system definition to initiate procurement.

Procurement Process: APA typically works hand in hand to guide the process of procurement from RFP creation, review and assist in issuing to vendors. APA's streamlined process ensures that the key client personnel are aware of various steps required to evaluate, shortlist and select the right vendor and product.

Detailed Design and Implementation: APA's core strength is in assisting its client to prepare for implementation while working with their subject matter experts in evolving the detailed design, preparing key component procurement specifications.

Typically APA will provide the following services during implementation phase

  • Prepare detailed functional specifications for hardware and software systems.
  • Identify requirements from remote substations and DA sites and provide assistance to implement them.
  • Make sure substation remote Intelligent Electronic Devices are ready to be integrated with SCADA.
  • Identify changes required in the wide area communication requirements and assist in its implementation
  • Work with selected SCADA vendor and provide technical coordination
  • Prepare SCADA point list, software engineering details.
  • Front end processor and communication protocol (DNP3.0, Modbus etc.) to connect with remote devices in substations
  • Assist in creation of Human Machine Interface, SCADA one line diagram for visualization of network, alarms and events.
  • On site system integration, testing and troubleshooting
  • Formal System Acceptance Testing (SAT)
  • Coordinate training requirements.
  • Assist utility personnel in gaining familiarity with newly installed system.