The SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture (WinCC OA) is a versatile SCADA system that can be used to control, monitor and supervise plants and operations in almost any line of business. It can be used as a standalone system, or can be scaled to a distributed system, connecting up to 2,048 standalone systems. It can also be connected to a Databases to archive process data from machines and production flows. Having seen numerous companies leveraging the flexibility of WinCC OA to fit their custom needs, we at SAM IT Solutions have taken the initiative to help them further leverage some modern cloud platform capabilities, that might help them stand out in the industry. With all modern technologies drifting towards the cloud, we try to identify a few areas within WinCC OA that might benefit from the cutting edge technologies being used worldwide. Here are three key areas of improvement:
- Data Analytics – There is already a powerful tool within WinCC OA for analytics – SmartSCADA. However, with so much advancement made in Big Data, using platforms like Elasticsearch and Kibana might help your company save valuable time and resources. Logstash can be used to gather data from all alerts. Once your data is migrated to Elasticsearch, graphs and visualizations can be created very rapidly, and you can easily see trends for key indicators from your WinCC OA setup.
- Reporting – WinCC OA has provided a SOAP(Simple Object Access Protocol) reporting interface to facilitate creating reports from third party tools. Some tools to integrate with are BIRT, Reporting tools from the Elastic Stack X-pack, or simply a custom made Python script implemented from Reportlab, Jinjas or/and WeasyPrint libraries.
- Dashboards and UI – Using web frameworks like Django, Flask, Ruby on Rails, Express etc. can give your web interface the look and feel of a modern application. Using these frameworks, you can create and host your UI in the Cloud. Below is an example of a Dashboard created by us for a customer using WinCC OA for their solar plant. This dashboard is directly connected to the WinCC OA server and displays real-time data and trends as you can see above.