The Ignition Advantage: A Modern Approach to SCADA Systems

Posted in Blog on June 19th, 2023

In the realm of industrial automation, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems are indispensable. They offer real-time monitoring, data acquisition, control functions, and more. However, not all SCADA systems are created equal. In this post, we’ll discuss Cimlogic’s (part of the ITI Group) experience with traditional SCADA systems and how Ignition®, a modern SCADA platform developed by Inductive Automation, has revolutionised our approach and helped not only our clients, but hundreds of enterprise users solve business problems and reach higher levels of operational efficiency.

The Ignition difference

Ignition SCADA stands apart from traditional SCADA systems in several significant ways:

  • System Security: Ignition was built with security in mind from the ground up, adopting the most recent advances in security technology to protect both your infrastructure and data. It safeguards your systems with ultra-secure TLS 1.2 and 1.3 technologies, multifactor authentication (MFA), and single sign-on (SSO). It can also utilise federated security platforms as standard adopting 2-factor authentication.
  • Unlimited Licensing: Ignition offers an unlimited licensing model, a stark contrast to traditional SCADA systems that often impose limits based on licensing. This allows you to construct the exact system you need without any restrictions while avoiding high costs associated with extra licensing.
  • Integrated Development Environment: Ignition provides a robust integrated development environment, enabling the creation of virtually any kind of industrial application – SCADA, IIoT, MES, and beyond – all on one platform.
  • Versatility: Ignition empowers you to effortlessly control, track, display, and analyse your processes. It also enhances data accessibility and efficiency with MQTT and enables production tracking, recipe management, OEE calculation, and more.
  • Auditing Capabilities: Out-of-the-box Ignition offers powerful system auditing capabilities, so every button press and user interaction can be traced which aids internal fault finding and overall traceability and validation in pharmaceutical environments.
  • Training & Community Support: Ignition boasts a vibrant community of users who share their experiences and solutions, providing a rich resource for problem-solving and innovation. Clients have access to in-depth industry-leading training through Inductive University, which is a free online learning platform designed to help users master Ignition SCADA software. Users can watch training videos, test their knowledge, train staff, and participate in credential programs.
  • Digital Transformation Strategy: Ignition facilitates the transition from analogue to digital to Industry 4.0 with a single future-proof platform, supporting digital transformation initiatives.

The limitations of a traditional SCADA system

In our experience, traditional SCADA systems, while functional, often proved to be oversized, clunky, and the result of multiple products being cobbled together. It was often difficult to provide the right solution needed to address specific use cases and client business problems, causing misalignment issues. Custom modifications were frequently plagued by glitches due to software incompatibilities with other software components or were vulnerable to basic maintenance tasks like performing updates.

Ignition: The solution tailored to business needs

Ignition has addressed many of the challenges experienced by Cimlogic and our clients. Its flexibility, adaptability, supportability and ease of use have allowed us to tailor solutions to meet our clients’ specific needs, without the glitches and maintenance issues we may have previously experienced with other systems.

Selecting the right SCADA system

When selecting a SCADA system, it’s crucial to consider your unique business challenges and how technology can help you overcome them. While most platforms will do what you want, the key lies in how you architect and design the system. In industries like oil and gas, assets often change hands, leaving SCADA and control systems behind. Legacy technology is a significant issue, and the market needs a relatively inexpensive yet highly functional platform to quickly restore assets to full effectiveness.

Ignition, in our experience, is that tool. It provides only what you need, integrates well with many other technologies, and is easy to understand. Built on well-known technologies like Python and open database philosophy, it simplifies staff recruitment, minimises onboarding and training, and opens the door for new and creative ideas that will help you overcome operational challenges.

In conclusion, while traditional SCADA systems have served the industry well for many years, Ignition offers a fresh, flexible, and cost-effective approach that is well-suited to the needs of modern industrial operations. With its system security focus, unlimited licensing, integrated development environment, versatility, auditing capabilities, training offering, and strong community support, Ignition is a compelling choice for any organisation looking to upgrade its SCADA system.

Selecting the right OT partner

Download the Case Study to learn how Cimlogic worked in partnership with a global Life Sciences organisation to design and implement a comprehensive Ignition® SCADA software solution for increased competitive advantage and reduced maintenance costs. If you’d like to learn more about Cimlogic’s software development expertise and our trusted approach to Operational Technology projects, please contact us today at [email protected] or Tel: +44(0)1274 599955.

About ITI Group

ITI Group develops and integrates digital transformation solutions for Energy, Nuclear and Industrial manufacturing sectors. Through digital technology, industrial automation and increased safety and security, ITI Group helps clients achieve tangible business value from innovative, intelligent solutions.

For over 50 years, ITI has been a trusted partner in the design, build and implementation of robust, reliable, and future-proof SCADA systems, enabling connectivity and real-time data intelligence to enhance the operations and processes that they serve.

To learn more, visit the ITI Group website