Human Machine Interface software gives machine operators a way to interact with and manage a system.  This interaction is through a graphical user interface (GUI).


Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) is a control system architecture that uses computers, networked data communications and graphical user interfaces for high-level process supervisory management, but uses other peripheral devices such as programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and discrete PID controllers to interface to the process plant or machinery.

The operator interfaces which enable monitoring and the issuing of process commands, such as controller set point changes, are handled through the SCADA supervisory computer system. However, the real-time control logic or controller calculations are performed by networked modules which connect to the field sensors and actuators.


  • Both large and small systems can be built using the SCADA concept. These systems can range from just tens to thousands of control loops, depending on the application. Example processes include industrial, infrastructure, and facility-based processes, as described below:
  • Industrial processes include manufacturing, Process control, power generation, fabrication, and refining, and may run in continuous, batch, repetitive, or discrete modes.
  • Infrastructure processes may be public or private, and include water treatment and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, oil and gas pipelines, electric power transmission and distribution, and wind farms.
  • Facility processes, including buildings, airports, ships, and space stations. They monitor and control heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC), access, and energy consumption.