With IIoT Offering New Capabilities, SCADA System Sourcing On the Rise


This Thomas Index Report is sponsored by Neal Systems, a leading solutions provider and technical supplier of plant and process automation.

Hello. In this week’s Thomas Index Report, we’re going to take a look at sourcing activity for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems by users of the Thomasnet.com platform. These are better known by their acronym, “SCADA” systems, and our data shows that over the past 12 weeks, sourcing activity for this category is up 20% over its historical average. It’s also up 14% year over year.

Our firmographic buyer data shows that three of the top industries driving this trend are utilities, construction, and manufacturing.

SCADA systems are industrial control systems used in a broad range of industries to monitor, control, and collect data from geographically dispersed assets. For example, in the utilities industry, a SCADA system may be used to detect things like line voltages and current flow, monitor circuit breakers, or even take sections of a power grid on or offline. In the manufacturing industry, SCADA systems have been used as far back as the 1960s, when solid-state technology helped collect data and monitor processes across the factory floor. But the technology has come a long way.

Today’s advanced, fourth-generation SCADA systems are leveraging the Industrial Internet of Things — or “IIoT” — to go well beyond simply monitoring and controlling processes. Manufacturers are using SCADA systems and the IIoT to aggregate, process, and store vast amounts of data, and unlock the intelligence and insight hidden within it. This is giving those businesses new capabilities in areas such as predictive and prescriptive analytics, enabling them to increase efficiency, improve productivity, reduce operating costs, and inform their decision-making.

While some in the industry have wondered whether the still-emerging Industrial Internet of Things would ultimately replace SCADA systems, that doesn’t appear to be the case: The IIoT is simply taking those systems to the next level, keeping them a vital tool within Industry 4.0.

In addition to SCADA systems, sourcing activity is also up over 20% in the related category of sensors.

Moving on from SCADA systems, here’s a look at the top 10 industrial product and service categories being sourced on the Thomasnet.com platform over the past four weeks. 

  1. Steel
  2. Printed Circuit Boards (PCB)
  3. Food Products
  4. Corrugated Boxes
  5. Injection Molded Plastics
  6. CNC Machining
  7. Contract Manufacturing
  8. Plastics
  9. Sewing Contractors
  10. Chemicals

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Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next week.

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