Scada review - Citect

June 2003 SCADA/HMI

Reviewer details

Name: Sarel Erasmus

Position/designation: SIS planning and development

Company: Kumba Resources - Sishen Iron Ore Mine

Telephone: (053) 739 2413


Product details

Vendor: Citect

Contact person: Angela McCallum

Product name and version: CitectSCADA Version 5.42

Telephone: (011) 699 6600




Q: What industry (eg mining, food and beverage, automotive) is the scada being applied in? Describe the application briefly.

A: Sishen Iron Ore Mine focuses on the iron ore industry. The CitectSCADA is being utilised in a global control room concept where the operators are able to monitor the entire process.

Q: Who did the system integration?

A: Citect did the system integration.

Q: Approximately how many man-hours did the integration take?

A: It took approximately 7200 man-hours to complete this project.

Q: How is the after-sales support handled (eg remote-dial-up, e-mail)?

A: The original contract contains priority support for the central control room, which consists of monthly maintenance site visits, 24/7 telephonic support and free software upgrades. A remote-dial-up link has been established from where almost all maintenance and changes can be done.

Q: What sort of licensing agreement is used on the system? Does one licence cover all modules, or can the user only buy those modules that he wishes to use?

A: Licensing is done in two different ways. For the I/O servers and ART servers (alarm, trend and reporting), unlimited tag licences for each computer is supplied and is dongle based. Included in the two ART server dongles are 20 concurrent management display clients (view only), 10 concurrent Internet display clients (full control) and the Plant2Business licence. In the central control room (CCR), three multimonitor display clients for each has it own unlimited licence.

System architecture

Q: How many tag points / I/O does the installation have? Analog? Digital? Maximum possible?

A: Bit stripped analog tags: 240 000.

Real tags: 12 000

Digital tags: 22 000.

Q: What operating system is the scada running on (eg Windows NT, Unix)?

A: Microsoft Windows 2000 server and professional.

Q: What impressed you most about the architecture? Open standards, wide range of drivers, the ability to upgrade, etc? Please elaborate.

A: System architecture is one of Citect's outstanding features. Citect's scalability capabilities make it easier to implement future plant upgrades and expansions without having to modify existing hardware or software. CitectSCADA has a single global database and this simplifies the scada software management. Changes are implemented at one central point and the changes are immediately updated at all Citect stations. This ensures that uniform, consistent and latest plant information is available to all Citect stations at anytime. The system's flexible and open architecture makes it possible to engineer a human machine interface (HMI) system that can easily integrate with the existing control systems in the plant.

Q: Is the system integrated onto an intranet or the Internet? If so, does the configuration allow simple remote monitoring, or is it configured to allow full remote control? If not, what level of intranet/Internet control does the scada allow for future use?

A: Citect provides the flexibility to access remote plants, mobile laptop users and suppliers via the Internet. Internet clients are available as Manager and Display clients. The Display client provides full functionality. The Manager client is granted 'view only' access. The CitectSCADA Internet server monitors licence usage and, depending on the number of purchased licences, allocates licences to clients as requested. There is no technical restriction on the number of Internet clients. CitectSCADA's licensing is calculated on the number of CitectSCADA clients connected to the server, not on the number of computers with CitectSCADA installed. The server based licensing makes Internet clients an easy and convenient way to extend access to a wide range of remote users.

Q: What sort of redundancy is built into the system?

A: Redundancy has been implemented on the system on every level possible. CitectSCADA makes use of full redundant distributed system architecture. The system consists of two redundant CitectSCADA ART servers, four redundant CitectSCADA I/O servers with two CP1613 network cards each, two Microsoft SQL 2000 servers with replication and two fileservers. The control network consists of an Industrial Ethernet redundant ring.


Q: Describe the graphics development process - eg did you use standard library images, or did you have to draw images from scratch?

A: The graphics were compiled by Citect's internal graphics artists and system engineers to make full use of the graphical functionality available in the CitectSCADA. Symbol sets have been configured in such a way that objects match the device structure in the PLC. This makes additions and maintenance easy and straightforward.

Q: How would you describe the library of graphic images?

A: Citect graphics library comes with standard graphic symbols of typical industry equipment. The symbols are practical and representative of the equipment and always available for future engineering (and use). In the case of non-standard equipment, the unique graphics are developed to the client's requirements. These are then incorporated into the client's graphics library and become available for immediate or future use.

Citect graphics are exceptionally impressive and representative of the plant and equipment. This makes the graphics find easy acceptance from operational personnel because the HMI gives a 'real' feel of the plant and equipment.

Q: Did you use any 'special' images (eg embedded video clips, photographs, 3D images)?

A: Digital photos taken of the site were used for the startup screen and buttons on various graphics popup a photo of the device. 3D images of the Stacker-Reclaimer, Drum Reclaimers and of the Site Overview were generated by Citect on Rhino and 3D Studio Max and animated in CitectSCADA.


Q: Did you run the scada in conjunction with any third-party application software? Describe.

A: Yes, the CitectSCADA system was commissioned and currently running in conjunction with InTouch scada system, MDT Mass AutoSave and MineSuit.

Q: Does the scada allow for the user to create scripts to perform specific tasks? Describe.

A: Yes, CitectSCADA comes with its own programming language - Cicode. Designed specifically for plant monitoring and control applications, Cicode allows us to extend the functionality of CitectSCADA to fit our needs. With Cicode we have access to, and control of, all the elements in our runtime system: realtime data, historical data, operator displays, alarms, reports, trends, security etc. Cicode also gives us access to parts of our computer system, such as the operating system and communication ports. The applications for Cicode are wide, from simple numerical calculations to performing fuzzy logic for advanced control, or even creating an expert system. Cicode is an advanced language that is easy to use. Similar to other high level languages like 'C', Pascal, and, VB, its syntax is easy to grasp, so we do not need to be an experienced programmer to use it. Cicode is procedural, so we can build a library of 'functions'.

Management reporting

Q: Is a trending and historical data reporting system included? Please elaborate.

A: CitectSCADA's distributed trending system handles large numbers of variables without compromising performance or data integrity. We are able to choose from a selection of pre-configured trend pages that provide clear data representation with customisable views. As the values of variables change over time (or as events occur), the graph moves across the page - the latest values are always displayed. Change the resolution and span time of the graph while it is running. Select an area of the graph, and press the Zoom button to magnify it.

CitectSCADA trends are actually a seamless combination of realtime and historical data. When we display a Citect trend page, we can monitor the current activity as it happens, and simply scroll back through time to view the trend history. CitectSCADA comes with a host of ready-made trend templates, allowing us to quickly create trend graphs complete with navigation tools and dynamic readouts from the plant floor. We can display trends in single, double, or pop-up windows and trends can be customised. Citect trends give us the flexibility to define our trend pens while the project is running. The Compare Trend allows us to overlay two trends, and assign different time frames to the pens of each.

Q: Is a management reporting system included in the package?

A: Plant2Business with Crystal Reports is used to generate the following reports.

* Ad-Hoc Alarm Report.

* Ad-Hoc Trend Report.

* Ad-Hoc Tag Reports.

* Parameterised Reports.

* Summarised Readings.

* Totallised Readings.

* Parameterised Alarm Reports.

These reports are available on the Plant2Net portal, which can be accessed via Internet Explorer.

Q: Is the system integrated into a manufacturing execution system?

A:Some of the data gathered by the CitectSCADA is used in MineSuit.

Q: Is the scada system integrated into a management reporting or control system (eg SAP, Baan)?

A: At this stage no direct connection is made to the SAP system at Sishen.


Q: What impressed you the most about the system? What was the predominant feature (or features) that made you decide to employ this scada, rather than another (ie ease of use, support from the vendor, upgrade path, redundancy features)?


A: The product, CitectSCADA, which we have selected, has excellent flexible architecture and reliable redundant system.

During the central control room (CCR) scada product evaluation phase, the following criterion were used:

* Reliability.

* Scalability.

* Flexibility.

* Redundancy.

* Non obsolescence policy.

* Technical support.

* Product database to handle all plant data points (650 000 tags).

* Cost.

Product support

The most important is to find a systems integrator who strives for high quality assurance. The integrator must be an expert on the product and ensure that the product is utilised to its maximum potential and is not jeopardised by engineering that does not conform to any standard. The systems integrator must ensure that software standard remains uniform and consistent throughout the plant.

The ultimate aim is to award the contract to a systems integrator who will supply Sishen Iron Ore Company with an end product that both parties can be proud of.

During the design phase Citect contributed useful ideas and recommendations, which were implemented with the CCR Project.

The professionalism that was conducted right from the initial meeting, through to the stage where we are nearing handover, has been excellent.

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