System Integration & Control Systems Design

Scada Review 2019: Adroit Technologies

June 2019 System Integration & Control Systems Design

End–user responses


Q: Briefly describe the application including information on any pre-existing control system.

This end user is implementing the Smart City project using IoT enabled devices to remotely monitor its fixed and moveable assets as well as infrastructure. The Smart City project was implemented in parallel with an existing Adroit SCADA system, which monitors and controls the end user’s water systems and services.

Q: What was the primary motivation for the project?

This project was started with a view to mitigate risk and to take advantage of the new digital trend for better service delivery to its customers.

Q: What were the main goals established for the project?

Demonstrate reliability and endurance in live environments of IoT enabled devices. A number of pre-defined devices were chosen to achieve the following goals:

• Detection of manhole tampering.

• Notification of access to underground infrastructure.

• Water metering.

• Pipeline pressure monitoring.

• Asset tracking and notification with geo-fencing.

Data collected by the IoT sensors is applied in ways that benefit and add value to the current scada system.

Q: In the procurement decision-making process what were the primary considerations that influenced the product selection?

Adroit Technlogies exstensively tested and developed its IoT platform using Visio sensors and the Sqwidnet backend. Although Adroit Technologies is not reliant on one particular vendor or IoT product, both these companies provided excellent services and products.

Q: What Project Management principles were employed to mitigate risk, ensuring the project came out on time and within budget?

The project scope was developed using the Project User Requirements Document and Functional Design & Specifications Documentation. Scada engineering was covered by Adroit Technologies and installation of the sensors was outsourced.

Licensing, maintenance and support

Q: What licences have been purchased for this particular application?

Adroit Smart UI.

Q: What upgrade agreements are in place on this particular application?

Adroit Groupwide Agreement.

Q: How is after-sales support handled on this application?

As part of an SLA agreement a 24 hour support resource is available as well as remote access for trouble shooting and diagnostics. As reliability is a core requirement for the Smart City project, a weekly inspection is scheduled, and an offsite backup is kept as part of the SLA.

Q: Do you have a documented process in place to manage, test and install OS and scada system software patches?

A complete CRM system has been implemented to augment the support of Adroit Smart UI. Microsoft Team Foundation has also been implemented as part of the quality assurance. Once the project team has a complete understanding of the end users requirements a functional design specification (FDS) was created for the implementation of the solution.

This FDS document includes (but is not limited to):

• Project standards.

• Product upgrades.

• Long term viability.

Integration, reporting and archiving

Q: Is the scada system integrated onto an intranet or the Internet?

One of the Smart City project requirements was easy access to information. To facilitate this Adroit implemented a ‘traditional’ scada interface as well as a geographic information system (GIS) interface and Adroit Performance Anywhere, which accesses the scada’s data via HTML5 web services. In addition, the Adroit Secure Mobile Gateway solution has been implemented to allow secure access to the scada from outside the company IT infrastructure.

Q: Does the system include or interface with an expert system?


Q: Is the system integrated with an MES / ERP or other management reporting or control system?


Q: Has any GIS (Geographic Information Systems) functionality been configured in the application?

The Adroit Smart UI has a GIS interface, which allows added intelligence to map overviews by dynamically or statically defining map nodes and geo-areas. In the case of the Smart City project, each node was assigned to an IoT device. The GIS interface also allows the nodes/IoT devices status and alarm conditions to be displayed at a global level. The GIS control also facilitates navigation to a user defined faceplate.

Q: Has any asset management functionality been configured in the application?

As part of the assets tracking requirement for the Smart City project, a number of mobile generators were fitted with GPS IoT devices. This allowed the scada to display the current position of the assets on the GIS interface and also allowed alarm notification when an asset left its geo-fenced area. These alarm notifications have also been linked to configurable timers so if an asset stays outside its area for a user defined time, another alarm notification can be generated. In addition, the IoT will assist to enforce quality control as reservoir lids must be opened to get verification from the IoT device, which helps to ensure that samples are taken.

Q: Does the application include data archiving/historian capabilities with an historical data reporting system?

Currently, the system has only been configured for minimal reporting using Adroit native SQL logging functionality. Future integration with Adroit SCADA intelligentsia has been planned, which will allow for a richer reporting environment.

Maintenance, reliability and asset optimisation</b>

Q: Have any operational or production benchmarking tools been configured as part of the scada system?


Q: What maintenance, reliability, asset optimisation or continuous improvement criteria were included in the user requirements specification for this project?

The Smart City project requires that the following functionality be included so as to ensure the reliability of the data being collected

• Device commutation failure (Last report received > 6 hours).

• Site maintenance mode – suppress alarms and exclude data from audit reports.

• Network quality.

• Sensor failure or out of service alarms.

Additionally the Adroit Alarm Management report suite has also been implemented to measure predefined system KPIs.

Mobile device support</b>

Q: Are you currently using tablets, mobile phones or other smart mobile devices to interact with the scada system? If so, for what purposes?

The system allows users to retrieve a limited dataset via their smart devices, depending on authentication and user rights.

Q: Do you allow users to interface with the scada system via their own personal smart devices? (BYOD)

Adroit Performance Anywhere utilises HTML 5 web services, which gives a user access to the data in the agent server via an easily configurable interface utilising predefined objects called widgets. This can be viewed in any web enabled device’s browser. Alternatively, web development is available via the HTML 5’s web service Software Development Kit (SDK).

End-user conclusion

Q: What was the predominant feature (or features) that made you decide to purchase this scada product over all others for this application?

The Adroit Smart UI is a rich open platform, which allows engineers to fulfil client expectations and requirements.

Q: What was the most significant change that you implemented in scada engineering practice/technology in this project?

The object and template models available were extensively used in order to shorten engineering time.

Q: What single operational feature most impresses you about the product now that it is in operation?

The GIS interface.

Q: What impresses you most about the architecture?

Open platform; wide range of drivers supplied standard with the product; the ability to upgrade; easy to implement and to integrate.

SI Responses

Project details

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

160 hours.

Q: What tools were used to minimise the man-hours taken?

All engineering was done from first principles.

Q: What human factors were taken into consideration as principles or development standards in the HMI design process?

ISA 101, Human Machine Interface Design.

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

Standard library images were used where applicable.

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


Q: Did you use any ‘special’ images?


Q: What alarm management standards or best practices were adopted in configuring the scada system alarms?

The Adroit Report Suite draw on the ISA18.2 Standard, EEMUA 191 Guidelines.

What structured processes were followed to determine expected performance under full load, and during abnormal failure conditions?

This is a core function/requirement of the Smart City project, and has been built into the solution. This means that network reliability and server uptime are monitored as part of the project.

Q: What are the key physical communication layers and communication protocols employed in the system?

Sigfox backend with the Adroit Sigfox protocol.

Q: What is the network speed and communications medium of the slowest link in this project’s scada network?

The Sigfox devices dictate the speed at which they communicate (exception based). However, each device has a cap of 140 messages per day.

Q: What is the network speed and communications medium of the fastest link in this project’s scada network?

600 bits per second.

Q: What levels of redundancy are incorporated in this scada application?

Full redundancy at server level, which includes the Adroit Agent server hot standby and the Smart UI server clustering.

Q: Was any specific custom code or scada scripting written for this project?


Maintenance, reliability and asset optimisation

Q: What project management principles were employed to mitigate risk and ensure the project came in on time and within budget?

The Agile methodology was used which allowed close integration with the Adroit development team.

Security and data protection

Q: How have authentication, authorisation and role management been configured?

A multi-tiered security model was implemented using an existing Microsoft Domain controller (DC). This allowed existing security to be leveraged.

Q: Does the design make provision for a DMZ and firewall segregation of process (scada) network and business networks (LAN, WAN, GAN, Internet, etc.)?

Each step of the communication requires access from one network to another. This was achieved by working closely with the contracted IT consultants to ensure seamless integration.

Q: What intrusion detection has been incorporated on the plant network(s) on which this scada system exists?

Fully managed IT infrastructure configured and maintained by the IT consultants.

Q: Is the security model employed based on a standard?

An existing end user’s security model was used.

Q: What configuration backup and data archive backup methodologies have been adopted?

An automated monthly backup is taken. An offsite backup is kept after any engineering or housekeeping is done.

SI conclusion

Q: How would you rate the ease of use of the historical reporting system?


Q: What impresses you most about the architecture?

The flexibility and openness of the architecture allow engineers to implement the latest software and hardware technologies.

Vendor responses


Table 1.
Table 1.

Q: Vendor comments on product/modules?

Adroit 8.4.3 offers performance enhancements and Windows 10 compatibility.

Operating systems/VMware

Table 2.
Table 2.

Licensing, maintenance and support model

Q: What sort of licensing agreement options are offered?

Base licence comprises core modules and the following optional modules are available:

• Performance Anywhere.

• Alarm Management agent.

• SNMP agent.

• Max Demand agent.

• OEE Agent.

• Allen Bradley TCP driver.

• DNP 3.0 driver.

• Siemens Ethernet driver.

Q: Are licences sold outright or subject to periodic (e.g. annual) renewal?

Licence is a once-off purchase or as part of a group wide agreement.

Q: What upgrade agreements are offered?

Patches and updates are available free from An upgrade is available as part of the system integrator agreement or a group wide agreement.

Q: What after-sales offerings iro support and maintenance are available, and which technologies are used to deliver them?

Adroit offers both on-site and off-site support, either directly through Adroit Technical Services or via an Adroit system integrator in the area.

Q: Do you have a documented process in place to manage and test OS patches and to release scada system software patches?

A complete CRM system has been implemented to augment the support of Adroit Smart UI. Microsoft Team foundation has also been implemented as part of the quality assurance for Adroit Smart UI.

Technology incorporated

Table 3.
Table 3.

Q: What new technology has been introduced into the product in the last 12 months?

A comprehensive list of all new features can be found in the ‘What is new in the Adroit 10 Release’ pdf file found on the Adroit 10 DVD. The soon to be released Adroit Air mobile app was deployed as an enhancement on this project. This delivers alarms and messages to users on a mobile app.

Integration and reporting

Q: What generic and/or product specific interfaces does the product have iro well-known MES packages?

Agent server:

• ActiveX.COM.

• Agent Development Kit (ADK).

• Driver Development Kit (DDK).

Smart UI server:

• .NET Framework.


• HTML5 webservice (Performance Anywhere).

Q: What native historical data reporting options are available?

MS Reporting Services on top of an MS SQL historian.

Maintenance, reliability and asset optimisation

Q: What maintenance, reliability, asset optimisation and/or continuous improvement related modules or capabilities does the product incorporate?

The Health Monitor Service is installed with all Adroit Technologies applications and it runs in the background. Its function is to monitor various significant values of the system (computer) on which the Adroit applications are running, since these both directly and indirectly affect their performance (health), such as the CPU load.

PLC configuration and programming

Q: What capabilities does the scada offer in terms of generation and/or management of PLC configuration files or PLC application code?


Security and data protection

Q: What authentication, authorisation and role management models are available for the runtime environment?

Full integration with Microsoft Workgroup or Domain Controller, which is paired with the Smart UI profiles configuration to allow the operating environment to be set up on a per user or group basis.

Q: List the top five feature/benefit pairs that contribute to this product’s USP.

Unique selling proposition (USPP

Table 4.
Table 4.

To view the unabridged version of this scada review, please visit

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