Differences Between SCADA And HMI

Comparisons, Knowledgebase

Last Updated on November 25, 2022 by mdmtool

The battle between SCADA and HMI has been waged since industrial computing dawn. There are die-hard fans of each system, and as many people think that both systems have their unique advantages and disadvantages.

There are several differences between SCADA and HMI systems.

  • SCADA systems are generally used to control large-scale processes or operations, while HMIs are more commonly used to monitor smaller-scale processes.
  • SCADA systems often require more specialized hardware, while HMIs can be run on more standard equipment.
  • SCADA systems offer more features than HMIs.

However, both approaches can monitor and control various process parameters.

What Is HMI?


Human Machine Interface or HMI refers to the graphical interface used by machines for operator control and monitoring. It is sometimes also known as the Man-Machine Interface (MMI)

What Is SCADA?


Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) is a system that collects data from remote devices to control or monitor their status.

Comparison Between SCADA And HMI

What is HMI

Functions: An HMI typically monitors machine status, displays process data, and provides operator control. A SCADA system requires data collection, remote device control, and alarm generation.

Technology: HMIs can be based on various technologies, including CRTs, LEDs, and LCDs. SCADA systems are typically based on computer networks and software.

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System Composition: An HMI typically comprises a display, keyboard, and mouse. A SCADA system generally includes a computer network, software, and hardware.

Engineering: HMIs are typically designed by engineers. System integrators usually organize SCADA systems.

Operators: HMIs are typically operated by machine operators. System administrators usually use SCADA systems.

Deployment: HMIs are typically deployed on-site. SCADA systems are typically deployed remotely.

Scalability: SCADA systems are typically more scalable than HMIs.

Flexibility: HMIs are typically flexible. SCADA systems are generally inflexible.

Complexity: HMIs can be simple or complex. SCADA systems can be complicated.

Cost: HMIs can vary in price depending on the features and complexity of the system. SCADA systems can be more costly to implement than HMIs.

What is SCADA

Applications Of SCADA

  • SCADA systems are typically used in oil and gas
  • Irrigation
  • Monitoring and control of power plants
  • Water and wastewater treatment plants
  • Building management systems
  • Manufacturing process control

Applications Of HMI

  • HMIs can be found in various devices, from simple consumer products like microwaves and coffee makers to complex industrial systems like factory assembly lines and nuclear power plants.
  • Operator control panels
  • Touchscreen displays
  • Graphics tablets
  • Virtual reality headsets

Disadvantages: HMI might not be able to provide all the features and functions that the SCADA system offers. SCADA systems can be complex.

Components Of SCADA

  • Sensors
  • Controllers
  • Communications systems
  • Human-machine interfaces (HMIs)

Components Of HMI

  • User interface
  • Input devices
  • Output devices
  • Processing devices
  • Storage devices



Yes, HMI is a part of SCADA. SCADA systems typically include HMIs for operator control and monitoring.

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Does SCADA (Complete Control System)Have A Massive Capacity For Data Collection?

Yes, SCADA systems can have a large capacity for data collection. This is one of the advantages of SCADA over HMI.

How Does SCADA Work?

SCADA systems typically use computer networks and software to collect data from sensors, control devices, and other input sources. This data is then processed and displayed on an HMI for operator control and monitoring.

Which Is Better, HMI Or SCADA?

There is no definitive answer to this question. It depends on the specific needs of the user.


SCADA systems offer more functionality than HMIs but can be more costly to implement. HMIs can be simpler to design and deploy. It is important to consider the user’s specific needs when deciding which system to use.

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