PLC / DCS Systems

PLC / DCS Systems

The majority of process plants today have both DCSs and PLCs installed for controls.   The DCSs generally control and manage the core processes (food, pharmaceutical, refining, etc.). PLCs are used to control non-core process functions including material handling, water treatment, motor controls, balance of plant operations, air compressor controls, packaging, and other functions. There are plants where PLCs or DCSs control all of the plant functions but at this point these are the exceptions.
 
DCS : DCS systems have for many years provided multi-disciplined controllers for logic, sequential and process control, HMIs, custom applications, and business integration on one platform.
 
PLC : Although PLCs have become more powerful, they are still based on “loose” component architectures allowing functions to be easily added with hardware and software. For example, a historian may be added to many PLC products by plugging a module into the backplane that acquires data from the controllers, but history communications is done over a separate Ethernet connection.

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