What Is A Distributed Control System (DCS) ?

A typical distributed control system (DCS) consists of functionally and/or spatially distributed digital controllers capable of executing from 1 to 256 or more regulatory control loops in one controller “box.” The sensor I/O can be integral with the controller or located remotely via a field network. Controllers currently available have extensive computational capabilities and, in addition to continuous control (e.g., PID), generally can also perform logic and sequence control.

A DCS may employ one or several workstations and can be configured at the workstation or by a networked personal computer. A control network with transmission over twisted pair, coaxial, or fiber optic cables handles local communication. A server and/or applications processor may be included in the system to provide system services as well as additional computational, data storage, and reporting capability.

Ditributed Control Systems of the Future


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