DCS systems have for many years provided multi-disciplined controllers for logic, sequential and process control, HMIs and applications on one platform. That’s the really definition of s DCS – an integrated, distributed systems approach. It’s more than just about the individual component being pulled together into one platform. It’s about the way data flows through the system, the way that information is presented to an operator, the way that changes propagate through the database, control strategy, graphics, applications, etc and the robustness of the platform as a single entity.
The impression is that some PLC companies are creating a great deal of hype over PACs, but customers who are familiar with a DCS are already aware of the concept. Customers that are doing side by side evaluations with PLCs are choosing the DCS. The PLC vendors still seem to be struggling with trying to get all the parts and pieces to work together seamlessly.
We believe this goes back to core competency and the primary domain in which a system was designed to work from the ground up.
The DCS has come a long way from proprietary, large systems of the past to being scalable to meet a wide range of applications. Most customers that have in the past used PLCs are delighted when they see what’s available to them today in current, state- of the art DCS solutions.