Distributed Control System (DCS)

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Published: 01st June 2011
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A distributed control system (DCS) refers to a control system usually an industrial system, process or any kind of dynamic system in which regulatory elements are not central in position (like the brain), but are distributed throughout the system with each component subsystem controlled by one or more regulators. The entire regulatory system is linked by networks for communication and listening.

The DCS is a very broad term used in a variety of industries, monitor and control the distributed team. Electrical power grids and electrical generation plants, Environmental control systems, Traffic lights, Radio, Management systems apply water, Petroleum refining plants, Metallurgical Process Plant, Chemical Plants, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, Sensor networks, Dry cargo ships and bulk oil carrier.

A DCS is a control system usually an industrial automation system that uses custom processors as controllers and uses both proprietary interconnections and the communication protocol for communication. The input and output modules form component parts of the DCS. The processor receives information from input modules and sends information to output modules. The input modules receive information from input instruments in the process (aka field) and transmit instructions to the output instruments in the field. Buses also connect the distributed controllers with the central controller and finally to the human machine interface (HMI) or control consoles.

The elements of a distributed control system can be linked directly to hardware such as switches, pumps and valves or they may work for a SCADA system as an intermediate.

Distributed Control Systems (DCSs) are dedicated systems used to control industrial processes that are continuous or batch-driven as oil refining, petrochemicals, power generation station, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage manufacturing, cement production, steelmaking, and papermaking. The DCSs are related to sensors and actuators and use set point control to control the flow of material through the plant. The most common example is a set point control loop consisting of a pressure sensor, regulator and control valve. Pressure or flow measurements are transmitted to the controller, usually by means of a signal that determines the input / output (input - output) device.

When the measured variable reaches a certain point, the controller instructs a valve or actuation device to open or closed until the process flow Fluidic reach desired set point. The large oil refineries have many thousands of points of input - output and employ very large DCSs. The processes are not limited to Fluidic flow through pipes, however, and can also include things like paper machines and their associated quality controls (see Quality Control System QCS), variable speed trips and control centers motor, cement kilns, extracting operations, mineral processing facilities, and many others.

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