Choosing a Process Control System: PLC, SCADA or DCS?

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We’re nearing the end of 2017, and NJCSI has had an absolute cracker of a year! We’ve redone our website, which you can see here, and we’ve also started our NJCSI blog which we hope will educate South Africans on the benefits of process control systems. Today, we’re looking at three different types of process control hardware, namely the PLC, SCADA and DCS controllers. Below are each process controller’s benefits, as well as situations where they can be optimally used…

Programmable Logic Controller

  • Simple operating interface
  • Capable of handling complex logical operation
  • Counter, timer and comparator are programmable
  • Analogue signal handling and close loop control
  • More reliable due to no moving parts
  • Extremely fast
  • Uses very little power
  • Designed rugged for manufacturing environments.

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition

  • Broader system integrating multiple PLCs
  • Monitoring live data via larger, digital screens
  • Log and tabulate live data for performance reports
  • Alarm notifications when problems arise
  • Smartphone notification integration
  • Used for larger-scale industrial automation.

Distributed Control System

  • Digital systems more precise than analogue
  • Control algorithms can be changed without rewriting system
  • Cost less to install and maintain on average
  • Uses digital data in electronic files
  • Effortless to expand and contract
  • Modes of control include manual, automatic, and supervisory

Process Control Systems in South Africa

Since 1997, NJCSI has been a systems integration consultant in South Africa. We specialise in control systems and industrial IT solutions. Our engineers are on standby 24/7, so contact NJCSI today to discover how we can automate your industrial processes.