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  • A Glance at Various Types of Automation control systems

    Published On: 01/20/15

    Automation control systems refer to the machines that are capable of controlling the industrial processes through computers without the need of human intervention. Such systems are widely employed in many industries to perform operations that are not manually feasible to perform because of the complexity involved. The controllers are also used to increase the productivity of labor and improve the quality of processes. These systems can operate under conditions which are relatively inaccessible to human or hazardous to health.

    There are basically four types of industrial automation control systems which include:

    1)      Programmable Logic Controllers  (PLCs):  Some systems are designed in a way that automatically synchronizes both inputs and outputs, which means a deadline or timeframe is imposed on the machine that result in controlled mechanism. These automated controllers that don’t require human intervention at all are Programmable logic controllers. PLCs have multiple capabilities, such as varied temperature ranges and input and ability to perform in unfavorable conditions.  They are typically used for the automation of industrial electromechanical processes such as control of factory assembly lines.

    2)      Distributed Control Systems (DCS): These systems are used to control complex and geographically distributed applications. There is no central controller as it is in non-distributing controllers. Instead, each section of the machine has its own computer that monitors the operation of separate controls throughout the system. Such systems are employed in chemical plants, petrochemical industries, pharmaceutical industries and more. The elements of DCS connect directly to physical equipment, such as other sub-controllers and even to human Machine Interface.

    3)      Supervisory control and Data Acquisition (SCADA): A SCADA system is a centralized system that collects the data from other geographically dispersed subsystems in real time, and processes it for monitoring and controlling purpose. These systems include both software and hardware components which include RTUs, PLCs, telemetry system, HMI, historian, communication infrastructure, etc. SCADA is the soul of many modern industries such as energy, manufacturing, transportation, power, water, and more.

    4)      Embedded Control: In these systems, several small embedded components are attached to the industrial computer via a network.

    Today's market demands something that gives real time competitive advantage to the companies. To remain ahead, it’s is important that business processes always run smoothly without any downtime and it is only possible with a comprehensive control technology. These control systems complete the tasks that are beyond the human capabilities, such as handling large amount of data and processing it for execution, collaborating with each and every system implemented in and outside the industry, and working in hazardous conditions. Moreover, these systems improve the economy of enterprises by reducing turnaround time to market, least wastage of inventory and streamlined flow of processes. Businesses can significantly save on labor costs and see the real time flow of processes with accurate results.  With such advantages, these systems are really a boon of modernization and technology. 

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