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PACs in Process Control? Get the Best of Both Worlds with a Hybrid Control System
Air Date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
With the increasing presence of modern Programmable Automation Controllers (PACs), all embracing the same open Ethernet Communication standards and Object-Oriented Programming, come the benefits of commoditization including lower prices, common device compatibility, and “components off the shelf” (COTS) availability. Also, the programming and maintenance skills required of one PAC platform is easily transferrable to another, which lowers integration and training costs and increases labor flexibility and efficiency.
Until now, only traditional Distributed Control Systems (DCS) hosted a development and maintenance environment for the special needs of process applications such as seamless translation between Pipe and Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID) and controls architecture, or a common tag database between Human-Machine Interface (HMI) and control system. Such specialization has warranted the elevated cost structure of a proprietary DCS, both in initial capital investment, integration services, and MRO.
However, there has always existed a significant “gray area” between these extremes…simple process control applications that don’t quite justify the expense of a DCS, and more complex discrete applications which test the upper boundaries of PAC capability. The victims within this chasm have been left to suffer either with the inefficiencies of programming and maintaining a PAC in an overly-complex application, or with the extra costs of a DCS which is overkill for the tasks at hand.
Is it possible to achieve the same key functions of a DCS with the cost advantages of a PAC?
Join Control Engineering and Schneider Electric for this free webinar that will explore how to get the best of both the PAC and DCS features and benefits through a single hybrid control system.
During this webcast, Robb Dussault and Frank Prendergast of Schneider Electric will discuss:
- The evolution of Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) to PACs
- Advantages of a Distributed Control System (DCS)
- Discovering Schneider Electric (who we are today and available solutions)
- Tips on what to look for in a controls vendor
- Robb Dussault, Offer Marketing Manager - Industrial Automation Solutions, Schneider Electric
- Frank Prendergast, System Architect, Schneider Electric
- Moderator: Mark T. Hoske, Content Manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media