Automation Fair: Pharma engineer rates PLC system over DCS
Baltimore, MD —An Eli Lilly engineer gave a slight advantage to a programmable logic controller (PLC-based) system compared to a distributed control system (DCS) in a presentation made at a recent media event. The PLC versus DCS analysis was part of 'Manufacturing Perspectives,' Rockwell Automation 's educational forum held the day before its Automation Fair , which took place last week. Some 90 journalists, half from outside the United States, including editors from Control Engineering , Control Engineering Asia , Control Engineering China , and Control Engineering Poland , attended the day-long program.
The PLC versus DCS comparison showed 19 criteria and included uncensored advice for Rockwell Automation about additional improvements for its FactoryTalk and Logix systems. Even so, the analysis gave Rockwell's PLC-based system the advantage, 77 points to 73 for the DCS (1-5 points granted for each attribute).
'Two years ago, we chose a traditional DCS solution. We would not reach the same conclusion today,' said Mike Alward, lead system architect at Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, IN. Alward, no PLC stalwart, has 22 years with the pharmaceutical company, including work with systems from Foxboro, Fisher, Intellution, Wonderware, Emerson Delta V, and Aspen. A DCS rates higher, in Alward's opinion, for criteria such as advanced control, global tag and parameter accessibility, integrated hardware, and integrated software.
The PLC system scored higher in areas including scalability, cost, and available system knowledge from original equipment manufacturers and system integrators. Alward praised Rockwell Automation for controller-based alarming, upcoming add-on instruction capability, and new security. He asked the company to improve control module library functionality, make tags more global, add to plug-and-play functions, integrate system diagnostics, and integrate configuration.
For related resources visit Control Engineering Online. Click here for system integrators; connect with automation suppliers by clicking here ; or search PLC, DCS, or related terms atop any page of Control Engineering Online .
Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Mark T. Hoske , editor in chief
|Search the online Automation Integrator Guide|
Case Study Database
Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.
These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.
Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.