What is a distributed control system? What does SCADA mean?
A distributed control system (DCS) is a type of controller, hardware and software, that connects to sensors and actuators in continuous, batch or hybrid operations to help humans understand, monitor, and change what's happening in the plant or facility. The word distributed is used because the control elements can be spread out over the process, rather than centralized in one location, though a DCS often still has a control room. DCS and process control system (PCS) are often used as synonyms. SCADA stands for supervisory control and data acquisition and can refer to the software and hardware that serve as the control system and/or interface between the control system and humans. Controllers are industrial computers that connect to sensors and actuators in discrete, continuous, batch or hybrid operations to help humans understand, monitor, and change what's happening in the plant or facility. Controllers can have vendor-specific, proprietary programming software that may follow some industry standards and still be non-interoperable with other controllers. Standards efforts toward interoperability continue.
There’s a big difference between a phased process control system migration and just putting delaying the problem of control system obsolescence. Those who don’t plan for distributed control system (DCS) obsolescence will see options narrow.