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  Vecta on Process Automation Systems
  Process Automation Systems have evolved considerably since the user had to choose between interconnecting a number of Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) and Operator Stations or buying a sophisticated, but expensive, Distributed Control System (DCS) based on proprietary technology.
 
  Today the choice is wider, The DCS has embraced open communications and software standards and is even more powerful and less expensive than its forebears. Typically based on the Unix operating systems it remains an expensive option for many users.

At the other end of the scale, PLCs, dynamics controllers, networking components and PCs have become much cheaper so that automation is accessible to almost any plant owner.

In the middle, Windows-based offerings have emerged from most suppliers and, when combined with PLC hardware, have been applied very successfully to small and medium-scale process plants, especially those running batch operations where the scale often does not justify a DCS approach.

 
Managers should seriously consider Windows-based systems, even when they have previously used DCS or PLC. These systems can be very cost-effective for small and medium size plants, especially those running batch operations. They do have weaknesses; their engineering performance is usually not as good as purchasers presume and vendor support is some way short of making up for this deficit. However their low cost and potential ease of integration with enterprise-level systems go some way to offset this disadvantage. They also often need additional layers in order to integrate them closely with business management systems.
 

Our Process Automation Experts Network is dedicated to exploring developments in process automation and enterprise integration. This involves projecting the evolution of enterprise and plant level functionality and identifying strategic business needs. It also requires identifying issues related to supplier and partner selection.

 

Our extended network ensures we have the expertise to help you solve just about any business or technology problem.

 
What is your challenge? Andy.Booth@vecta5.com
 

Vecta Consulting Limited, Mulberry House, 2 The Spinney,
Cottenham, CAMBRIDGE, CB24 8RN

Tel: +44 (0) 1954 250222, Fax: +44 (0) 1954 252333

2001-2013 Vecta Consulting Limited

   

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