At a particular stage of your manufacturing business, you may realize that all the data is collected manually and saved on the computer is not enough already. Moreover, you may also be unsatisfied with business applications that lack the functions. Thus, the time is high for the new step — implementing more complex Industrial Control Systems. And, if you are not familiar with it yet, then this article will reveal what is it and what it used for.
What Is Industrial Control Systems?
The Industrial Control Systems (ICS) is a universal term that is used for describing a bunch of industrial control components that are embedded at a factory for delivering higher effectiveness in a shorter period of time by quality control of electronic tasks. According to the type of industry, purpose, and a potential manufacturing volume the number and type of industrial control software and equipment may vary greatly. Subsequently, there are a few kinds of industrial process control system, but only a few are the most relevant and often utilized.
What Types Of Industrial Control Systems Are There?
As it was already mentioned, there exist several types of such a complicated industrial machine control. Let’s have a look at each of them more closely.
- Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system (also known as SCADA) is the main software that is responsible for supervising all the Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC for short) and special devices that perform all the manufacturing steps. Basically, SCADA receives all the inputs and outputs from the in-field devices, and, thanks to the integrated Human Machine Interface, on that basis, sends the immediate decision to them. In such way, it controls the whole manufacturing process. Meanwhile, it minimizes human interference and increases the final product quality. It’s perfect for industries that have multiple components spread over long distances.
- Distributed Control Systems (DCS) is a good way to monitor and supervise its components that are situated close to each other of those that are in one place simultaneously. Such solutions allow sending required adjustments to be done to a particular device that is one among the numerous similar ones in one loop. For instance, telling how the valve should perform taking into account the recent exponents from other components. A distributed control system for industrial automation is significant instrumentation that minimizes potential issues and ensures the correct work of the whole system. The major users of DCS are electrical, chemical, water supply and wastewater industries, etc.
- A Hybrid of SCADA and DCS is also possible. Such a solution is embedded in case if all the possibilities of a particular type don’t fully meet the requirements of a particular industry. Thus, there can be employed and combined only a few technologies from SCADA and DCS simultaneously.
What Components of Industrial Control Systems Can Be?
In fact, the whole process can’t perform nicely without proper design before it is installed. However, the most crucial detail in this complex chain of delivering high-quality products is its components. So let’s figure out, what kind of components are there.
- The most significant component of industrial automation and control systems is a combination of Operational Technologies (OT), which is used for controlling the statuses of physical industrial control devices in one loop, with Informational Technologies (IT) that makes control automation much easier. The drawback of such lieu is dramatic vulnerability. Thus, they require proper security solutions.
- Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) is another important component that is often utilized in industrial automation control systems. It is a piece of hardware that can process control automation data received from other components.
- Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) is a field device that is controlled by a microprocessor and designed for receiving and sending commands from/to Master Terminal Unit (MTU).
- The master Terminal Unit (MTU) is a device that is responsible for issuing the commands for RTUs that are in one chain.
- Control Server is hosting for control automation system software and is capable of communicating with other automatic control devices that comply with commands received from supervising ones.
There were not mentioned all the industrial automation and control components, but only the most common ones. The selection and combination with other components vary from industry to industry.
For sure, as a potential user of such a complicated industrial control & automation system, you may be confused by lots of strange definitions and information about that. However, you shouldn’t deeply understand how it works rather find a trustworthy contractor who can do it for you from a to z. In particular, Axonim company is an expert in the field of industrial control engineering and automation control panel design. Thus, you can be confident with a final result dealing with Axonim company.
Read in Russian: разработка электронных устройств