Distributed Control Systems

As the knowledge of the physiology and reaction kinetics of biochemical processes has progressed and the measurement systems for monitoring their activity has improved, the need for sophisticated systems able to execute coordinated control strategies including batch has increased. Fortunately the state of the art of control systems has rapidly evolved to the point where all of the control strategies described above can be embodied in a Distributed Control System (DCS), see Fig. 17. This transformation has been facilitated to a great extent by the technology breakthroughs in computer, communications, and software technology.

Distributed control systems are organized into five subsystems.

Process interface, which is responsible for the collection of process data from measurement instruments and the issuing of signals to actuating devices such as pumps, motors and valves.

Process control, which is responsible for translating the information collected from the process interface subsystem and determining the signals to be sent to the process interface subsystem based on preprogrammed algorithms and rules set in its memory.

Process operations, which is responsible for communicating with operations personnel at all levels including operator displays, alarms, trends of process variables and activities, summary reports, and operational instructions and guidelines. It also tracks process operations and product batch lots.


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