Claimed to be programmable logic controllers (PLCs) that act like distributed control systems (DCSs), various people define hybrid systems differently: by functions, by industries served, by architecture, and even by no label at all. As a result, there is still confusion about the label “Hybrid Systems.” This paper aims to explore these issues briefly and to help understand and reduce confusion about these relatively recent hybrid systems, which are now also being called “Programmable Automation Controls” (PAC).
The paper compares DCSs, PLCs, centralized computer systems, use of industrial professional (personal) computers, original hybrid control systems, current hybrid control systems, evolution to PAC and shows evolution of new programming standards.
Hybrid control systems can readily become part of the overall plant productivity. This is a stepping‐stone towards complete enterprise control systems.
No small part of this capability is the emerging standard for easy consistent configuration of hybrid systems, regardless of the vendor who supplies them.
Because of the emerging configuration standard, the hybrid system can be re‐configured as needed due to plant changes or market swing. This provides the user with “agile manufacturing.”
More than a “cheap DCS,” these hybrid control systems can be an inexpensive stepping‐stone towards managing the business as it was meant to be managed. What is important is that these elements can be introduced in manageable increments to meet tight budgets.
CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited