At SG Controls we are continually optimising processes & encounter many different automation systems. Some of our clients are using PLC/SCADA platforms and are happy with their flexibility, speed and functionality whilst others opt for DCS appreciating its stable framework, extensive mathematical and process control functionality housed in the standard library.

As many PLC and SCADA manufacturers are offering products that look and feel more like DCS systems and DCS systems are offering more flexibility to the formerly rigid structure, the age long debate of which offers the best solution persists.

What are your issues? How have you cured problems and are you completely happy with your PLC or DCS?

Architecturally, the two systems are now very similar to each other and both provide a sound solution in terms of operational requirements, both offer sophisticated analogue control abilities, specialised I/O cards and PID functionality. The manufacturers claim both offer excellent HMI functionality, data management and configuration tools along with efficient alarm management and a single tag database.

Previously the view of many was that the integration of various vendor packages to an existing plant may be cumbersome and expensive with a DCS whilst PLC systems facilitate this type of integration with relative ease, is this still the case or can DCS also achieve this flexibility?

Can a PLC solution align with the DCS capabilities processing large IO counts and complicated algorithms? Are maintenance and upgrade costs still a huge problem with DCS installed plants as the only support would be from the vendor? SG Controls would like views and experiences of past and current issues, how you have cured the problems and are completely happy with your PLC or DCS? Which PLC or DCS platform would you recommend after good and bad experiences? Ultimately we would like to establish who currently is the front runner as both claim they now are competitive both technically and financially.

To enter into the draw, simply ‘Like’ our business page and give your opinion on this long standing debate.

The prize includes 2 tickets to the Perth Melbourne Cup Day 2014 and complimentary food and drinks at the venue.

The winner will be drawn on the 24/10/14 so be sure to answer before then.