An Overview of Distributed Control Systems

October 2022

A distributed control system (DCS) is a computerized control system for a process that typically has numerous control loops and autonomous controllers scattered throughout the system without any supervision from a central operator. An oil refinery might serve as an illustration of a DCS system because there are numerous closed-loop flow controllers and other control systems there that are used to operate valves to achieve predetermined values.

Future of DCS in Developing Nations

Growing power generation capacity, particularly in developing countries, is one of the main factors driving the DCS market. The production of power has increased because of industrialization and rapid population development. Distributed control systems operate several power generation components and procedures, including boiler side valves, fans, turbine valves, and boiler coal fire. Municipal investment has also increased to keep up with the expanding urban population shift.

With the widespread use of systems like DCS, SCADA, and PLC, technology has long prepared the way for enhancing the manufacturing processes in mature industries like oil & gas, power, chemicals, and metals & mining. Through automation solutions, the oil and gas sector can redefine its scope. Following the 2014 oil price collapse, short-term budgets and investments attract stakeholders looking to make money and improve their market position. Most oil and gas firms have started using DCS to speed up the exploration and production processes.

Cons of Distributed Control system

A strategic cooperation agreement was announced in May 2021 by GE Renewable Energy, and Despite being organized, all information and data are concealed behind the CRT. Consequently, a professional operator is needed. Decisions in an emergency must be made independently because there are few operators in the control room.

The DCS market has potential in developing nations. Developing nations are becoming a center of opportunity for many needs, including the market for distributed control systems. As a result, the development of infrastructure and the advent of intelligent cities offer substantial opportunities for the DCS market participants to grow in the future.

Oil and Gas Industry: Hyping up the DCS Markets

Oil and gas, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, chemicals, and power generation are vital industries using distributed control systems. With a market share of 28.2% in 2020, the oil & gas category dominated the distributed control systems market globally, and it is anticipated that this dominance will last during the forecast period.

However, Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions Corporation will localize critical steps in producing GE's Haliade-X offshore wind turbine and promote its national commercialization.

Also, Yokogawa Electric Corporation finalized the purchase of all of Fluid Imaging Technologies, Inc.'s shares in April 2020. The addition of Fluid Imaging Technologies to the Yokogawa Group will allow the company to increase the range of cell observation solutions available through its life innovation business.


In extensive manufacturing processes where hundreds of control loops must be monitored in real-time, distributed control systems are critical. Engineers cannot manually supervise this vast number of separate systems, necessitating an automated central system. Applications like production scheduling, preventative maintenance scheduling, and information interchange are made possible by the DCS.

A DCS makes it easier for your subsystems to be distributed geographically.

However, automation controls and remote monitoring systems are used in many industrial plants to achieve quality standards because they decrease human error, which improves quality and efficiency. These elements are accelerating the use of distributed control systems across various industries.

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