Archive: Oct 2019

Distributed Control Systems

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Distributed Control Systems

A distributed control system (DCS) acts as the central brain of an industrial facility. It is a central computer that autonomously coordinates the many subsystems (such as sensors and controllers) located around a plant in real-time. DCS are particularly important for controlling complex processes or for large continuous manufacturing plants where top-down control and coordination is vital for efficiency.  

How Does a Distributed Control System Work?

Throughout any plant, subsystems such as sensors or data collection devices communicate with the distributed control system through the plant’s high-speed communication network. The DCS reads and interprets production trends to make an automated decision and send instructions to individual controllers—programmable logic controllers (PLCs)—throughout the plant.

Advantages of Distributed Control Systems

Distributed control systems are particularly necessary in very large manufacturing operations where thousands of control loops need to be monitored in real-time. Human engineers cannot manually monitor these many individual systems, which is why an automated central system is required. The DCS enables applications such as production scheduling, preventative maintenance scheduling, and information exchange.

A DCS facilitates the geographical distribution of subsystems throughout your plant. Used correctly, a DCS can greatly monitor or improve operational features such as:

  •       Efficiency
  •       Risk of subsystem failure (and isolate a failed subsystem for maintenance)
  •       Reporting
  •       Safety
  •       Security

While the main benefit of a DCS is automation, human operators can make changes, input manual overrides, or manually react to alarms or other signals as they see fit. Most DCS include dashboard displays that show trends, production values, alarms, and other information in a way that is easily readable by human operators.   

What is the Difference Between a DCS and a PLC?

The main difference between a PLC and a DCS is scale. A PLC is designed to control one or a small handful of production processes. Once programmed, a PLC will perform actions in response to various inputs to regulate industrial production. PLCs are ruggedized to facilitate operation in harsh industrial conditions, such as extreme temperatures or vibrations.

While PLCs are becoming increasingly sophisticated, they cannot run an entire plant. Instead, a distributed control system is used as the central brain that monitors, supervises and sends instructions to potentially thousands of PLCs at once. The term “orchestration” is frequently used in relation to a DCS—in the spirit of this description, the DCS acts as the conductor, while PLCs are the musicians.

Schneider Electric Distributed Control System Repair Services

Although one of the benefits of a distributed control system is the prevention of subsystem failure through monitoring and predictive maintenance, DCS systems require regular maintenance and repair to operate at optimal levels. Repairing a DCS is much more cost-effective than replacing components or the entire system.

Most DCS-related failures occur in 

  •       Input/output (I/O) modules
  •       Power supplies

Schneider Electric Industrial Repair Services leverages more than 40 years of experience in this area to quickly repair your DCS and restore your plant to operate as efficiently as possible.  

Our comprehensive service covers DCS from common legacy brands such as Westinghouse Distributed Processing Family (WDPF) and Bailey Net90. Our repairs will extend the operating life of your DCS equipment by 

  •       Replacing components identified as defective by visual inspections and static tests.
  •       Replacing components identified as unreliable because of age or condition.

Schneider Electric Industrial Repair Services performs preliminary testing followed by a dynamic test to confirm all existing problems are identified and addressed. We’re so confident in our ability to identify and fix all DCS issues that our repair work features a one-year warranty for the entire system, not just the components we repaired or replaced.

Setting the Standard in Electronics Repair

Schneider Electric Industrial Repair Services leads the industry in the repair of complex electronic systems. We strive to be nothing less than exceptional in everything we do, from our repairs and solutions to our customer service. 

Contact us to discuss the maintenance and repair needs for your distributed control system.

Industrial Electronics Repair Service

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Industrial Electronics Repair Service

Schneider Electric offers a complete industrial electronics repair service designed to keep costs down for manufacturers. With a large team of highly trained technicians and engineers with over 40 years of automation and controls repair experience, we offer a one-year warranty that covers the complete item you send us for repair—not just the parts we replace.

Using state-of-the-art technology to carry out testing, we determine which components are at high risk of failure and replace them. Our team performs both static and dynamic tests to assure reliability.  

Our industrial electronics repair service:

  • Typically costs half (or less) as much as replacing equipment
  • Keeps obsolete products reliably in service for longer
  • Removes the need for training staff to use new equipment or software
  • Avoids the need to re-engineer processes
  • Can conduct testing and certification
  • Helps avoid downtime through scheduled maintenance

AC Drive/DC Drive Repair

Schneider Electric Industrial Repair Services can handle repairs on all AC drives, DC drives, and motor controls. We handle drive repairs on equipment from all major manufacturers and load test AC drives rated from a fraction of one horsepower up to hundreds of horsepower.

We offer: 

  • Visual inspection to identify obvious issues, followed by static and dynamic testing
  • Quality repair jobs in a timely and cost-effective manner
  • Repair of products including inverters, AC drives, DC drives, Vector drives, soft starts, drive boards, motor controls, and drive subassemblies
  •  Capability to locate parts and repair equipment commonly believed to be obsolete
  • Serviceable or non-serviceable equipment certifications

PLC Repair

Programmable logic controls (PLC) are industrial computer control systems that monitor inputs and output (I/O) modules and make decisions. As the functional nervous system behind many of the applications in your facility, PLCs must always function at optimal levels to ensure consistent process efficiency.

Our expertly trained technicians:

  • Perform repairs supported by engineers who design and test equipment using programs that fully exercise the functionality and onboard memory of each PLC or I/O module
  • Replace all component parts discovered to be defective during testing
  • Replace any components likely to be unreliable due to partage or as suggested by our expansive historical repair database
  • Use dedicated test equipment designed to fully examine the full capabilities input-output modules to ensure the functionality

Distributed Control System (DCS) Repair

A Distributed Control System (DCS) is a computerized control system for a plant with a large number of control loops. Autonomous controllers are geographically distributed throughout the system, connected by a high-speed communication network and controlled through a central operator supervisory control.

At Schneider Electric Industrial Repair Services we understand that most DCS failures occur due to: 

  • Input/output (I/O) module failure
  • Power supply modules failure

Our DCS repair service offering includes: 

    • Fixing a broad range of legacy DCS equipment from well-known brands
    • Identify and replace defective components, ultimately extending the service life of the equipment
    • Repairing components that are likely to be unreliable based on our historical database and the age of the part
    • Performing a dynamic test to ensure we have addressed all the possible problems typically found in a DCS

Industrial Electronic Repair Services at Schneider Electric Repair

Repairing industrial electronics instead of replacing them with new ones is often the smartest and most cost-effective decision. Our repair services offer reliability, cost, and time savings across AC/DC drive repair, PLC repair, and DCS repair. 

Contact us for more information about our comprehensive range of repair services for all brands of industrial automation products.