A process control system ( DCS), Distributed Control System(DCS), is a digitally operating industrial control system( ICS) that controls distributed control loops in industrial plants or machines. It fulfills the tasks of process control technology.
A distributed control system differs from a central control system in that each individual control circuit can execute its own control. The individual control circuits are autonomous and interconnected via a communication network.
Process control systems are used to control industrial processes and improve their safety and reliability. They are used in many industrial systems. In chemical production processes and petrochemical plants, in electricity and nuclear power plants, in food production and water treatment plants, and in many other industrial facilities. Process control technology is functionally similar to SCADA network control technology, where data is collected, stored and analyzed in real time. Both concepts operate with a remote control center. Process control systems must be real-time capable, also ensure high availability and support the interoperability of different components.