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Intro to Computer Based Control Systems (ebook)

Intro to Computer Based Control Systems

Introduction to Computer Based Control Systems

     While the fundamental purposes and functions of Instrumentation systems have remained the same from its inception, there is a paradigm shift, over the years, in methodology of measurement, interpretation and control, due to, continuous technological innovations. The introduction of fast and accurate digital technology and components such as analog-to-digital converters, microprocessors and transducers associated with revolutionary advancements in communication technology has replaced natural scale-up versions of manual monitoring and control to highly advanced automated process monitoring and control systems. This chapter introduces the concepts of hardware, software, and communication aspects of computer aided measurement and control systems and discusses techno-commercial benefits of such systems for its application in process industries.

Role of computers in measurement and (process) control

     The development of digital computer technology has, extensively increased the use of computers for measurement and control application. The basic objective of computer based measurement and control is to acquire the information from field devices (input), and compute a logical decision to manipulate the material and energy flow of given process in a desired way to get optimal output. The expectations from a process computer compared to a general purpose computer is primarily in terms of response time, computing power, flexibility and fault tolerance, which are need to be rigid and reliable; moreover, the control of the process has to be carried out in real-time. Other difficulties encountered, mostly for process computers is to provide a solution to the problem of complexity, flexibility, and geographical separation of process elements (plant equipment) which are to be operated in a controlled manner.

Hierarchical Computer Control Systems 

     As the name implies, in this type of Systems there is hierarchy of computers connected on a network with each performing distinct functions. In this type of control, the upper level computers depend on lower level devices for process data, and the lower level systems depend upon the higher level systems for more sophisticated control functions such as overall plant optimization.

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