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Control System


A programmable logic controller, PLC, or programmable controller is a digital computer used for automation of typically industrial electromechanical processes, such as control of machinery on factory assembly lines, amusement rides, or light fixtures. PLCs are used in many machines, in many industries. PLCs are designed for multiple arrangements of digital and analog inputs and outputs, extended temperature ranges, immunity to electrical noise, and resistance to vibration and impact. Programs to control machine operation are typically stored in battery-backed-up or non-volatile memory. A PLC is an example of a "hard" real-time system since output results must be produced in response to input conditions within a limited time, otherwise unintended operation will result.



An emergency shutdown system for a process control system includes an emergency shutdown (ESD) valve and an associated valve actuator. An emergency shutdown (ESD) controller provides output signals to the ESD valve in the event of a failure in the process control system.



A distributed control system (DCS) is a control system for a process or plant, wherein control elements are distributed throughout the system. This is in contrast to non-distributed systems, which use a single controller at a central location.