Every Day Changes

Dec. 12, 2008
Looking at Three Technologies That Have Matured In Recent years—Distributed Control Systems (DCSs), Control Software and Process Analyzers
By Katherine Bonfante, Managing Editor, Digital Media

Technology is always changing and advancing. Being aware of all the technological changes in the automation industry is similar to experiencing the changes a child goes through when leaving childhood and entering adolescence. To better manage days filled with surprising changes, process automation professionals can visit our new career resource, Control Connection, at

And, because many job shifts are fueled by technological changes, I also wanted to touch on three technologies that have matured a lot in recent years—distributed control systems (DCSs), control software and process analyzers. I’ve been surfing our online database, looking for articles that talk about the latest innovations in these technologies and also provide an overview of them.

For DCSs, I recommend reading executive editor Jim Montague’s  “The DCS Spirit Lives On Everywhere," which talks about how these systems have evolved. DCSs used to be dinosaurs, but this is no longer true. Their architectures have developed into open, interoperable and digital networks of intelligent components, which allow developers to modify DCSs into more flexible, wireless and scalable solutions for smaller applications.

Also this year, Control performed market intelligence video reports, including one that focused on process control software. We surveyed our readers and received more than 330 responses. We wanted to learn how end users employ 12 different process control systems, and they revealed some interesting attitudes. Watch this market intelligent report, and find out how end users employ some process control systems and why they aren’t using some other systems.

Another technology we dedicated a lot of time this year was process analyzers. Watch another of our market intelligence reports, “Where’s PAT?,” and find out what users in the process industries have to say about how and where Process Analyzer Technology (PAT) finds a place in their operations. In this video report, participants reported they often first use PAT to help meet regulatory requirements and then find other uses for it. See the results of our Marketing Intelligence Report on PAT.

As I said before, technology is always changing, and I’m sure 2009 will bring even more surprises. So, stay tuned and come back to each month. We’ll keep you up-to-date on our industry’s advances. 

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