Modern Distributed Control Systems (DCS): Practical Applications & Troubleshooting

ICTD International Centre for Training and Development

How long?

  • 5 days
  • in person

ICTD International Centre for Training and Development


Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Read more about Information Technology

Information technology is at the heart of any process connected to utilizing computers and communication systems. It is a quite broad term that is use...


Comprehensive course analysis

Unbiased reviews from past participants
Global companies alumni of this course worked for
Positions of participants who took this course
Countries where most past participants are from
Individual needs analysis

Who should attend

This course is intended for all Process Control Engineers and Technicians, Process Control Designers and Systems Engineers, Instrumentation and control system engineers, Automation Engineers, Instrumentation Technologists and Engineers, Operations Managers, Production Engineers, Plant Engineers, Maintenance Engineers and supervisors, IT Managers working with Networks, Systems engineers, Process Engineers, Electrical engineers, Project engineers, Design engineers, Electrical and instrumentation Supervisors and technicians as well as those involved in the design, implementation and upgrading of industrial control systems who wish to gain a solid introduction to Distributed Control Systems (DCS’s).

About the course

This 5 days course will cover the practical applications of the modern distributed control system (DCS). Whilst all control systems are distributed to a certain extent today and there is a definite merging of the concepts of DCS, Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) and SCADA and despite the rapid growth in the use of PLC’s and SCADA systems, some of the advantages of a DCS can still be said to be:

Integrity: The expected process down-time caused by a conventional DCS is significantly less than with using a SCADA/PLC. One incident in a refinery can cost more than the difference in price between a DCS and SCADA/PLC. Reasons for this would include redundancy, fault tolerance, diagnostic alarming on I/O errors, system design, and others.

Engineering time: A small SCADA/PLC system is easy to design and configure. As the system grows bigger, the effort involved to properly design and configure the system grows exponentially, and also the risks that things can go wrong. To design and implement a single loop PID controller in a SCADA/PLC is easy and quick. To design and implement the base layer control on a refinery using a SCADA/PLC can be an absolute nightmare.

This workshop examines all these issues and gives suggestions in dealing with them and whilst be no means exhaustive provides an excellent starting point for you in working with DCS’s.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, the delegates will be able to:

  • A solid understanding of the architecture & operation of Distributed Control systems
  • A solid understanding of the design of a simple DCS system
  • Ability to design the overall DCS and process control system
  • Better specification of planned DCS’s
  • Improved process performance for your plant
  • Ability to specify, select and install DCS systems
  • Understanding of the key ergonomic issues in design of operator displays
  • Ability to detail the key trends underpinning modern Distributed Control Systems
  • Apply advanced control strategies to your plant control system
  • More effective use of your existing DCS process control capabilities
  • Design and create a consistent and effective alarm philosophy for your installation
  • Recognize and deal with human problems in interfacing to alarm systems
  • Benchmark your alarm system performance

## Course Outline

Day 1

Review of classic computer control with analog system.

  • Supervisory set point control
  • Direct Digital Control
  • Computer /Manual & Computer /Manual /Automatic Station
  • Pulse count / pulse Duration computer I/Q

Evolution to DCS

  • DCS versus SCADA and PLC System
  • The microprocessor and networking technologies

Day 2

Basic DCS Architecture

  • Levels of communication
  • Controllers, I/Q
  • Operator consoles (HMI)
  • Security (redundancy, single loop integrity, etc.
  • Error checking and reporting

Network technologies

  • Polling, Token Ring
  • Exception Reporting
  • Others

Day 3


  • Basic Control
  • Basic Control Theory
  • Types of DCS controller Single / Dual loop Multi loop
  • Redundancy Schemes One for none for one
  • Memory, Function Code libraries
  • Multi-Tasking, scanning priorities, rates
  • I/Q Data bus control
  • Peer to peer communication
  • Communication with HMI
  • Control Algorithms, function codes
  • Tag Driven vs. Address Driven systems
  • Configuration Tools
  • Controllers Maintenance
  • Controllers Troubleshooting & Repair

Process Control Units

  • I/Q Backplanes
  • Communication Modules
  • Network Redundancy
  • I/Q Types
  • I/Q Redundancy
  • Intrinsic Safety Active & passive barriers Other techniques

Day 4

Operator Interface (HMI)

  • Process Display
  • Graphic Displays
  • Faceplate Displays
  • Trend Displays
  • Alarm Displays
  • Historical Displays Operator Keyboards
  • Layout, functionality
  • Pointing devices Touchscreen Mouse, Trackball

Operator Interface Architecture

  • Graphical configuration
  • Historical Database
  • Trending system (Real time, historical)
  • Scanning, polling, exception reports
  • Open system ( Upper network connection)
  • Intranet
  • Internet
  • Ergonomics
  • Screen glare
  • Operator fatigue
  • Alarm management

Day 5

Interfacing to the DCS

  • Computer Interface
  • Data throughput rates
  • Communication standards Drivers
  • PLC Interfaces Drivers OPC Standard Types of data
  • Batch controller interfacing Recipes Batch languages Partitioning between computer and controller (recipe storage)
  • Power system integrity Configuration retention ( Nvram, eaprom, eprom, lithium cells) Initialization, synchronization of system After loss of the power

System diagnostics Error message Problem isolation

System diagnostics

Future DCS evolution and Information Technology convergence

Field controllers, Wireless communication

Course Methodology

A variety of methodologies will be used during the course that includes:

  • (30%) Based on Case Studies
  • (30%) Techniques
  • (30%) Role Play
  • (10%) Concepts
  • Pre-test and Post-test
  • Variety of Learning Methods
  • Lectures
  • Case Studies and Self Questionaires
  • Group Work
  • Discussion
  • Presentation

Videos and materials

Modern Distributed Control Systems (DCS): Practical Applications & Troubleshooting at ICTD International Centre for Training and Development

From  $3,300
Add coaching to your course booking

Coaching can personalize and deepen learning for you and your organization.

Something went wrong. We're trying to fix this error.

Thank you for your application

We will contact the provider to ensure that seats are available and, if there is an admissions process, that you satisfy any requirements or prerequisites.

We may ask you for additional information.

To finalize your enrollment we will be in touch shortly.


Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Read more about Information Technology

A large part of the courses provides basic information so the students are not required to have any IT qualifications before enrolling. Most of the IT learning programs are also broken down into specific areas of interest, such as systems analysis, a...

Because of COVID-19, many providers are cancelling or postponing in-person programs or providing online participation options.

We are happy to help you find a suitable online alternative.