Overview of PLC/DCS


Over the past decade, the functionality of different control systems has been merging. Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) now have capabilities once found only in Distributed Control Systems (DCSs), while a DCS can handle many functions previously thought more appropriate for PLCs. So what’s the difference between the two control approaches, where’s the dividing line and are there still reasons to choose one over the other?


This evening will be a dynamic presentation on the similarities and differences between Distributed Control System (DCS) and Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) systems. This presentation will provide advantages and disadvantages between the two systems, as well as demonstrate practical implications.


The evening will begin with a brief history of Automation and then show how field buses, networking and security work depending upon the system. A detailed overview will be followed by a lively Q&A session.


Please note the date change from June 6th to June 13th.



»» 5:15 Registration 

»» 6:00 Introduction 

»» 6:15 Presentation 

»» 7:00 Supper/Light snack 

»» 8:15 Q&A 

»» 8:30 Networking

»» 9:00 Doors close

  Date and Time




  • 1301 16 Ave NW, Calgary, AB
  • Calgary, Alberta
  • Canada
  • Building: Johnson-Cobbe Energy Centre
  • Room Number: KA-127

Staticmap?size=250x200&sensor=false&zoom=14&markers=51.0663333%2c 114
  • Starts 12 May 2017 12:00 AM
  • Ends 13 June 2017 12:00 AM
  • All times are Canada/Mountain
  • 8 spaces left!
  • Admission fee ?
  • Register


Mark Tarrant, SAIT Instructor

Mark Tarrant, SAIT Instructor

Mr. Mark Tarrant, RSE, FCP, FCTS, has been automation professional for 28 years, working in various industries such as Oil & Gas, Pulp & Paper, Co-Generation, and Mining, and both domestically and overseas. Currently, Mr. Tarrant is the lead DCS instructor at SAIT-Polytechnic for the Industrial Instrumentation Engineering Technology (IIET) grant program, at the MacPhail School of Energy and has been for the last 10 years. Mark brings to his students a first-hand breadth and depth teaching experience from commissioning and maintaining numerous automation projects in his career. These projects include lead technical services utilizing SCADA, PLC’S, RTU’s, and is a DCS systems specialist.

Digital protocols of all industrial flavors are Mark’s passion.

Russ Ritchie, SAIT Instructor

Russ Ritchie, SAIT Instructor

Mr. Russ Ritchie possesses over 25 years of industrial experience on electrical, measurement, instrumentation, and automation systems. His experience includes the seamless integration of automation system, from the field devices to the corporate historian, ensuring that it has long-term safety, maintainability, reliability and accuracy. Mr. Ritchie also has expertise in process measurement and MARP/EPAP (with attention to meter compensation and verification), Alarm management/rationalization, Asset management, and Overall facility safety (HAZOP/LOPA/SIS) - thoughtful engineering and installations, with attention to the ongoing operational requirements to ensuring long-term facility safety.