ABB Remains Leader in Global Distributed Control Systems (DCS) Market for 22nd Consecutive Year

January 09, 2022 by Stephanie Leonida

According to the ARC Advisory Group, ABB remains number one in the distributed control systems (DCS) market.

ABB specializes in four business areas: electrification, process automation, motion, and, robotics and discrete automation. In December, the company announced that its distributed control system (DCS) continues to lead the way in a market worth more than $14 billion.


Control processes and automation from ABB’s DCS. Image used courtesy of ABB


In a news release from late 2021, ABB thanks its customers for the achievement, as well as its commitment to cutting-edge technologies and solutions, such as modular automation and Edge computing.


The ARC Advisory Group

The ARC Advisory Group, Inc. (ARC Group) is heralded as the leading market research and advisory firm for manufacturing, industry, infrastructure, and cities. The group was founded in 1986 and can be considered unique among other firms because of its focus on operational technologies (OT), engineering technologies (ET), and associated business trends.

For the past 40 years, the ARC Group has published an annual market analysis and forecast report concerning the DCS.


Distributed Control Systems (DCS)

A DCS is comprised of sensors, controllers, and associated computers that work together to supervise the operation of large, complex plants and processes. The various elements of a DCS are designed to share data and computations across several computers to optimize process performance.

A DCS can involve one or more computers (processors) or virtual machines (VM) running on the same physical location. The processors communicate through an input/output (I/O) device, usually Ethernet-based.

The processors can be networked together using either local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN) technology. Sharing the same physical location provides faster data transfers among processors, improving plant operations efficiency.


Technicians working in an industrial facility. Image used courtesy of ABB


DCS and automation is the key enabler of digital transformation in many organizations. It solves today’s digital transformation challenges by connecting people, processes, and technology. This system allows information technology (IT) to control production processes, such as assembly lines and machine tools, centralized by a single command center or many dispersed locations for each process.


ABB’s Ability System 800xA

Earlier this year, ABB released its Ability System 800xA. This system functions as an electrical control system, safety system, DCS, and collaboration enabler. ABB’s latest version system (6.1.1) has been released and serves to optimize the implementation and management of digital solutions.

System 800xA 6.1.1 provides options concerning OPC UA connectivity to promote secure collaboration between systems. The 800xA Publisher system extension helps users choose data to stream to ABB Ability Genix Industrial Analytics and AI Suite with greater security and ease.

Data is made available for various applications through the edge or cloud. System 800xA 6.1.1 also provides users with a standard-compliant “plug and produce” environment that helps to improve production flexibility and competitiveness through modular automation orchestration.

The achievement shows that ABB continues adapting to its environment. As new technology arises, it should be implemented into all aspects of the control system—from the control room to the sensors.

Do you use ABB’s DCS? If not, what do you use and why?