Abstract: This paper aims at discussing possible automation and control system architectures based on fieldbus networks in which the controllers can be implemented either in a centralized or in a distributed form. An experimental setup is used to demonstrate some of the addressed issues. The control and automation architecture is composed of a supervisory system, a programmable logic controller and various other devices connected to a Foundation Fieldbus H1 network. The procedures used in the network configuration, in the process modelling and in the design and implementation of controllers are described. The specificities of each one of the considered logical organizations are also discussed. Finally, experimental results are analysed using an algorithm for the assessment of control loops to compare the performances between the centralized and the distributed implementations.
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