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ABB retains no. 1 global market position in Distributed Control Systems (DCS)

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Customer focus, digital innovation and an extensive service network were drivers for ABB’s leadership position in Distributed Control Systems (DCS) for the 22nd consecutive year, according to the ARC Advisory Group

December 2021: Since its introduction more than four decades ago, the distributed control system (DCS) – a digital platform for automated control and operation of plants and processes has sat at the heart of process and energy industries. As industry undergoes digital transformation, the DCS continues to be key to ensuring safe, efficient and reliable operations, enabling the collection of valuable data and analytics for realtime insights.

 “ABB leads the field in DCS thanks to its domain knowledge in multiple industries, extensive service network, a continued investment in developing technology, loyal customers and digital solutions that meet rapidly changing customer requirements.” Said Bernhard Eschermann, Chief Technology Officer, ABB Process Automation.  “Much of our development is focused on advancing technology such as Modular Automation, Select I/O and secure Edge integrated solutions which address new process and business challenges while protecting investments our customers have already made in their installed DCS systems.  We believe these type of solutions to be some of the catalysts needed for the successful implementation of Industrial IoT and agile navigation to Industry 4.0.”

Futurproofing plants through digital evolution

The recent launch of the latest version of ABB Ability™ System 800xA flagship DCS represents an evolution for automated control and plant operations of tomorrow. By increasing industry collaboration, the latest version of ABB’s flagship DCS enables decision makers to futureproof their plants. In addition, ABB Ability™ Symphony Plus, is an industry leader in the power, water and waste water markets and ABB’s Freelance offering  is tailor-made for the hybrid market.

DCS plays a key role within Industry 4.0 and representing a global market valued at more than $14 billion.


Distributed Control Systems are the heart of plant-level digitalization. They ensur high availability of the production processes, thus maximizing asset utilization, increasing process efficiency and ensuring product quality. DCS is key to the energy and the fourth industrial revolution, enabling safe, smart and sustainable production of goods that enhance the day-to-day lives of people around the world.

“Our industry-leading technology integrates the automation of the power and process side of operations – two traditionally separate domains,” said Peter Terwiesch, President, ABB Process Automation. “The industries that we serve require reliable power, while working on improving the sustainability of their operations. Integration of power and process automation enables a higher share of inherently more volatile renewable sources in their energy mix – without compromising reliability.”

ARC’s report also references ABB Ability™, ABB’s unified, cross-industry portfolio of digital solutions, which includes more than 170 Industrial Internet solutions and an Industrial Internet technology platform and cloud infrastructure. Drawing on insights across over 20 industries and more than 40 years of experience in digital technology, ABB Ability™ helps customers to develop new processes and advance existing ones by providing insights and optimizing planning and controls for real-time operations. These insights can then be fed into control systems like ABB Ability™ System 800xA and ABB Ability™ Symphony Plus to improve key performance metrics of plants and assets. With an installed base of 35,000 DCS systems across more than 100 countries ABB  is a trusted leader in creating digital solutions for customers in the industrial space. 


ABB’s leadership in DCS stems from countless ground-breaking projects around the globe.

Why ABB DCS is customers' choice number one