25 Years of D/3

PUBLISHED ON Jul 23, 2007

In 1982, three years of research and development culminated in a process control system that elegantly combined bullet-proof reliability and nearly limitless flexibility. The D/3 evolved the very definition of process control.

The potential benefits of distributed networks of industrial computers were not unknown at the time, but the D/3 was the first to harness their potential from first design principles outward. Unrestrained by the conventions of centralized mainframe architectures, the D/3 combined batch and continuous control into a fully redundant and open architecture.

The D/3 of today is many times more powerful than its first incarnation, but this balance of reliability and flexibility remains the core of its appeal to the more than 350 facilities it controls worldwide.

“The D/3 was the first truly distributed control system because its designers understood the potential of using networks, modularity, and open architectures in ways that the process control world had never seen,” notes Process Products Director Leo Charpentier. “The architecture remains the gold standard for dependable and configurable process control to this day, and is a key enabler of its unique Guaranteed Migration Path.”

“Process optimization has always meant higher levels of process efficiency at lower total costs,” adds NovaTech Automation CEO Volker Oakey, “but the specific methods of attaining those goals are constantly changing. The continuing value of the D/3 lies in its ability to seamlessly integrate the best new technologies and strategies into a comprehensive solution. New technologies like Online Upgrades and 1:6 8000 I/O redundancy optimize uptime thereby increasing production. NovaTech Automation is also at the forefront of renewable energy by applying the D/3 to ethanol, gasification and other renewable energy strategies. The next twenty-five years of D/3 will incorporate these and other state-of-the-art strategies into its continuing mission of process optimization.”