ADVANCED PROCESS CONTROL
Achieve optimum dynamic performance
Industrial processes are complex and inherently difficult to control and optimize. Most are subject to persistent, unpredictable disturbances, especially in upstream industries such as oil and gas or mining, where the raw material is variable and the process is always undergoing change. Occasionally, disturbances may be large and abrupt, requiring operator intervention to ensure a stable response.
Persistent or frequent disturbances make the achievement of a single optimum operating point impossible and a dynamic, multi-variable control strategy is required to ensure the process deals with disturbances in a safe and robust manner, while also maximising operational performance to the extent possible given the constraints.
Most distributed control systems (DCS) have the capability to support advanced process control (APC) technology such as model-predictive control (MPC). However, they are not common in practice and maintaining a functioning APC application requires dedicated support and specialist expertise.
With a solid understanding of process control theory (university level) and a high level of process knowledge across a wide range of industries, I am able to lead the identification, design, installation and testing of APC. In addition, my background as a management consultant gives me the skills to engage, coach, and train the people necessary to ensure the implementation is a success and the benefits are sustained in the long run.
WHY IS APC NOT COMMON?
Successful APC requires:
A solid foundation of well-maintained instrumentation and a well-tuned regulatory control layer. This requires dedicated, site-based technical resources.
Sophisticated mathematical models that in most cases can only be identified by carrying out response tests with the physical process.
May require integration between process and business information systems. Such integrations are costly and difficult to maintain.
Thorough understanding of both control theory and the dynamic behaviour of the process. Involvement of process operators, engineers, and management is essential to ensure sustainable results.
Quantification of the business case and rigorous evaluation of the actual benefits achieved.