Additional Opportunity Assessment Questions
Increase Benefits in all areas a. Do you have loops not running in the highest design mode (e.g., auto, cascade, supervisory) because of oscillations, poor control, upsets? Look for improvement by the use of auto tuners, gain scheduling, fast reproducible measurements, better loop designs, and negligible valve stick-slip. b. Do you have upsets (bumps) on critical process parameters from process interactions? Look for model predictive control to decouple and anticipate upsets. c. Do you have upsets from cycling back and forth across a split range point? Look for ways to eliminate split range or make transitions smoother with model predictive control. d. Do you have a tool to define correlations and interactions in systems? Install a performance monitoring-system and advanced data-analysis tools. e. Do you have bad measurements that you can't rely on? Improve measurements by using advanced technologies. Calculate batch averages and alert on deviations. (e.g., Don't rely on pH for endpoint detection if curve is different from previous good batches.) f. Do you have areas you can't control because they are hard to measure? Calculate property estimators from other measurements and design new control schemes.
g. On continuous processes, do you have ratios installed on related flow loops or is everything set individually based on max feed rates? Ratio control can be installed on wastewater409
)? Compare plant systems to the lab (theoretical) and look for differences. don't try to control the variable itself but use a RATE calculation for the loop PV and SP to control the rate of rise. generate fewer byproducts. c. does it take a long time for the variable to really start to move and once moving does it go into an overshoot (or undershoot)? Use a headstart by putting the valve fully open or closed in the beginning and bring only into control when coming close to the desired set point. other parameters (temperatures. 3. Reduce energy and utilities a. oil. or reduce cycle time? d. b. 2. waste waters and big motors switched off on temporary shutdowns? Implement systems that will shut off these systems automatically on temporary and other shutdowns. Do you run your recovery systems just high enough to recover products at the strengths you need to reuse them? Higher purity will require more energy and create more effluent.. improve quality and yield. Are steam. utilities. Do you have sequential batch loads in your reactors? Would parallel feed additions or ratio control improve reaction. i. Do you have manually set purge or vent flows? Look for ways to control them and ratio them to product flows. The new loop can be used as an override controller where a signal selector chooses the safest controller output. agitation. additives (soap. b. can you look for other sequences. h. anti foam)-to-filter or column-feed rate. steam-to-column or reactor-feed rate. Improve yields a. Redesign plant system to match lab situation as close as possible.410
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to-feed rate. Would more accurate endpoint detection improve yield or quality? Consider rate-of-change indication of one or more measurements after a designated batch time or feed total as an endpoint indicator. etc. Calculate and control minimum required purge or vent rates. Do you run dryer temperatures just high enough with good controls or do you run always well above critical "wet"
. heat-up or cooling rates)? If so. In the areas where byproducts are made.g. e. Are you interested in controlling rate of change of a variable (e. On set point changes. hold times.
overpressures etc.g.g. Could you reduce energy sources (e. replacing or cleaning equipment?
. c. boiler pressure) until user valves reach maximum controllable position? Consider a valve-position controller to optimize use. 6. c. Do you have maintenance costs due to poor operation (e.)? Automate startup procedures and best operating practices for equipment.g. etc. Do you blow rupture discs and activate relief valves due to manual disoperation or bad control systems? Use better control and automate to reduce safety risk and possible down time. Did you think about reusing your waste streams back into your process? Hot water and condensate can be reused for heating purposes or as reactor ingredients. rework amounts. Could smoother control (reduced thermal and pressure shocks) or tighter control (less byproduct and contamination) increase time between repairing. analyzed. d.. bad mixing) and adjust controls to reduce byproducts? 5.. refrigeration unit temperature. hot spots on heating coils. b. Reduce operating cost a. compressor pressure. poor agitation. b. and indicated online? Give operator information on yields.. Make operator aware to keep operating costs under control. Are critical quality and economic variables calculated. Reduce maintenance cost a. Reduce effluent a. overloaded.Additional Opportunity Assessment Questions
temperature? Install better controls (feedforward from feed) and adjust set points for lower energy usages.Appendix A . Can you downsize over-designed pumps and motors? Can you eliminate flow valves with variable-frequency drives for motors? 4. pumps cavitating. Can you re-schedule your operations better in time so you can send people to other departments or use operators to help on maintenance during shutdown periods? c. energy consumption and production rates. Can you reuse second waste waters as first waste water for filtering your products? When byproducts are created can you think about the cause (e. Can you automate fieldwork to reduce the manpower needed to operate your plant? b.
Switch off reset into constraint direction to run closer. Does the operator have easy access to information when something goes wrong? Can he do his troubleshooting when things fail? Provide help displays with dynamic information and instructions on what to do to correct.
. feedforward. rate-of-change control. up-to-date and easily accessible? Use unique process parameter descriptions and units to avoid confusing the operator at any time. Can you measure or calculate constraints from existing measurements? Once measurable. b. dead-time compensators.. Do you produce rework because the operator sometimes makes human mistakes? Look for automation in the areas where most mistakes are being made. Do you automatically capture product parameter settings when quality is good? Use last-run data on startups to compare and find ideal settings for each product. b.
Improve product quality a. b. it is controllable. How close are you running to constraints (critical reaction temperatures. feed rates. Are all your operating instructions clear.)? Use advanced control to run closer to or "ride" constraints. Use advanced alarm handling and logging.
10. valve constraint controllers. b.
Reduce lab cost a. Can you install in-line analyzers and control to reduce the number of lab analyses? It will also reduce cycle time if you don't have to wait for lab results.
9. don't want "Low Flow" alarm when pump is stopped). Can you reduce the number of lab analyses by improved endpoint detections and automation resulting in more consistency? Analyze lab results using SPC and adjust frequency. etc. and model predictive control to improve quality and capacity without violating constraints.
Reduce shutdowns and upsets a. Use override controls. Do you have too many or too few alarms? Is the operator alerted in advance and is he not confused by too many alarms? Make alarms smart (e. c.
Reduce rework a.412
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g. h. and incidents due to bypassing of interlocks? Use interlock-bypass procedures and indications (forms). Reduce cycle time a. Can you prepare premixes in separate tanks in parallel with other sequences. feed lines. better agitation. Can you eliminate concurrent actions that slow down your process (e. and valves?
g. Does automation level define IF-THEN actions to be performed by software when something goes wrong? Do not just stop and give control to the operator. cleaning. Can product changeover (transition) time be reduced? Automate changeover operations (emptying. Do you have interlocks shutting you down? Is it easy to track what exactly happened? Put all the interlocks (soft wired and copy hardwired) into an automation system and provide alarms and dynamic-interlock help displays for all interlock conditions. etc.Appendix A . using head starts. Can you reduce batch cycle times by eliminating unnecessary waits and introducing parallel sequences (e.)? d. and washing). Display interlock and bypass status on control system. Color display access numbers to reflect mode changes and interlock condition status.Additional Opportunity Assessment Questions
c. e. Do you have a system set up to track every problem and fault that generates upsets.g. combining hold periods with cooling. and use bigger pumps. Do you have shutdowns.)? b. blowing cold air in a tank for mixing purposes while heating it up)? c.. Can you speed up heating times and cooling times by using energy more efficiently (colder water. upsets. Use problem reports.. better insulation. f. d. starting heating before loading. rework or shutdowns? Learn from mistakes and set actions to prevent their happening again. improved burner performances etc. 11. Look for methods to reduce transition times and set operating parameters for every product. Do you have buffer tanks in between batch and continuous processes? Smart level control can be used to prevent shutdowns in continuous process by looking at batch cycle times and smoothing continuous feed on batch problems (see Appendix B).
Avoid costs for other investments a. f. if the variable doesn't move toward that condition (anymore)? If not the system would wait forever and the operator will find out too late. Can you redesign process parameters and interlock settings based on experience from the past? Adapt settings to process evolution.414
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e. Configure multiple dynamic waits. Can automation and the associated improvement in consistency of operation reduce the risk for disoperation that causes spills and technical incidents?
. 12. temperature and pressure measurements. Could you detect endpoints sooner? Consider rate of change or sustained change detection. h. Could automation of existing adjustments eliminate the need for a blend or adjustment tank? b. Coriolis mass flow is more accurate than load cells and can reduce batch load times and cycle times dramatically. Can you replace weighing systems with mass-flow meters? Mass flow can also be calculated for raw materials from flow. g. Is the operator informed and warned when a system is waiting for a variable to reach a condition.