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2.

14

Model-Based Predictive Control Patents


D. MORGAN

(2005)

Patent Offices:

Canadian Patents Database (patents1.ic.gc.ca/intro-e.html)


European Patent Office (EPO) (www.european-patent-office.org/espacenet/info/
access.htm)
German Patent Office (http://www.dpma.de/index.htm)
Japan Patent Office (www.jpo.go.jp)
United States Patent Office (USPTO) (www.uspto.gov)
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) (www.wipo.org/about-wipo/en/
index.html)

Research Tools:

DPMApatentblatt (www.patentblatt.de/eng)
INAS Patent Analysis Software (www.mayallj.freeserve.co.uk/inas.htm)
IP Menu (www.ipmenu.com)
Mospatent (www.mospatent.ru/en/links.htm)
Thomson Derwant (www.ipr-village.com/index_ipr.html)
Thomson Delphion (www.delphion.com)

Engineering Library:

Linda Hall Library (www.lhl.lib.mo.us)

INTRODUCTION
From optics to distillation to financial derivatives trading to
navigation, the applications of model-based predictive control
seem practically endless. Likewise, mathematical techniques
vary from Model Algorithmic Control to Dynamic Matrix Control to Inferential Control to Internal Model Control. Diverse
applications or functions, and techniques or forms, make modelbased predictive control popular in the patent literature.
Patent Basics
For a patent to be granted, one has to tell all, or as put forth
by the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations:
(a) The [Patent] specification must include a written
description of the invention or discovery and of the manner and process of making and using the same, and is
required to be in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms
as to enable any person skilled in the art or science to
which the invention or discovery appertains, or with which
it is most nearly connected, to make and use the same.
(b) The specification must set forth the precise invention for which a patent is solicited, in such manner as to
distinguish it from other inventions and from what is old.
It must describe completely a specific embodiment of the
process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or

214
2006 by Bla Liptk

improvement invented, and must explain the mode of


operation or principle whenever applicable. The best
mode contemplated by the inventor of carrying out his
invention must be set forth.

Thus, the freely available patent databases of the world


are a natural place to play out ones interest in any technical
field. Whether one is interested in a particular application or
the fundamental basics of the calculations involved, ample
material exists to satisfy that interest.
The U.S. Patent Office (USPTO) describes a patent as a
grant of property right to exclude others from making, using,
offering for sale, selling, or importing the invention. Once a
patent is issued, the patentee must enforce the patent on his or
her own. Any person who invents or discovers any new and
useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter,
or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a
patent, subject to the conditions and requirements of the law.
The word process is defined by law as a process, act, or
method, and primarily includes industrial or technical processes. Three general types of patents exist worldwide. In the
U.S., they are described as follows:
Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents
or discovers any new and useful process, machine,
article of manufacture, or compositions of matters,
or any new useful improvement thereof.

2.14 Model-Based Predictive Control Patents

Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents


a new, original, and ornamental design for an article
of manufacture.
Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents
or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct
and new variety of plants.
All of the patents discussed here fall under the Utility patent
classification.

Basic Patent History


Recent events on the global stage have made the patent process anything but basic. Thus, a brief recap of the history
of industrial intellectual property rights and a summary of
recent developments is in order.
The United Kingdom claims to have the longest tradition
of granting patents, beginning in 1449 with a Letters Patent
issued by Henry VI to the manufacturer of stained-glass
windows at Eton College. Elizabeth I granted around 50
open-ended term patents between 1561 and 1590 for the
manufacture and sale of commodities such as soap, saltpeter,
alum, leather, salt, glass, knives, sailcloth, starch, iron, and
paper. She rejected the application for a water closet patent,
however.
By 1610, concerns about the effect of monopolies led
James I to revoke all patents. In 1624, the doctrine of the public
interest was incorporated into the Statute of Monopolies. This
statute banned monopolies except those for the term of 14
years or under hereafter to be made of the sole working or
making of any manner of new manufactures within this Realm
to the true and first inventor. Such monopolies should not be
contrary to the law nor mischievous to the State by raising
prices of commodities at home or hurt of trade.
The first U.S. patent law was enacted in 1790. The first
U.S. utility patent was issued in 1836 to the inventor of a
special type of wheel. Whether this is the source of the phrase
reinventing the wheel is uncertain. As of this writing, there
are over 6.6 million U.S. utility patents.
The first attempt to globalize industrial intellectual property
rights was the 1883 Paris Convention. Further efforts led to the
creation of the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) in
1967. WIPO is a specialized agency of the United Nations
system of organizations with 179 member states. It administers
16 industrial property rights and 6 copyright treaties. Globalization efforts culminated with the Patent Cooperation Treaty
(PCT). The PCT was concluded in 1970, amended in 1979, and
modified in 1984 and 2001. There are well over 100 PCT
contracting states at this time.
The PCT consolidates and streamlines the international
patent application process for inventors. Although the patent
offices of the individual states are still ultimately responsible
for granting patents and collecting grant fees, inventors who
use international applications under PCT only have to apply
once.

2006 by Bla Liptk

215

They also pay a single application fee in the 1000 to 3000


USD range with the fee variation largely depending on the
size of the application, the number of designated jurisdictions, whether they exercise a demand for preliminary examination, and the choice of authority (USPTO or EPO for
example). In any event, the costs of multiple foreign filings
dwarf the PCT fees. Moreover, while buying time for further
commercial assessments, the PCT filing fees are often less
than the time value of money incurred with multiple domestic
and foreign filings. The process allows an inventor to establish global priority with one application.
WIPO promotes the value of the international patent
search they sell. The results are set out in an international
search report. This report is generally made available to the
inventor by the fourth or fifth month after the international
patent application is filed. The international search report contains no comments on the value of an invention but lists prior
art documents from the 30 million-plus universe of international patents (some of which are duplicates). Thus it comments on the possible relevance of the citations to the questions
of novelty and inventive step (nonobviousness). This enables
one to evaluate the chances of obtaining patents in the countries designated.
The most immediate effect the patent researcher will
notice is the WO patent applicationsthe designation given
to those applications filed under the PCT process. When a
patent is finally granted by an individual state, the standard
numbering for that state will be employed, prefixed by the
states two-letter code.

Online Patent Databases


Currently, several online patent databases that anyone can
search are available. The approaches taken vary greatly. For
example, some databases have global reach while others are
restricted to the country that administers them. The USPTO
is an example of the latter and the German database of the
former. Whichever database you choose to search, you can
retrieve four basic types of records:
Bibliographical Information such as Title, Patent
Number, Publication Date, Inventor(s), Applicant(s),
Application Number, Priority Number(s), Classification, Literature References, and Prior Patents
Cited. What you obtain depends on the country of
origin and the date, as newer patents tend to be filed
under the PCT.
AbstractsBrief descriptions of the invention, usually
available in English. The Japanese patent office has
a just in time Japanese-to-English converter that
is quite accurate.
Full TextText-only form of a patent, usually in HTML
format. Full text formats differ from country to country. Some, such as the Canadian and the European
Patent Offices, include drawings. There are some

216

Control Theory

drawbacks to full text. For example, the U.S. full text


patent database attempts to convey mathematical formulae using a plain English code page.
The USPTO provides full text records for patents
back to 1976. Full text records often provide hyperlinks to other information, such as prior patents that
were cited by the inventor. This is the type of information that allows for automated research.
Scanned Image Practically all patents are now available or will be in the future in scanned form. PDF
or TIFF file formats are usually employed. While
not convenient for automated research, one often
will ultimately need to obtain the original image in
order to obtain diagrams and mathematical formulae
in their original form. Patents in this form are usually
in the language preferred in the country of origin.
Unfortunately, at todays bandwidth, one can only
download one page at a time.
Several countries and private organizations provide
online patent databases that anyone can search. Some, such
as Germanys DEPATISNet and the European Patent Offices
esp@cenet, cover multiple foreign databases with their
search engines. Others, such as the United Kingdom, rely on
third parties, the European Patent Office (EPO), to provide
such services. Currently the EPOs esp@cenet has the following coverage:

Patent Contents
Besides the basic types of information noted above, patents
contain a wealth of useful information for a researcher. At
the beginning of U.S. patents in full text form, one first sees
an abstract. This is followed by the bibliographic information.
Next come links to patents cited by the inventor as prior art.
Both patents that are useful to the present invention and those
that will be improved upon by it are cited. Often what follows
is a list of references to other, nonpatent resources that either
aid in the understanding of the current patent, are to be
incorporated by reference, or further describe the prior art to
be improved upon.
Following the bibliographical and claims information
usually comes a brief summary followed by a description of
the prior art. Prior art descriptions often contain references
to previous patents and the like, making it easy for one to
quickly grasp an understanding of the field of invention and
to understand what is to be improved upon. Next, the inventor
will typically give a brief description of how the prior art is
to be improved upon followed by a description of any drawings accompanying the patent. What then follows is a detailed
description of the invention, its preferred embodiments, and
any examples. Examples often include sample data and even
source code in order to facilitate duplication of the work by
anyone skilled in the art.

GUIDE
1. Abstracts, bibliographic data and full text:
EPO, France, Germany, Switzerland, United
Kingdom, United States, and WIPO
2. Abstracts and bibliographic data:
China and Japan
3. Bibliographic data only:
Argentina, ARIPO, Australia, Austria, Belgium,
Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus,
Czechoslovakia, Czech Republic, Denmark,
Egypt, Ellas, Eurasian Patent Office, Finland,
GDR, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy,
Kenya, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg,
Malawi, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia,
The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, OAPI,
Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia,
Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Soviet Union,
Spain, Turkey, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Zambia,
Zimbabwe
Most online databases are accessible via an epacenet.com
link that is a combination of the countrys two-letter abbreviation and espacenet.com. Whenever a county also maintains its own freely searchable database, the link for that
database is given. In the case of Germany, the German database
itself is linked to other databasesmuch like espacenetbut
in German.

2006 by Bla Liptk

Patent literature concerning model-based control is rich in


both form and function. Form represents the various core
technologies that may or may not have developed into specific functions. Function represents specific implementations
that may or may not have developed from established forms.
The following attempt to produce a guide that characterizes
patents according to their perceived form and/or function is
based on a survey of over 280 U.S. patents pertaining directly
to either the form and/or function of model-based control.
These patents in turn cite over 1000 other patents and over
750 other references.
Such supporting citations either deal directly with the
form of model-based control or some superseding technological function. The U.S. patent database Web site provides a
very convenient means of surfing to both the patents that a
given patent cites as well as those patents that cite a given
patent. It also makes its own attempt at classification. Other
references can be obtained online from sources such as the
Linda Hall Library in Kansas City, Missouri, or in some other
fashion via your own local university library system.
Forms
Prediction and adaptation are the business of Model-Based
Predictive Control (MBPC). To those ends, a wide variety of
approaches exist that fit fairly well into two major classes.

2.14 Model-Based Predictive Control Patents

The first class involves predictors based on rigorous mathematical models of specific processes.
Generic controllers that can be used on any process form
the other major class of MBPC patents. Early implementations focused on making controllers adaptive. Over time
and with the decrease in memory costs, multivariable predictive controllers gained in importance. One subclass of such
controllers is known as extended horizon predictive and predictive adaptive controllers. This subclass is further divided
according to the method used to supply the extra inputs
that extend beyond the process horizon or delay time.
These controllers include the Extended Horizon Adaptive
Controller (EHC), the Receding Horizon Adaptive Controller
(RHC), the Control Advance Moving Average Controller
(CAMAC), the Extended Prediction Self-Adaptive Controller (EPSAC), the Generalized Predictive Controller (GPC),
the Model Predictive Heuristic Controller (MPHC), and the
Dynamic Matrix Controller (DMC).
Neural net-based predictors, often called model-free predictors because very little understanding of the process is
required, are also popular members of this class. Monte Carlo

217

simulation, Kalman filters, hill climbing, constraint control,


least squares, linear programming, quadratic programming,
fuzzy logic, and partial differential equation-based approaches
round out the generic predictor universe. Many of these known
methods are represented in the U.S. patent literature.
U.S. Patents 4,349,869 and 4,616,308 and PCT patent
WO03060614 all deal with the well-known Dynamic Matrix
Control, or DMC, form of Model-Based Predictive Control
(MBPC). The PCT version, published July 24, 2003, provides
step-by-step guidance through an actual distillation unit example (Figure 2.14a), with actual input and output data. The
U.S. patent versions, also highly detailed with respect to the
calculation procedures, suggest methods for coupling DMC
with an offline economic optimizer applied to a typical FCC.
U.S. Patent 4,358,822, Adaptive-Predictive Control System, also provides detailed calculation procedures, two examples, and source code. The first example is a binary distillation
unit. The second is for a single-inputsingle-output (SISO)
process. The well-documented source code is for an adaptive
control program capable of controlling SISO processes with
time delays.

TIC-2001, SP
TIC-2001, PV

LC

TC

8
Top
product

TIC-2001, OP
FC

7
TIC-2002, SP
TIC-2002, PV TC

FIC-2004, SP
FIC-2004, PV

FIC-2004, OP
TIC-2002, OP

5
FI-2005, PV

Mid
product

FI

Feed
6
Fuel
Gas

LC

LIC-2007, SP
LIC-2007, PV

11
AI-2022, PV
AI

LIC-2007, OP

Btm
product

FIG. 2.14a
The Dynamic Matrix Control (DMC) form of Model-Based Predictive Control (MBPC), provides step-by-step guidance through an actual
distillation unit example with actual input and output data.

2006 by Bla Liptk

218

Control Theory

Functions
As mentioned above, the applications for model-based control
are practically limitless. As one would suspect, over time the
range of applications has grown exponentially. While we tend
to equate model-based predictive control with advanced digital
control systems, inventors were applying analog systems well
before the dawn of the digital age. The prime advantage that
digital computing holds over analog systems is not that it is
somehow easier for the inventor to perfect. Rather, it has more
to do with the way in which computers facilitate dissemination
of the art to those who actually apply it.
Auto-piloting aircraft were an early impetus for the art,
and automation of advanced military craft remains a significant
driving force. Recently, interest in automotive applications has
grown. The art is actually applied in order to facilitate its
application via computers. The literature on the use of MBPC
in disk-drive tracking is extensive, for example. That the art
itself is useful in bettering itself is rather unique.
Patents that are specific in form usually target a single
process. However, those intended for generic use will often
provide details, references, and examples of their use in specific
processes. What follows is a guide to patents that are either
specifically intended for a given field or those that cite a given
field as an example.
Aircraft Aircraft experience large variations in the gains
and time constants of the external disturbances they encounter, making them strong candidates for the application of
model-based control. As time is compressed more and more

for fighter pilots, model-based control is finding a niche in


target identification and weapons targeting. One can even find
patents related to missile flight path control. Todays stealth
aircraft, such as the F-117A Wobblin Gobblin, in which
function is often sacrificed for form, would not be flyable
1,2
save for MBPC.
Computing MBPC finds application in two specific areas
of computingwafer fab and disk-drive positioning. In wafer
fab, the goal is the reduction in run-by-run variability of the
CVD, spin coating, and etching processes. CVD temperature
control garners particular attention. Disk-drive accuracy and
hence speed can be enhanced via MBPC, just as with any
3,4
other servo process.
Utility Power MBPC patents relating to power generation
and distribution attack problems at both the system and equipment levels. For example, there are MBPC patents for better
control of boiler chemicals as well as patents for optimal dispatching of multi-unit cogeneration facilities.
More and more plants designed for base load service are
being used to meet peaking power demand. Steam turbines
designed to operate in a continuous range of steady-state conditions are being cycled to meet peaking load. This can induce
large thermal stresses in both the turbine and the boiler as a
result of steep steam-to-metal temperature gradients that
develop during rapid loading or unloading of the turbine. Thus,
much attention is given to predicting loads based on extended
load profiles. Figure 2.14b gives an example of a MBPC design

Turbine inlet steam temp.


Boiler
pressure
control
Steam supply
valve
control

Model predictive
controller
250

Load
error

Turbine inlet
steam temp.

100

200

Weighted
operational
constraints

Boiler
controller

170
Steam
plant
180

Valve
actuator

Fuzzy
230
logic
circuit
Selected electricalload proles
Generator power signal

Load demand
prediction circuit
210
Operator interface
206

FIG. 2.14b
Patent for MBPC design used in peak-shedding applications to predict loads based on extended load profiles.

2006 by Bla Liptk

Generator
power

2.14 Model-Based Predictive Control Patents

219

TABLE 2.14c
Steam Utility Patents and Their Areas of Application
Steam Power Patents
Patent No.

Title

Year

Application

Approach

3,758,762

Decoupled feedforward-feedback control system

9/11/1973

STEAM TURBINE

MODEL

3,939,328

Control system with adaptive process controllers especially adapted for


electric power plant operation

2/17/1976

TURBINE

SELF ADAPTIVE

4,027,145

Advanced control system for power generation

5/31/1977

COGENERATION

ROM

4,110,825

Control method for optimizing the power demand of an industrial plant

8/29/1978

COGENERATION

ROM

4,258,424

System and method for operating a steam turbine and an electric power
generating plant

3/24/1981

STEAM TURBINE

ROM

4,297,848

Method of optimizing the efficiency of a steam turbine power plant

11/3/1981

STEAM TURBINE

ROM

4,403,293

Control apparatus for use in multiple steam generator or multiple hot


water generator installations

9/6/1983

COGENRATION

LP

4,628,462

Multiplane optimization method and apparatus for cogeneration of steam


and power

12/9/1986

COGENRATION

MULTIPLANE

4,630,189

System for determining abnormal plant operation based on whiteness

12/16/1986

POWER PLANT

AR WHITENESS

4,768,143

Apparatus and method using adaptive gain scheduling algorithm

8/30/1988

WATER HEATER

LEAST SQUARES

4,802,100

Advanced cogeneration control system

1/31/1989

COGENRATION

ROM

4,805,114

Economical dispatching arrangement for a boiler system

2/14/1989

COGENRATION

ROM

4,922,412

Apparatus and method using adaptive gain scheduling

5/1/1990

WATER HEATER

LEAST SQUARES

4,969,408

System for optimizing total air flow in coal-fired boilers

11/13/1990

COAL FURNACE

ROM

5,040,725

Adaptive controller for forced hot water heating systems

8/20/1991

WATER HEATING

ADAPTIVE

5,159,562

Optimization of a plurality of multiple-fuel fired boilers using iterated


linear programming

10/27/1992

BOILER

LP

5,268,835

Process controller for controlling a process to a target state

12/7/1993

STEAM GEN

ROM

5,305,230

Process control system and power plant process control system

4/19/1994

STEAM TURBINE

NEURAL NET

5,311,421

Process control method and system for performing control of a controlled


system by use of a neural network

5/10/1994

STEAM TURBINE

NEURAL NET

5,347,466

Method and apparatus for power plant simulation and optimization

9/13/1994

STEAM TURBINE

ROM

5,442,544

Single input single output rate optimal controller

8/15/1995

ELECTRIC UTILITY

ROC

5,517,424

Steam turbine fuzzy logic cyclic control method and apparatus therefore

5/14/1996

STEAM TURBINE

FUZZY LOGIC

5,619,433

Real-time analysis of power plant thermohydraulic phenomena

4/8/1997

POWER PLANT

RELAP5/MOD3

5,696,696

Apparatus and method for automatically achieving and maintaining


congruent control in an industrial boiler

12/9/1997

BOILER CHEMS

MACC

5,923,571

Apparatus and method for automatic congruent control of multiple boilers


sharing a common feedwater line and chemical feed point

7/13/1999

BOILER CHEMS

ROM

from U.S. Patent 5,517,424, which is intended to address this


issue. Table 2.14c provides a sample of steam utility patents
5 7
and their application forms.
Nuclear Energy Although regulatory issues tend to discourage the application of MBPC to direct control of nuclear
power systems, MBPC still finds use in the industry. For
example, motor operator valve (MOV) reliability is a subject
of great concern. Hundreds of MOV failures have been investigated in different studies. In one study, electromechanical
torque switches and limit switches were identified as the

2006 by Bla Liptk

components at the root of approximately 32% of the documented MOV failures.


Mechanical failures (failure to operate, bent stems, damage to valve seats, gear binding and damage) accounted for
22% of the MOV failures. U.S. Patent 4,694,390 seeks to
address this problem by instrumenting MOVs with a valve
stem position sensor, a stem load sensor, and motor load
sensor. Then, an MBPC-based monitor periodically tests the
status of the motor-operated valve and turns off the power to
the valves motor if certain predefined criteria for the valve
stem position and the valve load are not satisfied.

220

Control Theory

Pressurized and boiling water reactor core monitoring is an


important area for MBPC. For example, U.S. Patent 4,770,843
discloses a MBPC application for controlling the stability of
a boiling water reactor using a digital computer to calculate
online, from distributed steady-state values of only power, flow,
enthalpy, and pressure; a stability index for selected fuel assemblies taking into account nuclear feedback as well as detailed
hydrodynamic effects. U.S. Patent 4,234,925 applies linear
programming (LP) to the problem of generating the optimum
excitation waveform for excitation of the plasma in fusion reactors. U.S. Patent 4,982,320 discloses a self-adaptive controller
8,9
for particle beam accelerator control.
Motor Fuel Production Patents on processes ranging from
gas lift oil production to hydrogen fluoride (HF) alkylation
target the motor fuel production industry, where small optimizations can mean large returns. Hydrocracking and Fluid
Catalytic Cracking (FCC) are especially well represented.
U.S. Patent 4,349,869 provides a detailed example of the
application of Dynamic Matrix Control coupled with offline
10,11
optimization to FCC.
Pulp and Paper MBPC patents target practically every
aspect of pulp and paper production. Digestion, delignifica12,13
tion, additive control, and final webbing all gain attention.

Distillation Distillation is difficult to optimize because of


its numerous degrees of freedom both controllable, such as
reboiler and heat input, and uncontrollable, such as feed
composition. Making matters worse are the strong couplings
between variables and the nonlinearity encountered in highpurity towers. For example, as stated in U.S. Patent
5,343,407, a 10% increase in boilup rate will result in only
a moderate increase in the purity of the bottoms product,
while a 10% decrease would cause a drastic decrease in the
purity of the bottoms product. In addition, a 10% increase
in boilup by itself will cause a drastic reduction in the purity
of the overhead product.
Despite the inherent difficulties, high-purity distillation
is a very common process. As noted again in U.S. Patent
5,343,407, ethylene, propylene and styrene monomers of
nearly 100% purity are required for their respective polymerization processes in order to produce polymers with the
desired characteristics. Also, for the production of industrial
grade acetic acid, levels of less than 200 ppm propanoic
acid impurity must be maintained. In addition, chemical
intermediate xylene products are typically produced as high
purity products. Ethylene oxide and propylene oxide are separated industrially to produce products, each with about 200
ppm impurities.
Distillations prominence coupled with its tricky nature
makes it an ideal candidate for MBPC solutions. Table 2.14d

TABLE 2.14d
Patents Related to Distillation and Their Applications
Distillation-Related Patents
Patent No.

Title

Date

3,976,179

Controlling the temperature of a depropanizer tower by


chromatographic analysis of feed and bottoms

8/24/1976

DEPROPANIZER

RIED VP MODEL

4,030,986

Control for maximizing capacity and optimizing


product cost of distillation column

6/21/1977

DISTILLATION

COST FACTOR MODEL

4,070,172

Pressure responsive fractionation control

1/24/1978

DEMETHANIZER

ROM

4,252,614

Control of multiple feed fractional distillation column

2/24/1981

MULTI-FEED

ROM

4,230,534

Control of a fractional distillation column

10/28/1980

DISTILLATION

ROM

4,358,822

Adaptivepredictive control system

11/9/1982

DISTILLATION

DMC

4,367,121

Fractional distillation column control

1/4/1983

DISTILLATION

INTERNAL REFLUX MODEL

4,526,657

Control of a fractional distillation process

7/2/1985

DISTILLATION

ROM

4,560,442

Fractional distillation process control

12/24/1985

DISTILLATION

INTERNAL REFLUX MODEL

4,889,600

Fractionating column control apparatus and methods

12/26/1989

DISTILLATION

REID VP MODEL

5,132,918

Method for control of a distillation process

7/21/1992

DISTILLATION

ROM

5,260,865

Nonlinear model-based distillation control

11/9/1993

DISTILLATION

ROM

5,343,407

Nonlinear model-based distillation control

8/30/1994

DISTILLATION

MCCABE THIELE MODEL

5,396,416

Multivariable process control method and apparatus

3/7/1995

GAS FRACTIONATION

SELF ADAPTIVE DMC

5,477,449

Hierarchical model predictive control system based on


accurate manipulation variable prediction

12/19/1995

DISTILLATION

DMC VARIANT

5,522,224

Model predictive control method for an airseparation system

6/4/1996

AIR SPEARATION

ROM

2006 by Bla Liptk

Application

Approach

2.14 Model-Based Predictive Control Patents

221

Start

Brake
applied?

No

Determine vehicle
mass

Determine road
load

Yes
Update road load with
aerodynamic drag changes
Determine grade

Determine brake load

Determine brake temp

Predict braking load

Make fuzzy
logic decision

Determine actual
braking load

Decision
to downshift ?

Determine elevation
change

Determine driver intent

Braking load
< max tractive
eorts?

Signal shift
Determine other criteria
End

FIG. 2.14e
Patent describing a control strategy for braking.

provides a sample of distillation-related patents and their


14,15
forms.
Robotics It is unfortunate that something once labeled an
autonomwhich would imply independent actionhas
been more recently labeled a robot, when that implies

2006 by Bla Liptk

something that performs the same task in the same way, over
and over again. The patent literature alone would beg to differ
as it reflects a movement to make robots more adaptive and
autonomous.
Today, hybrid robotic control incorporates adaptive force
and position controllers based on highly rigorous models.

222

Control Theory

Automatic targeting systems can recognize moving targets


and predict where they will be once fired upon. Unmanned
16,17
aerial vehicles are able to perform missions unattended.
Optics, Photography, and Astronomy Many of the technologies for the Keck telescope on the Mauna Kea volcano
in Hawaii are fairly well represented in the patent literature,
including relatives of its MBPC-based adaptive optics. Looking back at Earth, U.S. Patent 4,748,448 discloses a MBPC
approach to gauging wind speed and direction from oceanic
wave action observed from a satellite. Optimization and
quality control of photographic emulsion products are also
18,19
represented.
Automotive The automotive field is one of the latest to
which MBPC has been applied. Fuel-to-air ratio (lambda),
braking, and cylinder disablement are some examples of
areas where both rigorous and generic models are just some
of the applications where inventions have been disclosed.
U.S. Patent 6,625,535 discloses a control scheme for braking,
20,21
whose logic is shown in Figure 2.14e.
Polymers The patent literature describes MBPC-based
inventions related to monomer production (for example, ethylene), polymerization reactions, and the production of polymer suspensions.
An area of particular interest is predicting polymer melt
index from process data rather than having to rely on samples
taken to the lab. As U.S. Patent 5,504,166 states,
The desired control of the polymerization process is
extremely difficult to attain because of the holdup time of
polymerization reactors and the time involved in obtaining
polymer samples and measuring the properties of those
samples. Because of this time period, the polymerization
conditions employed in the reactor at the time at which a
property of a polymer sample withdrawn from the reactor
is measured are not necessarily the same as the polymerization conditions employed in the reactor at the time at
which such polymer sample was produced in the reactor
and/or withdrawn from the reactor.
This is especially the case when the attempted control
of the polymerization process is based on the measurement of the melt flow rate or in other words, the melt
index of the polymer product as determined according
to the ASTM Test D-1238-62T. Although the melt flow
rate or the melt index is a satisfactory control property
for most solid polymers prepared from alpha-olefins, the
time consumed in obtaining a polymer sample for measurement and in measuring the melt index of the sample
combines with the aforesaid holdup time of the reactor to
seriously hamper accurate control of the polymerization
22,23
process.

Financial Derivatives Trading Underlying the price of a


commodity is a market process that can be modeled just like
any other process. A trader makes a series of inputs to a continuous process based on analysis of feedback from a market.

2006 by Bla Liptk

Financial engineering was born in 1973 when a mathematician, Fischer Black, and an economist, Myron Scholes,
devised one of the first mathematically accepted approaches
for pricing options that can only be exercised at their expiration date (European options). Today there are well over
a thousand systems trading applications on the market that
can be used by anyone to control portfolios.
According to U.S. Patent 6,546,375: What has become
known as the BlackScholes option formula was described
first in The pricing of options and corporate liabilities, Journal of Political Economy 81 (1973). The BlackScholes option
formula is presently of widespread use in financial markets all
over the world. The price of such an option can be found by
solving the BlackScholes equation with the initial condition
at expiration (i.e., the payoff of the option). The BlackScholes
equation is a reverse diffusion equation with parameters determined by the statistical characteristics of involved stocks and
currencies such as risk-free interest rate, holding cost or
expected dividends, and volatility.
Determining the forward pricing of American options,
which can be exercised before expiration, is difficult
because it leads to an infinite-dimensional free boundary
problem that cannot be solved explicitly nor finitely. In
order to approximate a solution, U.S. Patent 6,546,375
employs a discretized partial differential linear complementary problem (PDLCP)-based system. An optimization problem in the form of a mathematical program with
equilibrium constraints (MPEC) is also used to derive
implied volatilities of the assets underlying the subject
derivatives.
Other patents integrate the MBPC side of the overall
process with the requisite feedback information systems,
much as a DCS workstation works with an operator and a
process. Orders can be placed, real-time data can be analyzed, margins can be calculated, and buy and sell signals
can be generated automatically via ones Internet-ready
24 , 25
PC.

References
1.
2.
3.

4.
5.
6.

7.

8.

U.S. Patent 4,258,545, Optimal Control for a Gas Turbine Engine.


U.S. Patent 4,812,990, System and Method for Optimizing Aircraft
Flight Path.
U.S. Patent 5,646,870, Method of Setting and Adjusting Process
Parameters to Maintain Acceptable Critical Dimensions Across Each
Die of Mass-Produced Semiconductor Wafers.
U.S. Patent 6,625,513, Run-to-Run Control over Semiconductor Processing Tool Based Upon Mirror Image Target.
U.S. Patent 4,628,462, Multi-Plane Optimization Method and Apparatus for Cogeneration of Steam and Power.
U.S. Patent 5,696,696, Apparatus and Method for Automatically
Achieving and Maintaining Congruent Control in an Industrial
Boiler.
U.S. Patent 5,923,571, Apparatus and Method for Automatic Congruent Control of Multiple Boilers Sharing a Common Feedwater
Line and Chemical Feed Point.
U.S. Patent 5,392,320, Core Automated Monitoring System.

2.14 Model-Based Predictive Control Patents

9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.

17.

U.S. Patent 4,694,390, Microprocessor-Based Control and Diagnostic System for Motor-Operated Valves.
U.S. Patent 4,437,977, Control of a Catalytic Cracking Unit.
U.S. Patent 6,595,294, Method and Device for Gas-Lifted Wells.
U.S. Patent 5,301,102, Multivariable Control of a Kamyr Digester.
U.S. Patent 6,328,851, Method and Equipment for Controlling Properties of Paper.
U.S. Patent 4,560,442, Fractional Distillation Process Control.
U.S. Patent 5,522,224, Model Predictive Control Method for an AirSeparation System.
U.S. Patent 4,621,332, Method and Apparatus for Controlling a
Robot Utilizing Force, Position, Velocity, Spring Constant, Mass
Coefficient, and Viscosity Coefficient.
U.S. Patent 4,725,942, Controller for Multi-Degree of Freedom Nonlinear Mechanical System.

2006 by Bla Liptk

18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.

223

U.S. Patent 5,265,034, Feedback Controlled Optics with Wave-Front


Compensation.
U.S. Patent 5,067,067, Method for Evaluating and Designing
Lenses.
U.S. Patent 6,594,573, Method for Regulating a Clutch or a Brake
in a Transmission.
U.S. Patent 6,625,535, Adaptive Power-Train Braking Control with
Grade, Mass, and Brake Temperature.
U.S. Patent 4,668,473, Control System for Ethylene Polymerization
Reactor.
U.S. Patent 6,106,785, Polymerization Process Controller.
U.S. Patent 6,061,662, Simulation Method and System for the Valuation of Derivative Financial Instruments.
U.S. Patent 6,546,375, Apparatus and Method of Pricing Financial
Derivatives.