What is Advanced Process Control?
Advanced process control (APC) refers to a broad range of techniques and technologies that interact with process control systems. Advanced process controls are often deployed in addition to basic process controls (that are build around PID control).
Nowadays APC is almost a commodity in refineries and large petrochemical complexes, like ethylene crackers and polymer plants.
The chemical, fertilizer, power and fine chemical industry have discovered the power of APC in the last 10 years. Also in these industries APC is becoming more and more common.
The benefit of Advanced Process Control
The list below shows the most common benefits generated by APC systems on many different industrial processes:
- Reduced process variations beyond what is possible with traditional PID control.
- More hands off operation. Under normal operating conditions, operators would not need to touch the process at all.
- Operate the plant always at the optimum. This can be at the maximum throughput, the lowest specific energy consumption, the point with the highest margins, or combinations of the above.
- Respect under all conditions the process limits.
the INCA MPC software creates value by continuously optimizing the key process parameters online, in closed loop, keeping the plant in the most economical operating point every minute, 24/7.
To be able to do that, the INCA MPC predicts the plant behavior, account for plant disturbances and takes all plant constraints into account. This will result in:
- Reduced process oscillations resulting in less wear and tear of the equipment
- Less alarms
- Less operator interventions
- More efficient plant operations (higher production, less specific energy consumption, better quality control,…)