APC 2.0 Concepts
Model-less technology uses a matrix... but it doesn't use models.
Conventional APC 1.0 never evolved into a core-competency due to its complexity, cost and unreliability. APC 2.0 combines process control principles that predate APC 1.0 with the multivariable control lessons that have emerged from APC 1.0. The result is a more affordable and agile approach to APC that makes automated multivariable control & optimization as a core-competency possible.
APC 2.0 uses model-less control technology. Models account for 90% of the cost and maintenance of APC 1.0. In APC 2.0, the primary focus is on control, not modeling. Model-less technology can improve APC cost, reliability, and performance!
APC 2.0 relies on patented, model-less, adaptive and predictive feedback control. Multivariable control, just like single-loop control, can be readily accomplished using feedback control algorithms.
Multivariable constraint control and optimization (also known as APC) means adjusting sets of related single-loop controllers in concert for constraint management and process optimization purposes. Operating teams do it all the time.
Manual multivariable control is an existing core-competency of the process industries and an integral aspect of nearly every process operation – ask any operator or process engineer. Automated multivariable control must become an industry core competency in order to take process automation, operation and optimization to the next level.
APC 1.0 has proven to be too expensive, fragile and complex to evolve into an industry core-competency. By eliminating dependence on detailed models and embedded optimizers, APC 2.0 becomes a high-agility, low maintenance, long life-cycle APC solution.
A core-competency is a skill set, mastery of which is essential to success in your business. For example, basic process control (BPC) is a core-competency of the process industries. Now industry can see that advanced process control (APC), in the form of multivariable control & optimization, is also an integral aspect of industrial process operation and must also become a core-competency going forward.
Model-less multivariable control & optimization technology (XMCO) basically mimics (automates) the proven methods operators and engineers have always utilized for manual multivariable control. Notably, it does not depend on detailed models or built-in optimizers.
As a core-competency, i.e. as an affordable and agile technology, many APC 2.0 applications are justified based solely on the intrinsic benefits of closing multivariable loops and improving the APC metrics – just like single loop management in the past. At the same time, many APC 2.0 applications continue to capture the large-scale ROIs typically associated with modern APC.
APC 2.0 applications, which have lower processing needs due to having neither model-based control nor built-in optimizers, can be deployed at the control layer, with redundancy and high execution speed, which has many process control performance, reliability, and support benefits.
The natural home of optimization is in the business layer, not the control layer. In APC 2.0, business side optimization results are leveraged, rather than be burdened with an inferior and problematic control side optimizer.
APC 2.0 uses feedback control with selective use of feedforward models, just like single-loop control. The wholesale use of process models in APC 1.0 has proven (basically) to cause more problems than it solves. Indeed, single-loop control practice learned this lesson long ago.
Many APC 2.0 applications can be deployed “natively” on industry standard DCS or PLC platforms, rather than in networked supervisory computers. This leverages many ownership advantages in cost, reliability, supportability, and cyber-security.
In APC 2.0, “agility” means costs that fall within normal operating budgets; schedules measured in weeks, not months; support sourced from existing on-site control engineers; and lengthy low maintenance APC life-cycles.
APC 2.0 is for budget managers who want a less expensive APC solution with lower maintenance costs; it’s for process and optimization engineers who want a more reliable tool to automatically (continuously and reliably) manage changing process conditions while continuing to pursue optimization objectives; it’s for control engineers who want to synergize basic and advanced process controls. APC 2.0 is for the entire on-site operating team to be more effective at automated multivariable constraint control & optimization.