October 2011

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HP Control: Reshaping process control: A corporate prerogative

Prior to the 1980s, process control was in the dark ages. Our main “technology” was the single-loop controller, despite that it operated obliviously to the many interactions and non-first or..

Kern, A.G., Tesoro Corp.

Prior to the 1980s, process control was in the dark ages. Our main “technology” was the single-loop controller, despite that it operated obliviously to the many interactions and non-first order responses that characterize most processes. Due to cumbersome capabilities, usually involving hardware and wires, if not tubing and pneumatics, any enhancement, such as feedforward, override or adaptive gain, was undertaken only for the most demanding or profitable loops. Then along came computers and a solution that most people had not even dreamed of. Multivariable model-based predictive control (MPC) provided a solution that could manage all the loops and all the constraints as one.

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