October 2006

Special Report: Process Control and Information Systems

Faster plant testing and modeling

Automated technology performs both open-loop and closed-loop testing simultaneously

Brown, M., Matrikon; Kautzman, G. A., Tesoro; Korchinski, W., Advanced Industrial Modeling Inc.

The Tesoro Mandan refinery has a multivariable predictive control (MPC) application on its crude unit (CDU). The application, which was designed using a commercially available modeling and control package, was originally commissioned in 2001 and ran until process changes in the distillation section resulted in significant changes in the underlying predictive models. These caused most of the MPC controller to be turned off by the console operators. The combination of poor controller models and significant unit performance issues resulted in very low and limited use of the MPC and, thus, poorer operating margins. Recently, Tesoro decided to reactivate the application by retesting and remodel

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