Advanced Process Control (APC) is now commonly used in most chemical plants. APC consists of math and logic algorithms that reside in a DCS or PLC or on a host computer. These algorithms monitor process variables and move the plant towards the direction of increasing profit. Benefits of APC are increased production rates, reduced utilities, smoother and more automated plant operation. APC is implemented using three types of methods: APC using DCS or PLC, Model Predictive Control (MPC) and Knowledge-Based Control (KBC), also called Rule-Based Control. MPC is the best choice for most refinery type processes and in highly multivariable, integrated units like in a typical Olefins Plant. KBC is often required for batch and non-linear type processes. For many chemical processes, profitable and useful APC strategies can be implemented in the DCS and PLC. Successful APC requires appropriate control software tools. Often good control tools and practical process control expertise are not readily available in many plants. This paper describes several practical techniques and tips for implementing effective, profitable APC strategies in the DCS or PLC.
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