Advanced Process Control (APC) can take on many flavors and levels of sophistication. On the digital control systems (DCS), advanced regulatory controls can create value using property predictions cascaded to DCS controllers or feed forward or decoupling signals can be added to improve stability and robustness of controls. In order to take on entire units of control, medium to large multivariable controllers have been developed to handle process interactions and to drive the unit to the most economical combination of constraints. Multiunit control and optimization in the form of larger linear program provides a tool to coordinate the flows and optimal targets across the refinery. More detailed effects can be modeled and included in the linear program solution as new knowledge is incorporated into the solution. Fuel gas, steam, hydrogen, amine, cooling water, tanks, shipments, electricity and process lineups create opportunities to synergize across multiple units.
Aligning People with Control (APC2) provides the mechanism to design controllers, commission controllers and sustain value long term. Critical resources include advanced control engineers, unit control engineers, process engineers, operations personnel and economics and planning personnel. Economics and planning provide the big picture view of the refinery and help identify the gold nuggets for control. Advanced control personnel help planning by providing more fidelity in the models and tradeoffs between quality and production and by commissioning model-based controllers to coordinate moves across each unit and to drive to the planning targets. Unit control personnel help with control system configurations, regulatory controls and advanced controls. Process and operations provide critical process and constraint information. The extended team includes management sponsors, instrument and analyzer personnel, environmental personnel, laboratory personnel, corporate technical leaders and sponsors, commercial managers, upstream suppliers and downstream customers.
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