Process Control

Using Automation to Produce Quality Pharmaceuticals

October
2011
Instrumentation
Joseph S. Alford, P.E.
Automation can pay large dividends in the form of reduced process cycle times, lower operational costs, and more-consistent processes for manufacturing high-quality pharmaceutical products.

Tracing Process Problems

April
2002
Instrumentation
John E. Hoots
In water chemistry control, fluorescent tracing technology can quickly and effectively determine and deal with the root cause of a problem.

Reduce Thermal Risk in Industrial Synthesis

October
2001
Safety
Richard C. Wedlich 
Knowing the safe operating conditions for a reaction allows us to select appropriate safety measures and thereby lower both the likelihood and the severity of a thermal runaway.

Choose the Right Gas Sensor

September
2009
Instrumentation
Sandra Barnes
Selecting a sensor for continuous monitoring involves many considerations. This article discusses the types of sensors available, their applicability and limitations, and how to choose an appropriate sensor to protect people and equipment.

Practical Process Control: Tuning and Troubleshooting

December, 2009
Practical Process Control (loop tuning and troubleshooting). This book differs from others on the market in several respects. First, the presentation is totally in the time domain (the word "LaPlace" is nowhere to be found). The focus of the book is actually troubleshooting, not tuning. If a...

The Chemical Industry Phoenix

June
2012
Process Automation Corner
Terry McMahon
Seven years ago, I wrote a column for another publica­ tion entitled “The U.S. Chemical Industry: R.I.P.” This pillar of American economic strength, which a few years earlier was the leading exporter among U.S. manufac­turing sectors (with net exports of $15–20 billion annually), was shriveling due in large part to policy blunders and regula­tory mistakes.

Step into the Virtual Plant

February
2002
Instrumentation
Gregory K McMillan, Mark S Sowell III, Michael M Mansy
The ability to warehouse process and control system knowledge offers a vast potential for improved operations by sharing a common source of information and avoiding data duplication.

Use Model-Predictive Control to Improve Distillation Operations

January
2008
Instrumentation
Robert J. Conroy, Umesh Mathur, Robert D. Rounding, Daniel R. Webb
This methodology, based on steady-state and dynamic simulation, can be used to develop the necessary models— and avoid disruptive and costly step testing to the extent feasible.

Optimize Control Room Communications

October
2001
Instrumentation
Brad A. Walker, James E. Lenhart, Karen D. Smith
Faced with more distractions than ever, operators need an environment that is conducive for dealing with abnormal, as well as normal, situations. Effective control room design can help.

Analyzing APC Performance

August
2002
Instrumentation
To reap the most benefit from an advanced process control (APC) system, users need to know how to analyze and monitor the APC's performance.

Effectively Control Column Pressure

January
2001
Reactions and Separations
Andrew W. Sloley 
Maintaining proper pressure can play a crucial role in the stable operation of a distillation column. Here’s how to select the most appropriate pressure-control scheme.

Ease Control Valve Selection

November
2002
Fluids and Solids Handling
Kiran Nair, Liyakat Jaffer, Meredith Chapeaux, Sheetal Patel, Trevor Bishop
With so many types and options available, choosing the right control valve can seem daunting. Selection can be simplified by considering the process fluid, the service requirements, how the various valves function, and seeing how each valve will...

Save Energy Through Automation

January
2010
Instrumentation
Douglas C. White
Identifying the right automation investments — those with low costs and high impacts — can result in millions of dollars in energy savings for petrochemical plants. <br>

Take the Tedium Out of Writing Process Descriptions

February
2001
Instrumentation
Michael J. Gentilcore
Setting up a special function and a shorthand system on a spreadsheet can improve the descriptions needed for implementing a process control system, while minimizing the monotony in writing them.

Applying Bus Technologies in Process Control

December
2002
Instrumentation
Ed Smigo
Fieldbus technologies have become increasingly popular in process control applications. This article highlights the practical applications and economics of various buses, so that an engineer can choose the best one for his or her process.

Easily Assess Complex Safety Loops

March
2001
Instrumentation
Lawrence  Beckman
Many safety instrumented systems rely on dissimilar redundant field devices, and this can complicate required analyses. These equations will enable field personnel to handle such situations readily.

Control and Optimize Nonlinear Systems

February
2003
Instrumentation
Andrew C. Burden, Pradeep B. Deshpande, Roberto Z. Tantalean
Turbocharging a contrained model predictive controller (CMPC) with fuzzy logic allows CMPCs to be applied over nonlinear systems

Tune Control Loops for Minimum Variability

January
2002
Instrumentation
Lanny A. Robbins
The Robbins tuning rules can reduce the variability of control loop response to about 60% of that observed with Ziegler-Nichols tuning rules.

Process Control for Microreactors

August
2001
Instrumentation
Don  Humbert, Lech  Znamirowski, Olgierd A. Palusinski, Sarma Vrudhula
Field-programmable analog arrays coupled with microreactor technology promise to change the way plants are built, as well as the methods by which their processes are designed and controlled.

Matching Your Process Constraints Using Dynamic Simulation

December
2003
Information Technology
Iban Grau, Jose J. Macias-Hernandez, Miquel A. Alos
A rigorous dynamic process simulator can be used to evaluate alternative control strategies for an exothermic reacting process in order to improve its safety and product quality.

Teach Yourself the Basics of Aspen Plus

January, 2011
Aspen Plus is on of the most popular process simulation software programs used industrially and academically. Though the software is available at many corporations and universities, there are no textbooks which are dedicated to teaching the step-by-step use of the software. This book is designed to...

Reactive Distillation Design and Control

October, 2008
After an overview of the fundamentals, limitations, and scope of reactive distillation, this book uses rigorous models for steady-state design and dynamic analysis of different types of reactive distillation columns and quantitatively compares the economics of reactive distillation columns with...

Distillation Design and Control Using Aspen Simulation

April, 2006
As the world continues to seek new sources of energy, the distillation process remains one of the most important separation methods in the chemical, petroleum, and energy industries. And as new renewable sources of energy and chemical feedstocks become more universally utilized, the issues of...
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