APC 2.0 Concepts
Model-less technology uses a matrix... but it doesn't use models.

Updated APC Paradigm

Conventional APC 1.0 never evolved into a core-competency due to its complexity, cost and unreliability.  APC 2.0 combines process control principles that predate APC 1.0 with the multivariable control lessons that have emerged from APC 1.0.  The result is a more affordable and agile approach to APC that makes automated multivariable control & optimization as a core-competency possible.

Model-less Technology

APC 2.0 uses model-less control technology.  Models account for 90% of the cost and maintenance of APC 1.0.  In APC 2.0, the primary focus is on control, not modeling.  Model-less technology can improve APC cost, reliability, and performance!

Predictive and Adaptive Feedback Control

APC 2.0 relies on patented, model-less, adaptive and predictive feedback control.  Multivariable control, just like single-loop control, can be readily accomplished using feedback control algorithms.

What is Multivariable Control?

Multivariable constraint control and optimization (also known as APC) means adjusting sets of related single-loop controllers in concert for constraint management and process optimization purposes.  Operating teams do it all the time.

Automated Multivariable Control

Manual multivariable control is an existing core-competency of the process industries and an integral aspect of nearly every process operation – ask any operator or process engineer. Automated multivariable control must become an industry core competency in order to take process automation, operation and optimization to the next level.

High agility, low maintenance

APC 1.0 has proven to be too expensive, fragile and complex to evolve into an industry core-competency.  By eliminating dependence on detailed models and embedded optimizers, APC 2.0 becomes a high-agility, low maintenance, long life-cycle APC solution.

What is a Core-Competency?

A core-competency is a skill set, mastery of which is essential to success in your business. For example, basic process control (BPC) is a core-competency of the process industries. Now industry can see that advanced process control (APC), in the form of multivariable control & optimization, is also an integral aspect of industrial process operation and must also become a core-competency going forward.

Automation of proven methods

Model-less multivariable control & optimization technology (XMCO) basically mimics (automates) the proven methods operators and engineers have always utilized for manual multivariable control. Notably, it does not depend on detailed models or built-in optimizers.

An APC Alternative

APC 2.0 offers an alternative to the high installed maintenance burden of APC 1.0 applications. Instead of re-engineering legacy APC 1.0 applications or funding expensive maintenance, next time consider APC 2.0.

APC 2.0 Benefits

As a core-competency, i.e. as an affordable and agile technology, many APC 2.0 applications are justified based solely on the intrinsic benefits of closing multivariable loops and improving the APC metrics – just like single loop management in the past. At the same time, many APC 2.0 applications continue to capture the large-scale ROIs typically associated with modern APC.

Control layer deployment

APC 2.0 applications, which have lower processing needs due to having neither model-based control nor built-in optimizers, can be deployed at the control layer, with redundancy and high execution speed, which has many process control performance, reliability, and support benefits.

APC 2.0 Metrics

In APC 2.0, the loop intervention metric is used to measure and manage APC progress. Like existing industry standard “loops in manual” and “bad actor alarm” metrics, the loop intervention metric measures multivariable loops in manual and bad actor loops.

APC 2.0 Optimization

The natural home of optimization is in the business layer, not the control layer. In APC 2.0, business side optimization results are leveraged, rather than be burdened with an inferior and problematic control side optimizer.

  • At the business layer, optimization means rigorous site-wide or enterprise-wide production planning and optimization
  • At the control layer, optimization means effectively utilizing remaining MV availability (after constraint control) to pursue optimization objectives, i.e. at the control layer, optimization does not involve an optimizer per se
  • Process engineering – and automated multivariable control – best embody the link between business side and control side optimization objectives

Selective Feedforward Control

APC 2.0 uses feedback control with selective use of feedforward models, just like single-loop control. The wholesale use of process models in APC 1.0 has proven (basically) to cause more problems than it solves. Indeed, single-loop control practice learned this lesson long ago.

Native deployment

Many APC 2.0 applications can be deployed “natively” on industry standard DCS or PLC platforms, rather than in networked supervisory computers. This leverages many ownership advantages in cost, reliability, supportability, and cyber-security.

APC Agility

In APC 2.0, “agility” means costs that fall within normal operating budgets; schedules measured in weeks, not months; support sourced from existing on-site control engineers; and lengthy low maintenance APC life-cycles.

APC 2.0: It's not just for APC engineers anymore

APC 2.0 is for budget managers who want a less expensive APC solution with lower maintenance costs; it’s for process and optimization engineers who want a more reliable tool to automatically (continuously and reliably) manage changing process conditions while continuing to pursue optimization objectives; it’s for control engineers who want to synergize basic and advanced process controls. APC 2.0 is for the entire on-site operating team to be more effective at automated multivariable constraint control & optimization.

Safety, reliability, and optimization are the main challenges facing the process industries today, and process control is one of the most important tools to these ends.

APC Performance LLC offers services designed to help clients rapidly achieve top quartile Basic Process Control (BPC) and Advanced Process Control (APC) core-competency.


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