Process Control and Optimization (PCO) is the discipline of adjusting a process to maintain or optimize a specified set of parameters without violating process constraints.
The PCO market is being driven by rising demand for energy efficient production processes, safety and security concerns, and the development of IoT systems that can reliably predict process deviations.
Fundamentally, there are three parameters that can be adjusted to affect optimal performance:
- Equipment optimization
The first step is to verify that the existing equipment is being used to its fullest advantage by examining operating data to identify equipment bottlenecks.
- Operating procedures
Operating procedures may vary widely from person-to-person or from shift-to-shift. Automation of the plant can help significantly. But automation will be of no help if the operators take control and run the plant in manual.
- Control optimization
In a typical processing plant, such as a chemical plant or oil refinery, there are hundreds or even thousands of control loops. Each control loop is responsible for controlling one part of the process, such as maintaining a temperature, level, or flow. If the control loop is not properly designed and tuned, the process runs below its optimum. The process will be more expensive to operate, and equipment will wear out prematurely. For each control loop to run optimally, identification of sensor, valve, and tuning problems is important. It has been well documented that over 35% of control loops typically have problems. The process of continuously monitoring and optimizing the entire plant is sometimes called performance supervision.
The modern grid comes with new engineering challenges. In the United Kingdom, as renewable energy resources are being used to supplement fossil fuel production, power quality issues are surfacing. Combine this with the rapidly increasing demand for energy and the decommissioning of fossil fuel plants, and grid operators are finding that traditional measurement systems do not offer adequate coverage to handle these new challenges and manage the new risks the industry faces.
The paper and pulp industry is interlinking intelligent hi-tech machines to highly efficient production lines. Higher power DC and AC motor drives perform the automation tasks. Every kind of interference that negatively affects the reliability and safety of the installation may lead to production downtime and consequently to significant financial losses. AC and DC motor drives are so-called non-linear loads as they draw a nonsinusoidal current from the grid. Resulting harmonics of current and voltage can interfere with the operation of nearby consumers and overload the electrical infrastructure. In this particular application, the load cycles of the drives often caused interruptions in the production process because of disturbances coupling into the fieldbus system.
Managing a multi-million euro energy spend, including a significant requirement for gas across these complex operations, is about more than simply ensuring energy is available: forecasting capacity, effective trading, price and billing accuracy are all essential.Flexible gas and fixed electricity contracts supplied by Gazprom Energy are at the heart of Siemens' regional energy provision.