October 2004

Special Report: Improving Process Control

Embedded APC tools reduce costs of the technology

Control projects can be more easily justified for smaller plants

Sharpe, P., Emerson Process Management; Rezabek, J., BP Amoco BDO Manufacturing

Advanced process control (APC) techniques often show significant improvement over regulatory PID functions in both continuous and batch processes, with potentially huge returns.1,2,3,4 Historically, APC projects have required very specialized skill-sets and experienced resources to implement and maintain ? limiting use of the technology to only very large refineries or petrochemical plants that could justify such an expense. New embedded APC tools offered by some automation suppliers are starting to change that. Ease-of-use features designed into these tools aim to make APC blocks almost as easy to use as a PID loop. Lower APC implementation costs have enabled smaller manufacturers to

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