October 2004

Special Report: Improving Process Control

How to lose money with inferential properties

Fourteen more rules that, if followed, will ensure that advanced control will drive the unit further away from optimum operation

King, M. J., Whitehouse Consulting

The hydrocarbon industry is remarkably inventive in providing a never-ending catalog of ways to jeopardize the benefits that advanced control should capture. Inferential properties, now commonplace in advanced control projects, offer another rich vein of examples. This article, like its predecessors,1,2 presents a further list of rules. Also known as ?soft sensors? or ?virtual measurements,? inferentials are often applied to predicting product qualities from more easily measurable operating conditions. But they can be applied to almost any variable that is difficult or costly to measure directly. Examples include column flooding, coker drum outage, furnace coking, etc. Technologies

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