Process-Model Based Control


Updated 2018-09-21

Process-model based control (PMBC) uses an engineer’s first-principles model for automatic control.

In a single-loop application, PMBC could replace PID control as a single-input single-output (SISO) controller, or alternate model-based type controllers such as internal-model, neural-network, or fuzzy-logic.  It can receive multiple inputs to handle disturbances in a manner similar to ratio or feedforward (MISO).  It can also do square and non-square MIMO applications.

The advantages of PMBC are that it uses the engineer’s process understanding – not a linear model, not a purely empirical model, and not a set of linguistic rules.  PMBC preserves and enhances process understanding, and the same model for control can be used for process design and analysis.  PMBC provides a model that is functional over the entire range of operating conditions.  A feature of PMBC is that selected coefficients in the model representing non-stationary process features can be adjusted incrementally, on-line, to have the model evolve with the process (representing fouling factors, efficiency, yield, etc.), providing additional information for the human supervisor about the state of the process.

Although demonstrated here one-step-ahead control of a MISO and a square MIMO application, PMBC can be imbedded in a MIMO, horizon-predictive, constraint-avoiding controller (termed either Advanced Process Control – APC, or Model-Predictive Control – MPC).

PMBC has been demonstrated on numerous pilot-scale applications – pH, distillation, heat exchange, fluid flow, and pressure.  Recent publications include: Manimegalai-Sridhar, U.; A. Govindarajan, and R. R. Rhinehart, “Demonstration of Leapfrogging for Implementing Nonlinear Horizon Predictive Control on a Heat Exchanger”, ISA Transactions, Vol 60 (2016) pp 218-227; Govindarajan, A., S. K. Jayaraman, V. Sethuraman, P. R. Raul, and R. R. Rhinehart, “Cascaded Process Model Based Control: Packed Absorption Column Application”, ISA Transactions, Vol. 53, No. 2, 2014, 391-401; and Raul, P. R., H. Srinivasan, S. Kulkarni, M. Shokrian, G. Shrivastava, and R. R. Rhinehart, “Comparison of Model-Based and Conventional Controllers on a Pilot-Scale Heat Exchanger” ISA Transactions, Vol. 52, No. 3, 2013, pp. 391-405.

This document r3eda site Simple PMBC 2016-06-11 provides an introduction to SISO or MISO PMBC that I feel process control engineers can implement in-house.  This simulator r3eda PMBC Car Speed Control LF to Solve for u implicit 2017-04-23 demonstrates a SISO PMBC with model adaptation on an automobile speed control.  And, this simulator Hot and Cold Mixing 2018-09-17 demonstrates a 2×2 MIMO control of hot and cold water mixing.