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Topic Title: advanced process control available solutions benchmarking
Topic Summary: advanced process control available solutions benchmarking
Created On: 01 May 2013 09:25 PM
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 01 May 2013 09:25 PM
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Joined: 01 May 2013

I'm an engineering student in Computer science and Automation with a focus in control systems. I'm now doing an internship in an oil refining company in morocco, and I'm about to make a comparative study between APC (advanced process control) vendors.
In the firm, the process is controlled by a Yokogawa's DCS (Centum CS 3000) which offer an OPC (EXAOPC) to allow the communication with higher systems.
My question is : because of technical and financial issues I can't implement each one of the controllers and calculate their profitabilities. So how can I make a comparison between the APC vendors without testing them ?
 04 May 2013 04:31 PM
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Joined: 05 September 2004

If you don't have access to other vendors equipment then how can you do the project as currently defined. In any case if you end up favouring another vendor for technical reasons and there is no one locally with experience of programming and configuring the system then you will have wasted your effort.

Perhaps another route for you is to try to understand the existing control systems used by your employer and then try to identify the complexities and dependencies of the existing system and where they might be simplified and changed to increase the overall system reliability.

For example do you really need one centralised controller or do you really need a distributed system of smaller controllers (that can be independently configured and tested) that then feed in information to a central point?

I have never understood the need for benchmarking between systems that feature the same basic centralised control philiosophies anyway (easing configurability, but aggravating the consequence of single point failure, and downtime for the plant while configuration changes are made or bugs fixed on the centralised controller). All this may achieve is to close your mind to alternative control strategies and philosophies.

The differences in the cost of these "advanced process control" systems will always turn out to be marginal compared with other plant costs anyway (particularly plant downtime).

James Arathoon

James Arathoon

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