Reactor controller: Specialized device regulates difficult exothermic reactions


Advanced Process Control

Controller performance is demonstrated and compared in this trend chart.

Although reactors are major operating units in many chemical plants, keeping close control of temperatures in exothermic reactors is still a common problem. Many plants use poorly performing PID loops or do it manually and simply deal with resulting problems. CyboSoft has now developed a model-free adaptive controller, the MFA XRT, to regulate the temperature of an exothermic reactor.

Since heat and reaction speed are directly related in exothermic processes, the process can run away if the controller cannot respond quickly enough to stop it. "Typically, a non-self-regulating or run-away process like this could be controlled by using a P-controller," says Steve Mulkey, engineering director. "However, when the process also includes a large time delay, it becomes extremely difficult to control. A run-away process requires rapid control action to search for a new balance point and yet a process with a large time delay requires a patient control action. These two requirements are in conflict."

CyboSoft claims the MFA XRT controller solves this dilemma by providing a "smart" control signal. Its performance is demonstrated against a PID controller in a real-time simulation system that is included in the CyboCon MFA control software-Professional Edition. It shows how the controller on the top makes rapid and decisive adjustments to bring the reaction into balance, while the PID controller cannot get the operation in hand (see illustration). The patented model-free adaptive control approach is said to be key to these difficult applications.

For more about how the model-free approach works, click here to read an article from Control Engineering Europe on its complex operations.

-- Daily News Desk, Peter Welander ,
process industries editor , Control Engineering

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Choosing controllers: PLCs, PACs, IPCs, DCS? What's best for your application?; Wireless trends; Design, integration; Manufacturing Day; Product Exclusive
Variable speed drives: Smooth, efficient, electrically quite motion control; Process control upgrades; Mobile intelligence; Product finalists: Vote now; Product Exclusives
Machine design tips: Pneumatic or electric; Software upgrades; Ethernet advantages; Additive manufacturing; Engineering Leaders; Product exclusives: PLC, HMI, IO
This article collection contains the 5 most referenced articles on improving the use of PID.
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security