Process Manufacturing

Control Engineering hot topics, April 2019

Control Engineering's most clicked articles in April 2019 included stories about rate-predictive control, Engineers' Choice Awards, feedforward control, object-oriented programming, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
By Chris Vavra May 1, 2019
Courtesy: APC Performance LLC

Hot topics in Control Engineering, for April 2019, included the Engineers’ Choice Awards, edge computing advantages, manufacturing and process facility trends, and Big Data analysis. These are based on the top 10 most read articles online in Control Engineering March. Links to each article below.

1. What is rate-predictive control?

Advanced control: A new non-PID control algorithm, rate-predictive control (RPC), is adaptive to changes in process gain, which is helpful given the industry’s difficult history of loop tuning, auto-tuning, and model maintenance. RPC also can serve as a model-less feedback multivariable control algorithm.

Figure: Rate-predictive control (RPC) uses a pre-set move rate, and tapers the move based on the PV’s predicted (apparent or already manifest) value. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has hundreds of patents for process control; as of this writing, RPC is the only one with the claim of being inherently adaptive. Courtesy: APC Performance LLC

Figure: Rate-predictive control (RPC) uses a pre-set move rate, and tapers the move based on the PV’s predicted (apparent or already manifest) value. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has hundreds of patents for process control; as of this writing, RPC is the only one with the claim of being inherently adaptive. Courtesy: APC Performance LLC

2. 2019 Engineers’ Choice Awards

Spotlight on innovation: Best automation, control, and instrumentation products in 26 categories.

3. Understanding feedforward control

Feedforward controls applied to a process, with limited, measurable disturbances, can keep the process variable close to the setpoint.

4. Leverage object-oriented industrial programming

Plants and equipment are assembled from objects, so controls architecture should be too. New tools help industrial programmers deliver the productivity of object-oriented programming (OOP) without the complexity.

5. IIoT-ready technologies improve machine controls

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies have the potential to improve user benefits through diagnostics, prognostics and predictive maintenance.

6. Connecting quality data to process data

Using advanced analytics can help assure product quality and overall operational efficiencies. See case study example.

Figure 2: Self-service analytics use process data to assess and assure product quality. Courtesy: TrendMiner

Figure 2: Self-service analytics use process data to assess and assure product quality. Courtesy: TrendMiner

7. Temperature sensor calibration

Sensor failure risks are significantly reduced if the temperature sensor can be calibrated in situ.

8. How to evaluate a system integrator for a project

There are many aspects to consider when evaluating a system integrator for a project, and taking the time to ask important questions up front allows a company to reap long-term benefits.

9. Optimize production line design with simulation modeling

Simulation modeling, used properly, can identify and remove risks, maximize value, and help produce successful outcomes. Ask these five questions to ensure the model reflects realistic behavior and constraints.

10. Nanocrystals improve quantum dot manufacturing for process monitoring applications

North Carolina State University researchers have developed a system for synthesizing perovskite quantum dots to reduce manufacturing costs for real-time process monitoring to help ensure quality control.

On Mondays, see the top 5 articles of the prior week.

Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media, cvavra@cfemedia.com.

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Chris Vavra
Author Bio: Production Editor, Control Engineering, CFE Media