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The innovation enables plants to have higher output at lower cost through enhanced efficiency

The innovation enables plants to have higher output at lower cost through enhanced efficiency



Aspen DMC3 a new era in APC

The innovative software helps engineers modify the behaviour of the controller based on the plant’s lifecycle needs

October 2014

AspenTech’s software Aspen DMC3 marks a new era in advanced process control (APC), responding to the needs of plants such as refineries and chemical companies that are under constant pressure to improve throughput, save energy, meet operational constraints and improve time management, says AspenTech.

“Aspen DMC3 software combines industry leading DMCplus technology with the most innovative tools for building and maintaining controllers – all in one place,” notes Altaf Khan, manufacturing and supply chain (MSC) business consultant at AspenTech.

“Aspen DMC3 provides the control engineer with key capabilities that modify the behaviour of the controller based on the lifecycle needs (ie lifecycle needs defined by changing process plant performance and economic objectives). The new-gain constrained model identification in Aspen DMC3 software leverages process knowledge to create more effective model predictive control applications,” the official adds.

Khan: benefits to companies ‘significant’

Khan: benefits to companies ‘significant’

Khan comments that Aspen DMC3 reflects the importance of APC as   a necessary technological deployment in addition to basic process controls to meet the operational targets and customer demands. It is also reflective of APC engineers’ need to exert tighter control of operation in order to squeeze out more production at lower cost from complex and demanding processes.  

“Innovation and economics go hand in hand. On the one hand Aspen DMC3’s Adaptive Process Control functionality provides a complete range of economic trade-offs for managing step testing and model construction. On the other hand, the robustness feature of Aspen DMC3 software provides the same ability to shape the performance of the controller when in optimising control mode. By setting the robustness factor, the controller aggressiveness can be set by the engineer to mitigate the risk of poor model conditioning. Binary choices are replaced with a continuously variable scale giving fine control over the technical and economic trade-offs involved in APC,” observes Khan.

“The benefits to companies are also significant and include better control to shape the economics of APC solutions to continuously meet changing business objectives. In addition, users can now shape the behaviour of the controller during testing, model construction and deployment phases.”

“Aspen DMC3 capability delivers more power to the pocket. Operating a process with greater control increases efficiency and safety to improve product quality. Innovative APC software allows plants to operate at the highest possible throughputs, maximise yield of the highest value products and perform at the optimum energy usage possible. By mitigating model errors and improving the performance of control over time, this groundbreaking innovation optimises the production process, eliminates waste and reduces the overall cost in the manufacturing process,” the official states.

Khan adds in concluding remarks: “With Aspen DMC3 software, implementation and maintenance of APC is no longer an arduous project, but more of a continuous programme of improvement – the bottom line is that companies now have robust control and ‘cost-to-payback’ return on investment with dramatic and uplifting results.”




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