Partners: ABB, SASOL, Boliden, TUDelft, AWTH, TU/e, KTH

Funding: EU

It is widely recognized that the life-time performance of current model-based operation support systems, like Model Predictive Control (MPC), Real-Time Optimization (RTO) and soft-sensors for large-scale complex dynamic processes is rather limited, particularly due to the fact that the underlying dynamic models need to be adapted/calibrated regularly, requiring dedicated measurement campaigns executed by highly specialized engineers.  In this project, we aimed to develop technology in order to bring the current model-based operation support technology  to a higher level of autonomy. Such a technology requires developments in experiment design, performance monitoring and diagnosis, closed loop identification, autotuning so that it can optimize plant performance under varying operational conditions and adapting to changing circumstances.

Figure 1: Autoprofit Decision Tree


Partners: TU/e DSM , FrieslandCampina, Corbion , ISPT

Rigorous models (first principle models) are an accepted technology in process industries and development of such models are common practice.  There are various modeling environments available with complex reaction kinetics formulations and rigorous thermodynamics information. The models used have become more and more dynamic and are used for offline studies such as process design and optimization, dynamical analysis, control structure selection and operator training. These models are generally nonlinear, large scale and result in differential algebraic representations. They describe a wider range of process operation compared to data driven models. Despite their extensive offline use, the process knowledge within these rigorous models is still not utilized extensively in the production/operation environment for real time online model based applications.  The goal of this project is to integrate rigorous in daily operation of chemical processes and make a step further in closing the gap between offline and online use of rigorous models in these applications.

Two research directions have been identified

  1. Alignment of rigorous models with actual process behavior (online calibration) with a predefined level of accuracy.
  2. Development of technology for the optimal design, dynamic operation, control and decision making for processes under uncertainty.