Maximizing the value of process control to improve profitability

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How to Develop a Successful Control Strategy
Developing a successful control strategy requires a strong understanding of the process objectives, the operating modes, process and control fundamentals and instrumentation. There are some key concepts that the development team needs to use in defining the best strategy. Please click on our Control Strategy Design Article to read more and to review a case study.

TIP sheet Roadmap for Improving Process Control Performance
The task of improving process control performance needs to be done analytically. Measuring the variability in key processes is the first step. Please click our TIP sheet Roadmap for Improving Process Control Performance for all the details.

Tip Sheet for Level Control
Our first tip sheet reviews the steps necessary to develop good tuning for storage tank level control loops. The excel workbook pci_level_control, available in the download section, is a useful companion for estimating level loop process dynamics, defining an appropriate Lambda value and calculating level loop tuning concepts. Please click on Tuning Storage Tank Level Loops Article to find out more.

Process Control Training is important
The contribution of the E&I mechanics, process and control engineers, operators and management is pivotal to good control system performance. Yet the training of process control personnel is often not given the priority that it deserves. The result is that the full potential of the control system is not realized. Please click on PCI Training Article to find out more.

Pressure Control Valve & Actuator Troubleshooting
Good PCV performance is a crucial component in achieving optimum pipeline pressure control. It's important to recognize that the PCV performance degrades over time, eventually causing pressure control problems such as continuous PCV hunting. Once this happens the rate of valve degradation usually increases. ProNamics conducts in-situ control valve performance tests to identify valve issues that are compromising control performance. The tests identify problems with valve calibration, position feedback, actuator coupling key slop, slow actuator speed and other issues. Please click on Check Out Your Control Valve to find out more.

One specific area of our valve evaluation expertise is optimizing Rexa actuator performance. ProNamics has worked with pipeline companies to develop Rexa actuator performance specifications and we have much experience in troubleshooting Rexa actuator problems. Continuous hunting over long periods - resulting from issues such as poor controller tuning, output linearization errors, feedback or motor noise, faulty calibration and pump vibration - cause premature wear of the actuator. One outcome is that position control resolution can be severely degraded. Excessive motor activity and high oil consumption are key indicators that the actuator performance is degrading - and a good time to conduct a full PCV performance evaluation. Excessive actuator vibration caused by High valve cavitation results in faster wear.

Pipeline VFD Pressure Control Optimization
There has been a significant increase in the application of VFD's for pipeline pressure control in recent years. While the most obvious benefit is reduced pumping costs, the VFD also has several inherent control performance advantages. These include elimination of valve backlash and stiction, a more linear process gain and a fast response. ProNamics has optimized VFD pressure controls on many pipeline applications. Please give us a call to discuss the challenges and benefits of pipeline VFD control in more detail. Please click on Pipeline VFD Pressure Control Optimization to find out more.

Opportunities for Humidity Control
Humidity control can help to optimize the performance of the hot air / direct contact drying processes used in the pulp and paper industry. These processes include Yankee Hoods and Through Air Dryers used in tissue manufacturing and Air Float dryers and Flash Dryers used to dry pulp. Humidity control has the potential to improve thermal efficiency, sheet moisture control, and can assist in process diagnostics. In the past, a fundamental impediment to success has been sensor accuracy and reliability in high temperature/particulate exhaust streams. Our recent experiences with the Dewcon Humidity sensor have been very positive. Please click on Humidity Control for more information. You can calculate the savings on tissue machines by downloading PCI Yankee Hood Humidity Analysis.

Paper Machine Supervisory Speed Control
A conventional Dryer Limit control strategy, where the Moisture controller adjusts machine speed, has the potential to maximize production rate on machines where drying capacity is the primary bottleneck. However, the frequent speed adjustments often degrade product quality and operating efficiency. We have developed an alternate approach which is designed to maximize production performance - not just the machine speed. Please click on Supervisory Speed Logic Control to find out more.

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Process Optimization & Troubleshooting

Remote Control Loop Troubleshooting

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August 15, 2014