Always Learning Process Dynamics for Better Control

If you’re a process engineer responsible for keeping the process running smoothly, you know how difficult it can be to analyze and optimize the performance of your loops on an ongoing basis.

Over the years, applications were included in Emerson’s DeltaV system to inspect loop variability and tune the PID and fuzzy logic loops. The DeltaV technologists have been working on ways to further simplify these applications and have them operate more easily than they do today.

The result is DeltaV InSight, which will be available in the next release of the DeltaV software. The software is currently scheduled for release before the end of this calendar year. Control magazine’s Dan Hebert wrote a nice review of DeltaV Insight which was in the October issue, in an article, User-Friendly Advanced Control. Dan spoke with DeltaV advanced control product manager John Caldwell, about what technologies and capabilities come with DeltaV InSight.

John boils down what DeltaV InSight does for process engineers as improving process control by monitoring control performance, identifying and diagnosing problem loops, recommending tuning and maintenance improvements, and continuously adapting to changing process conditions.

The gee-whiz technology part consists of learning algorithms that continuously identify dynamic process models based on normal day-to-day operations. The learning algorithms run down in the controller and update the models each time there is a change to the process. By constantly updating these models to changing process conditions, InSight can provide adaptive tuning to keep your loops running smoothly with minimal tuning effort.

DeltaV InSight also reduces start-up costs and ongoing maintenance by automatically configuring your performance monitoring and tuning applications based on your current DeltaV configuration. Whenever a control loop is added, deleted or changed, InSight will automatically recognize the change and update the InSight configuration. By reducing the on-going maintenance requirement, InSight has overcome a significant barrier that process engineers have had in the past with other layered software applications.

The software identifies abnormal control conditions such as wrong control mode, limited output, and high variability. It also identifies malfunctioning devices that may cause control problems and points to the problem loops that need retuning. Although some applications could do this in the past, the automatic, ongoing learning of the process dynamics really helps the software point the operations and maintenance staff to the areas requiring most attention. It does a lot more but you’ll need to keep an eye on or subscribe to the DeltaV News RSS feed and look for the DeltaV InSight product data sheet to be posted in the coming weeks.

Like the recently announced Smart Wireless initiative which went through extensive testing with BP, DeltaV InSight also was put through its paces with lubricant additive maker Lubrizol. A video with their experiences was recently announced on the website. Check it out.

Lubrizol: Results with InSight Adaptive Loop Tuning

View the Video:
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Posted Thursday, November 9th, 2006 under Process Optimization, Variability Management.

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