"Approaching a problem with an open mind is an important aspect of ISC philosophy, as is using the simplest, most cost effective solution."
We also have a prototype tool,
PROBE, for the Microsoft Windows platform.
PROBE enables users to compare the performance of control loops against a number of
benchmarks including Minimum
Variance (MV) using off-line loop data.
When applied to a process, controls become part of a changing environment. Over a period of time, processes are typically subject to:
These changes often degrade control and plant financial performance. Ideally, checks by instrument/control personnel identify and address such effects. However, if the root cause is not clearly established, control re-tuning activity can make matters worse. In practice, diagnosis tends to depend on human experience. This is against a background of increasing difficulty in recruiting experienced control personnel.
To remove this dependency, it is necessary to utilise process diagnostic tools. Typically these techniques either require 'expert' users or are relatively crude and ineffective.
The challenge is to compare actual loop tuning against the optimum possible. This is defined as control benchmarking.
This Eurostar funded project aims to develop tools that provide the capability of assessing control performance, taking into account various factors that influence the process such as deterministic and stochastic disturbances.
ISC was a member of the PAM project, funded by the EU to provide new control benchmarking tools and demonstrate their effectiveness in assessing the performance of controllers used in including power stations and chemical plant. The goal was to improve the control of processes, learning from the best in the field measures or metrics.