Next-generation platform for advanced control and estimation for Shell

16 June 2015

Yokogawa Electric Corporation and Shell have jointly developed a new platform for advanced control and estimation – a software suite designed to speed up and simplify the process of designing, deploying, and maintaining advanced process control applications.

This software suite brings together the advanced process control technology acquired by Shell through the operation of its plants and Yokogawa’s real-time control technology. 

Advanced process control systems aim to improve product yield and reduce energy consumption by maintaining process values such as temperature, flow rate, and pressure within a set range while also keeping them as close as possible to their optimal set points. Such systems are increasingly being used in refineries, petrochemical plants, chemical plants, and natural gas liquefaction trains. 

Commenting on the announcement, Satoru Kurosu, a Yokogawa director and executive vice president who heads the Solutions Service Business headquarters, said: "This software was developed based on Shell's long experience with advanced control technology and Yokogawa's extensive global track record in providing superior control system solutions, and is expected to help our customers achieve dramatic improvements in productivity. We will continue to provide high value-added solutions that ensure sustainable growth for our customers."

This software suite offers the following functionality available within the same platform:

• Multivariable model predictive control: a function for modelling the dynamic characteristics of plant responses and controlling multiple variables based on model predictions
• Soft sensing: a function for estimating quality in real time based on temperature, flow rate, pressure, and other process values 
• The ability to perform various types of calculations and customise settings.

Features include the development of rapidly deployable applications with the identification of dynamic characteristic response models, plant step response tests are typically executed over long periods of time to determine how the manipulation of devices impacts process values. The software carries out this work automatically and displays the results as a model robustness rating. Users can then choose the optimum model, reducing engineering time.
While the monitoring and operation screens for conventional advanced control applications need to be created from scratch for a production control system, a hierarchical set of screens are provided as a standard feature with the new software suite, which simplifies engineering and improves operability. 

When developing an advanced control application it is necessary to build modules for multivariable model predictive control, soft sensing, the interface with the production control system, calculation, and other functions, and then combine them. With the new software suite, it is possible for these modules to be built and operated from the same platform, improving engineering efficiency.

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