|New methods of controller performance assessment can substantially improve quality and economics of manufacturing. Recent results from a EU project, In-Control, will be generalised and made available in software tools for training and awareness across industrial sectors. The consortium includes an SME (ISC Ltd) which will co-ordinate the project and lead development of a generic software tool. Another two partners, ABB and Siemens, will modify the modules for use in training the operators of their SCADA systems. The Industrial Control Centre at the University of Strathclyde will provide the theoretical algorithms. Convincing results from plant evaluation studies are an important component in the training. Babcock, CESI and BASF will be involved in data provision and end user advice. The main technical advance is in the provision of practical performance assessment measures, which can be exploited for diagnostics and controller tuning.
Control engineers need training to be fully aware of what can be done to benchmark and improve the performance of a system. Existing benchmarking methods must also be enhanced and systematised to become accessible by the manufacturing and process control communities. The ultimate goal is to improve the way a system or process is run, to approach "best in the field".
The project will:
1. Summarise recent advances in performance assessment and controller tuning techniques;
2. Implement the benchmarking software on industrial SCADA systems and in a freestanding general software environment;
3. Organise an annual one-week international training course covering theory, software implementation and practical applications of benchmarking;
4. Build and maintain an Internet self-study benchmarking site.
The realisation of the training objectives of the project is supported by development and consolidation of theory and by development and testing of appropriate software. The work can be divided into three stages:
- Consolidation and extension of controller assessment techniques;
- Development of software tools, which will enable benchmark, cost figures to be evaluated given plant test data or models;
- Evaluation of the benchmark tools on two industrial simulations of physical processes, verified from real plant test data;
- Summary of the theory of controller tuning techniques, which will allow benchmark figures to be met at both regulating and supervisory levels;
- Development of software toolboxes (compatible with the benchmarking software), which can be used for tuning or retuning procedures;
- Development of software training facilitating in commercial DCS packages;
- Assessment of effectiveness of controller tuning methods using industrial simulations;
- Evaluation of benchmarking and controller tuning software using on-line tests on an industrial process to demonstrate techniques can be used in real time and under industrial conditions;
- Development of educational software toolboxes for supervisory (managerial-level) economic benchmarking of control and monitoring systems;
- Development of Internet benchmarking self-study site;
- Organisation of industrial examples and three benchmarking training courses.
- Tutorial Workshop at ECC 2001 to summarise the progress in benchmarking theory and algorithms;
- General software tool for use in training courses and Workshops;
- Software will be imported into industrial SCADA systems and used in a self-study INTERNET package;
- The SCADA version will be tested on industrial processes;
- Three international training courses presenting the benchmarking methods will be organised for industrial engineers, and conference presentations encouraged.