Basics of Advanced Control

In the early 1990’s, I helped establish Emerson’s advanced control program. As part of this initiative, a technical advisory committee was formed to periodically review the program and to help provide technical direction. This committee was made up of leaders in process control such as Professors Karl Astrom, Lund University, Tom Edgar, University of Texas, and Tom McAvoy, University of Maryland. Some of the initial products that came out of this research and development program were initially introduced in the Provox and RS3 product lines. Later, with the introduction of DeltaV, these products for control tuning, fuzzy logic control, model predictive control, and property estimation were embedded in the DeltaV system.

The DeltaV architecture supports abstraction of system software components from the physical hardware. This capability allowed the advanced control team to introduce a family of control system simulation products, DeltaV Simulate. These products allow all system features to be combined and executed on a single workstation or distributed between multiple workstations without the requirement for a physical controller.

While Greg McMillan was at Solutia, he and I often interacted on beta tests of advanced control products and the control system simulation environment supported by DeltaV.

The technical basis for the advanced control and simulation products available in DeltaV are described in a series of over thirty technical papers. These papers were written and presented by the advanced control team at various control conferences. As customers applied these products we received detailed technical questions that were often best addressed by referring the customer to one or more of these technical papers. Thus, Dr. Willy Wojsznis, Emerson Process Management, and I began to discuss writing a book that incorporated information from these papers that could serve as a reference for control engineers working in this area. In addition, we felt it was important to address the benefits and application of this technology on various processes. Thus, we invited Greg McMillan and Mike Brown to co-author this book. The book, Advanced Control Unleashed, was published in the fall of 2003 and that year was ISA’s best selling book

If you are interested in exploring the benefits of advanced control, then Advanced Control Unleashed is a good starting point in learning about this technology. With ISA’s permission, I have created a brief overview of the book.

Overview of Advanced Control Unleashed

You can purchase this book directly from ISA. As stated in the book introduction, all royalties from the books are donated by the authors to “universities, consortia, and educational programs to promote and enhance the development and use of advanced process control.