One of our popular presenters at the annual Emerson Exchange is Pete Sharpe. I think that like his last name indicates, he is one sharp person, and people generally like hearing him share his expertise.
Pete has quite a bit of experience with more than 20 years implementing APC for Emerson as well as other suppliers including Setpoint, AspenTech and MDC Technology.
One of his papers, Reducing Costs for APC Projects Using Pre-Engineered Application Module Libraries does helps describe how not only to get the benefits the advanced process control can deliver, but do it for less cost than process manufacturers have typically incurred in the past.
Advanced Process Control (APC) has been used for quite a while and delivered by many automation suppliers. Some savings Pete has seen on some of the projects he’s worked on include:
- Increased capacity – 3-10%
- Quality variability reduction – 30-80%
- Increased recovery – 2-5%
- Reduced energy per ton – 3-5%
These types of improved performance has moved MPC from specialty purpose tools for few industries like refining and petrochemicals, into the mainstream that all industries can use, even for batch processes.
Pete believes it’s best to start with the current economics of your process. If there are issues related to capacity, variability, waste, or energy usage, than it warrants a closer look to see if APC might be something to address these issues.
The key to the lower costs is bundling the APC into specific applications. This takes the expertise of Pete and Emerson’s advanced automation experts in the projects they have implemented and packaged this expertise with:
- Pre-engineered, tested, documented and supported APC modules
- Standard functional design with fill-in-the-blanks tables
- Built-in performance monitoring calculations
- Bundled DeltaV APC license fees
Over the past couple of years, many of these SmartProcess applications have been developed and applied to help process manufacturers reduce some of the issues that they have been battling.