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Geometric Process Control (GPC) is essentially a patented graphical technology which has been applied to the process industries to enable new levels of process control which were previously not achievable. Process engineers can directly leverage their process knowledge without mathematical intervention. The method can be applied to both batch and continuous processes.

Unfortunately, most process improvement methods that you may have previously been exposed to, such as Statistical Process Control (SPC), are time consuming and require a statistician to interpret the results. And whilst this keeps the statistician in business, other plant staff do not have real insight into how and why process improvement projects should be undertaken. This is where GPC comes in. GPC is both quick and easy to understand and prevents the need for lengthy mathematical calculations. Furthermore, it provides you with the scientific backing you need to put process improvement projects in place.

GPC uses n-dimensional geometry to take a large spreadsheet of data (either input manually or directly from your plant historian) to create visual outputs which summarise production for a given period. And because the outputs are visual you gain new insights into your process. This technology enables you to tightly control your process, prevent waste, reduce recycles and lower energy consumption – which have a substantial impact on your bottom line.

For those of you working in the refining industry, the technology can aid your ability to rationalise alarms. The overwhelming problem of false alarms is that they are time consuming and can force alarm limits to be wider than they need to be, which poses additional threats. GPC is the first method to set alarms scientifically, allowing you to avoid the day-long meetings of glorified guess work which usually characterise alarm setting.

The benefit of GPC

GPC is much easier to understand and use than data analysis techniques based on algebra or calculus, because its operation is primarily visual. Anyone in your organisation can understand how and why the process improvements will work and they don’t need to be a scientist, engineer or mathematician! The software also prevents the need for lengthy mathematical calculations; all the hard work is done by the program.

GPC works by replacing the fundamental assumption of orthogonality between dimensions. The unique combination of parallel coordinate transformation and n-dimensional geometry makes it possible to see a multi-variable graph containing several hundred variables (such as temperatures, pressures, flows and product qualities) and thousands of different observations in a single picture. Yes, a single graph can show the entire contents of a spreadsheet of hundreds of columns and thousands of rows! For the last several thousand years, the world has been restricted to graphs that could show at most half a dozen variables. This has limited the understanding of multi-variable processes by forcing over-simplification, resulting in an artificially constrained understanding of complex process interactions.

With the advent of GPC, users can interact with the full extent of the data quickly and easily, instead of working within an artificially constrained number of variables.

What GPC can do

tik Increase profitability
tik Reduce operating costs
tik Improve PAT and QbD methods
tik Lower emissions
tik Rationalise alarms scientifically
tik Increase throughput
tik Reduce energy consumption and waste
tik Improve quality
tik Increase / control yield
tik Increase safety
tik Give you new insights into your process
tik Prevent you from making poor quality product almost all of the time
 

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