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Register below for one of our live webinars that share new approaches to process improvement & optimisation. 

Or watch one of our Pre-Recorded Webinars here...

Batch Operating Envelopes: Better Batches and Grade Transitions


Do you want to identify the sources of batch-to-batch variation in your process and the key variables and phases for improving performance? This webinar applies our innovative Geometric Process Control technology to batch processes and grade transitions.

Following on from last month’s webinar on visualizing optimal operating envelopes for continuous processes, we extend the principle to batch processes, grade transitions and other dynamic time-dependent process operation. We’ll demonstrate improving the yield of a multi-phase, multi-stage batch process. Dramatic reduction of quality variability and improvement of cycle times for batch processes, product/grade transitions and plant start-up can be achieved by finding the best historic operating envelope, identifying the processing stages and targeting the key variables that drive process differences. We’ll also investigate real-time monitoring of multi-dimensional operating envelope models that go far beyond traditional single-variable trajectories and use the ideal relationship between variables at each point in the batch.

The data required to drive these improvements is already available in your plant historian. PPCL’s C Visual Explorer (CVE) is the tool vital to unlocking that information from hundreds of tags and putting it in an interactive environment so that engineering and operations can investigate process discovery, test hypotheses, evaluate the effect of targeted operation and much more. This visual method requires no higher mathematics training, only process knowledge to ask and answer the questions whose answers will drive better and better production. And you will see how to solve multi-phase batch alarming to make alarms useful to the process operator.

Smarter batch processing is within your reach! Attend this webinar and let us show you how.


Can't make it? Click here to access our previously recorded webinars

Visualizing Operating Envelopes Enables Optimal Operation


Whether the goal is better product, more throughput, lower cost or a combination of all three, the key to repeating best operation is understanding your process and how it behaves. Such information is already present implicitly in your plant historian. This webinar demonstrates visual tools which engineers can use to extract and exploit the wealth of information available.

An Operating Envelope is the relationship between variables that gives the best achievement of one or more objectives such as yield, throughput, quality etc. This can be very complex when multiple optima exist and, until now, very difficult to see with more than a handful of variables. In the past, targets would be found individually, discounting the inherent relationship between the variables. Doing this is tedious and it is difficult to move them in accordance with new or modified goals through KPI targets. It would often conflict with other limits such as Safety Alarms, Integrity Operating Limits and Operator Alarm Limits.

Feed-to-product Operating Envelopes make it easy to reproduce best operation by identifying key variables and operating ranges to ensure consistent operation or provide MPC constraints. Additionally, new information can be generated by comparing operation under different external conditions with current constraints and operating limits to question why our operation is where it is. This can be done graphically without needing advanced statistical or analytic techniques. You can even see how that newly proposed KPI and its limits will perform and whether the operating window is sufficient to achieve the required targets.

Watch the webinar now and discover more about PPCL’s fast, practical, no-math approach to extracting the information and insight buried in your process history data.

Better Operator Alarms Make Money


Better operator alarms make money for YOUR plant by reducing operational variability, which contributes to a reduction in operating costs and, in cases where throughput is increased, to a reduction in the unit costs of production.

The single biggest cause of poor operator alarm performance is the values at which the alarm limits are set. But search for advice on how to find correct alarm limits and the answer will be “put the limits at the boundary of where you normally operate”. For the practising engineer this advice is next to useless because he doesn’t have a way to locate that boundary across many hundreds of variables.

The key is an Operating Envelope or Operating Window spanning the many hundreds or even thousands of variables, some with alarms defined and some without.

In this month's webinar you will discover a simple visual method of locating the Operating Window and Envelope of any chosen set of objectives and of setting alarm limits around its boundary. You will see the usefulness of being able to see and compare Windows and Envelopes for different operating objectives and the benefits of predicting Alarm Performance with immediate feedback.

Achieving Operational Excellence

Does achieving operational Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) support your business goals? Or are they considered contradictory, unrealistic or even impossible?

Are they unrealistic? How and why do unrealistic targets get created?

In a modern process plant using traditional methods, identifying and evaluating KPI targets is somewhere between difficult and impossible. However, it becomes much easier when leading KPIs are positioned on an operating envelope defined by lagging KPIs.

Geometric Process Control, an innovative new technology developed here at PPCL, provides the way to quickly and easily see such operating envelopes across hundreds of variables. Potential KPIs and targets can be immediately evaluated and compared, and contradictions or difficulties are immediately visible. Performance monitoring and reporting become clear and consistent for everyone involved, allowing process refinement and increasing understanding of how KPIs interact.

Real-Time Fault Detection Applied to Tennessee Eastman Challenge


The cost of downtime and degraded production from abnormal events is a major cost in the process industry. Giving your operators additional warning of situations such as column flooding, valve failure or equipment fouling can dramatically reduce production losses. Traditional condition monitoring and fault detection models are time consuming and expensive to create and maintain. Here we present a simple, low-cost method based on process history which can be implemented by a trained engineer in a matter of hours.

C Process Modeller, PPCL’s real-time process monitoring software, provides faster, earlier detection of faults against a standard benchmark. This webinar will introduce our unique and innovative Geometric Process Control (GPC) technology and demonstrate its application to a standard process benchmark for fault-detection techniques, the Tennessee Eastman process, looking at case studies from real process plants.

Targeting Lowest Energy Use in Process Plants

Most process plants today operate with excess energy. This not only increases operating costs but affects the maintenance costs and lifetimes of fired heaters. It also requires excessive cooling capacity to remove the excess energy later in the process. Why is it done? Well, it is usually ‘easier’ for operations to operate with excess energy and after a while that level of energy becomes the norm and the organisation stops pressing for improvement.

But it needn’t be like this!

C Visual Explorer (CVE) is innovative interrogative visualisation software developed exclusively here at PPCL. It has allowed engineers across the world to investigate the historic operation of their plant and identify their best energy usage, giving them the key parameters, targets and MPC constraints to better replicate past best operation into the future. Results reported by some of our users include increased paraxylene production without increasing energy input; tracking non-stationary energy minimums in an LNG refrigeration system with a look-up table of constraints to guide MPC controls to the current minimum; and avoiding historic energy blackspots in a hydrocracker through being able to see non-linearities. All of these delivered substantially reduced energy usage and operating costs as a direct result of the insights provided by CVE.

It is surprisingly easy to achieve results such as these with CVE compared to other analytical methods as CVE usage is entirely visual and designed by experienced process and control engineers for use by experienced process and control engineers. Watch this webinar and we'll show you how it's done.

Big Data and Predictive Analytics in Process Plants: Geometric Process Control gives Engineers the Big Picture

Process plants generate continuous time-series data for thousands of variables. This data has enormous potential, untapped today because of the limitations of process engineers’ conventional analysis tools. Fashionable “Big Data” approaches are challenged by process plant data and have limited applications for busy process and control engineers. Predictive Analytics, a time-consuming method which requires a data scientist to interpret the results, provides generalized answers through simplifications which can destroy much of the richness of the data. Geometric Process Control (GPC) – a technology developed here at Process Plant Computing Ltd – avoids these pitfalls and provides engineers with graphical tools to work with datasets spanning their entire plant which create low-cost predictive models without equations to develop new process understanding quickly and easily.

This webinar starts with analysis of a process with 750 variables over a year at 10-minute intervals. We’ll discuss how to approach big datasets and explore them visually, using operating envelopes and finding interactions between variables. Covering the entire process including incoming analyses through processing conditions to final quality variables, KPIs and performance variables, GPC enables engineers to fully explore their data and make discoveries that they can’t now. We’ll also demonstrate real-time online GPC models that provide ongoing enforcement of your discoveries for achieving quality targets and operational excellence long after you have moved on to your next project.

See for yourself why Geometric Process Control models cost so little and get your process working better - register for a webinar today!


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