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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...

Golden Batches, Faster Grade Changes and Smoother Start-Ups Every Time


In this free webinar, Dr Alan Mahoney, our Technical and Operations Director, will share PPCL's insights and methods for higher quality batch processes.

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-ups 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 show you how to find these envelopes and identify the key variables which drive achievement of quality goals. We’ll also investigate real-time monitoring of multi-dimensional operating envelope models which goes far beyond following single-variable trajectories and instead considers 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 vital tool to unlock that information, putting it on an interactive graph so that engineering and operations can investigate it for process discovery, test hypotheses and evaluate the effect of targeted operations. 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.

Smarter batch processing is within your reach! Enrol for a webinar today and let us show you how .


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

Defending Your Alarms


Alarm system performance is frequently cited as a contributory factor in process incidents, so much so that the current standards were drafted in response to these concerns. Could you defend the alarm limits in your plant? Do they contribute or detract from your operators’ ability to react to an abnormal situation and maintain production? Commonly 50% or more of operator alarms are false or unnecessary requests, increasing operator load and leading to distrust.

This webinar will demonstrate a new fundamental understanding of how alarm limits are related to process behavior, leading to the new ability to create and manage an entire set of alarm limits together. This differentiates Modern Alarm Rationalization from the isolated alarm methods most people in the industry are still using. Using this method, alarm limits and their performance can be evaluated before putting them in place, forcing underlying process issues to be recognized and addressed. This is dramatically different from today’s one-at-a-time handling of “bad actors” and also allows setting limits for alarms that haven’t been violated yet. It generates much better alarm limits while taking less process engineering time, thereby reducing the number, duration, and staff levels of review meetings.

The webinar will concentrate on continuous processes but the methods are equally applicable to batch processes. It is free and suitable for anyone involved in plant engineering or operations in process industry or energy industry segments, and who is interested in a fast, practical, no-maths method for extracting information understanding from process history data.

Reducing Process Energy Use with Improved Operation

Process plants rarely operate consistently at their minimum energy input. A number of factors contribute to this, including lack of knowledge of the best conditions and also the ease of operation with excess energy. There is an inevitable drift back to higher energy operation without ongoing monitoring and feedback as part of energy minimisation.

Process engineers worldwide using C Visual Explorer (CVE) – innovative software developed here at PPCL - to investigate historic data from PI, PHD, IP21 and similar have produced some remarkable process improvements in remarkably little time. Results include increasing the product output of a paraxylene plant already at maximum energy input; identifying and steering an LNG refrigeration process to the best of several non-stationary local efficiency optima by adjusting the constraints of existing MPC controls; and providing a hydrocracker operator with a map to avoid several high energy sink-holes that were not previously known, reducing energy usage by 40%.

In this free webinar we’ll demonstrate our simple no-maths visual method which requires only the knowledge of the process and its operating objectives and practices which senior process engineers already possess. It uses data already in your plant historian and can identify operational changes to a lower energy operating window. We also discuss maintaining improved operation into the future and real time guidance for the operator and/or existing process control systems.

GPC Technology for Big Data and Predictive Analytics in Process Plants

Process plants generate continuous time-series data for thousands of variables at sub-minute frequencies. This is far beyond what process engineers can analyse with their conventional analysis tools. This data has enormous potential value, containing the records of plant operation and implicitly the relationships between process variables and KPI, quality and performance variables. What led to the best performance and can it be repeated; what led to the worst and can it be avoided?

The currently trending “Big Data” approaches focus on pulling subtle correlations from largely uncorrelated data, but chemical processes have extensive relationships due to balances and governing physical laws. Predictive Analytics provides generalized answers through simplifications which can destroy much of the richness of the data. Such approaches have little appeal to the busy process and control engineers close to the plant who have the domain knowledge essential to the use of any analytical method. They can also be time-consuming and require a statistician to interpret the results.

Our ground-breaking “maths-free” technology Geometric Process Control (GPC) provides engineers with graphical tools to work with big datasets spanning the entire plant process. This webinar demonstrates analysis of a process using a small dataset involving a year of data for 750 variables at 10-minute intervals. By connecting data spanning the entire process from incoming analyses through processing conditions to final quality variables, KPIs and performance with the richness of years of historical data, GPC enables engineers to explore their data and make discoveries that are not possible today.

Reduce Process Plant Costs and Improve Availability with Affordable Event Prediction


A few minutes’ warning of approaching abnormal events in a process plant, such as column flooding, pump/motor failure or equipment fouling, can make all the difference for operators and dramatically reduce production losses. Traditionally, models for condition monitoring and fault detection were 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 user in a matter of hours.

In this webinar, we demonstrate how our method works and answer your questions. We look at our innovative software C Visual Explorer (CVE), a powerful data visualisation tool for investigating historical events and evaluating operating envelopes using data from the plant historian. Building from individual events into whole classes of similar events, wel pinpoint common causes of faults and identify precursor signatures. We then look at C Process Modeller (CPM), an online process monitoring tool which models the operating envelope of fault-free operation as a multi-dimensional solid, providing dynamic real-time warning of developing events and bringing the operators’ attention to the key deviating variables.

Achieving Operational Excellence

Do your Key Performance Indicators drive Operational Excellence? Or does Operations pay lip-service to some targets that they consider unrealistic?
ARE they unrealistic?
How and why do unrealistic targets get created?
Is an impending abnormal event, such as pump failure, about to sabotage your pursuit of Operational Excellence?

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, PPCL's innovative new technology, provides the way to quickly and easily see such an operating envelope across many hundreds of variables. This makes it immediately obvious to everyone which targets are inconsistent or unrealistic. Performance monitoring and reporting become clear and consistent for everyone involved, allowing process refinement and increasing understanding of how KPIs interact. The approach is radically different but, as with all really good inventions, much simpler than what it replaces. 

Finding, Understanding and Repeating Best Operation with Operating Windows


Setting KPI targets and reporting is necessary, but for use in the control room these targets need to be translated into operating windows. It is easy to get this wrong and difficult to realize when the window becomes outdated. This one hour webinar demonstrates a better way to address these problems. There can be a new understanding of the relationship between KPI targets, operating targets and process objectives. The webinar shows how to use that understanding to find the best operating window to achieve KPI targets and other operating objectives. Providing the best operating window to operators is the essential first step toward repeating and improving best process operations.


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