PPCL Logo Process Plant Computing Limited

Tel: +44 1753 893090 |

LinkedIn Twitter

Discover how Operating Envelopes take batch processes to new levels of performance (April 2020) 

Are you fully compliant with ISA-18.2 and IEC62682? This webinar from April 2020 will show you how!

Processes that require more than one operating envelope to describe all of their operation have generally been restricted to tracking a single variable, such as reaction temperature, through what are thought to be the most important phases of the process. Operator alarms are often limited to ‘lumping’ alarm limits together from different steps and phases so that there is only one set of limits in use. The alarms they generate are not only wrong most of the time but may even conflict with SIL-rated safety alarms. All of this is unnecessary and costly.

In this webinar you will learn how to isolate the operating envelopes for each of the phases or steps of a batch whether it is a recipe-driven multi-phase and multi-stage batch process, a fed-batch fermentation process, a cyclic ‘continuous’ process or a multi-grade polymer process with one or more transition operating envelopes between product grades.

The webinar is intended for process and control engineers in plant operations. It will be based on PPCL’s CVE (offline) and CPM (online) software which utilises our visual multi-dimensional geometry technology, Geometric Process Control. You will not need maths in the form of algebra, calculus or statistics to use these products, only process understanding. You will learn even more about your process as you proceed through analysis and implementation of a real-time operator guidance model, which I will do during the webinar. PPCL’s unique Operating Envelope method for alarm rationalization is steadily establishing itself in the continuous process industries for delivering much better alarms in fewer man-hours for less rationalization project cost and leading to better process operation with efficiency gains and operating cost savings. The same method applies to batch processes too - and delivers the same benefits. 

Capturing and Replicating Optimal Process Operation (December 2019)

The key to repeating best operation is understanding your process behavior. This is necessary to achieve higher throughput, lower costs, least waste and minimum downtime. While some of this is known in the process design, much of what is taken as true about your process is likely wrong or contradictory. The resolution to these conflicts and a true process picture are already present implicitly in your plant historian, built from years of experience. This webinar, given by Dr Alan Mahoney in December 2019, will demonstrate PPCL's unique visual tools which engineers can use to extract and exploit the wealth of information available.

Geometric Process Control – what is it and why do I need it in my plant? (September 2019)

Geometric Process Control (GPC) is a technology developed here at PPCL. It lets you see hundreds of process variables and tens of thousands of observations from process and other plant data in a single parallel coordinates graph with supplemental time-trends, distribution plots, and Pareto plots with every individual point traceable through all the views. It comes with an extremely powerful graphical Boolean query capability that lets you extract feed-to-product operating windows and operating envelopes to help you explain why yesterday was such a great day for your KPIs and what went wrong last week when the fractionator column flooded five times.

Why is this important? Well, it lets you benefit from a few hundred thousand years of evolution and use your amazing human powers of pattern recognition and interpretation to determine cause-and-effect relationships – as well as correlations - in multi-variable problems where previously you had fewer than 10 variables to work with. You also would have needed some heavy-duty mathematics, which requires first an expensive statistician and then a hypothesis to test and which tends to introduce new complications when trying to explain your results to others.

Having determined your best operating envelope from process history, GPC creates a real-time model complete with graphical operator interface for process operator guidance and an OPC Client to link to your DCS or historian to keep your process operating in the best operating envelope you have chosen far into the future.

Watch this webinar from September 2019 to discover how GPC unifies process control, quality control, KPI achievement, operating limits and operator alarms into one readily understandable framework. A huge step forward for chemical engineering and you won’t need more than basic maths!

What could you learn from an end to end picture of your process from raw gas to LNG? (May 2017)

Here at PPCL we have spent 25 years developing GPC (Geometric Process Control), an innovative new method of viewing process operations. Our work with gas production includes production fields, gas treatment and processing, LNG production, landing and re-vaporization. We have worked with LNG producers worldwide helping them to understand their process better by analyzing their data in far more detail than was previously possible. This work has contributed to achieving better operation through better alarms, process optimization and product compliance – improvements directly impacting the bottom line. 

This webinar from May 2017 takes an in-depth look at gas production. We demonstrate our technology using graphical tools to optimize product split in an LNG production train, monitor performance week-on-week and identify targets for process improvement. By connecting historical data completely across the process with quality variables, GPC enables value-finding in your process through data exploration and discovery which are simply not possible with today’s techniques.

NOVA Chemicals: A User’s Experience with Geometric Process Control for Event Prediction and Mitigation in Ethylene Plants

This webinar was presented by Michael Bell, Principal Applications Engineer at NOVA Chemicals of Canada in September 2016. The feed preparation section at NOVA’s Ethylene 1 plant receives and combines feed from a multiple of sources while reducing the feed pressure to prepare for thermal cracking in an ethylene furnace. What is unique in modelling this process is that it has multiple modes of operation. This multi-mode problem fits well with CPM and CVE, which allow for the automatic turning off and on of variables to minimize the number of alerts sent to the panel operator by the setting of the “Phase” variable.

Geometric models are a new class of mathematical model and well-suited to plant applications because of their very low cost due to the speed with which the wholly visual nature of Geometric Process Control (GPC) allows them to be created, implemented and maintained. They have been applied to continuous and batch processes in process industry segments ranging from pharmaceuticals through chemicals to oil refining and upstream oil and gas production. 

PPCL’s mission is to reduce variability in plant operations. This starts with the gaining of better process and operations understanding using our offline product, C Visual Explorer (CVE), to view years of process operation for hundreds of variables in a single interrogable graph. This much wider view than was ever previously available considerably simplifies and accelerates traditional process applications such as process analysis, de-bottlenecking, optimisation, alarm rationalization and KPI target setting and monitoring. Operating Windows found by CVE and expressed as independent Operating Limits on process variables are immediately usable by plant operations as a guide to greater achievement of the business objective.

Operating Envelopes are modelled by our online real-time product, C Process Modeller (CPM), updating on a frequency between seconds and minutes and providing alerts to supplement alarms, guiding operations to stay inside the Operating Envelope and providing early warning of impending events, alerting the process operator to take mitigating action.

Michael offers an invaluable account of NOVA's experience with PPCL tools. The webinar includes a Q&A session with process industry professionals addressing some of the issues which commonly arise when considering and implementing the software.

Phillips 66 share their experience of new alarm rationalization

Phillips 66 talk about their experiences using CVE for Alarm Rationalization in their Bayway, NJ refinery and field questions from users and non-users of CVE. If you are new to using CVE for Alarm Rationalization you will probably want to start with one of our own Alarm webinars, but this one is not to be missed. 

Alarms Revisited with Ian Nimmo of UCDS

This webinar was delivered in May 2015 by Ian Nimmo, President of UCDS, one of our partners who we have worked with on several projects. Ian discusses in depth the IEC 62682 standard. The webinar gives a wider coverage of the whole of the new Standard from Philosophy Development right through to Implementation.

Ashland ISP Presentation at Emerson Exchange 2014

John Rezabek is a senior control specialist at Ashland ISP, Lima, Ohio. His presentation "Traversing Hyperspace in the n-Cube to Rationalize Alarms" was voted one of the best at the Emerson Exchange 2014 conference. See what John thought of CVE and the PPCL GPC method after using it for alarm rationalization. 

Finding & Using Better Operating Windows Part Two (March 2016)

This webinar exploring operating envelopes was delivered on 9th March 2016. It is Part Two of a two part series, the first of which, "Finding and Using Better Operating Windows" was presented on Wednesday 10th February 2016.

Finding & Using Better Operating Windows Part One (February 2016)

This webinar on finding and using better operating windows was delivered on 10th February 2016. It is Part One of a two part series, the second of which, "From Operating Windows to Operating Envelopes" was presented on Wednesday 9th March 2016.

An Operating Window is a set of Operating Limits or Control Limits intended to give the best achievement of an objective such as yield, throughput, quality, KPI or cost. Traditionally your organization has found values for these Limits one variable at a time using methods such as Statistical Process Control (SPC). You have been able to make one limit consistent with another but it's been very tedious to do for many operating limits and a major task to reset them all and re-establish consistency when the objective changes because one limit has changed or another must-comply KPI has just been introduced. 

And what about all the other sets of limits such as Safety Alarms, Integrity Operating Limits, Operator Alarm Limits and more? How do you avoid conflict with them or even know for sure that you have? In this one hour webinar Dr Robin Brooks, founder and CEO of PPCL, demonstrates a straightforward visual method of quickly finding values at which to set Limits for many variables at once in such a way that they will all be consistent with each other. You can do this for several sets of limits so that you, and everyone else in your company, will be able to see where there could be conflicts before they are implemented in the control room. You can even see how that newly proposed KPI and its limits will perform, and whether you will be able to achieve it to the required level.

Dr Brooks shows you how to combine process variables that you can measure in real-time with measurements such as lab results, yield and efficiency actuals and emission KPI actuals that won't be available until hours or even days later. And at the end he gives a glimpse of how to include variable interaction effects - still without maths - to find the Operating Envelope inside the Window. You can then use it to help the Operator stay inside the Operating Window on all variables all of the time so that you can solve the multi-variate MSPC problem and get one new chart to replace all of your SPC charts.

This fast, powerful, and insightful 'Big Data' method is ideally suited to the highly correlated and non-linear data that is characteristic of process plants as well as to the time constraints of everyone employed in them. And because the method is visual it lends itself very easily to providing graphical images for reports demonstrating achievement, particularly of KPI's.


PPCL Webinar: Coming Soon
January 2022

PPCL © Copyright 2011-2021. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of use | Privacy Policy | P.O. Box 43, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, SL9 8UX, UK.