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Designing an industrial plant includes methods which will be used for plant operation and control help determine many of the design variables. This section deals with control that can help the process variables within know safe operating limits, detect developing dangerous situations; provide alarms and automatic shutdown systems.

7.1 Objective

Control measurement can be automatic, semi-automatic or manual and the control quality obtainable is a function of the accuracy and reliability of the measuring devices employed. This can help in achieving the design product output with maintained product composition within specified quality standard. The objective of an automatic process control is to use the manipulated variable to maintain the controlled variable at its set point in spite of disturbances. In instrumentation, using instruments having varying degrees of complexity, the values can be controlled within narrow limits. Pneumatic instruments are used in this plant. The main process parameters are all indicated in the control room where automatic or remote control is carried out centrally. The process parameters (e.g. temperatures, pressure flow, liquid level etc.) are converted to signals with transducers and then recorded and controlled with secondary instruments.

7.2 Temperature measurement and control

Most temperature measurement in industrial processes is made by means of thermocouples to facilitate measurements to a controlled location and resistance thermometer is usually used where high measurement accuracy is required. This is used to control the temperature of outlet and inlet streams in heat exchanger, condenser, heater and column. Pneumatic feedback control is applied for temperature control. Outlet temperature of the system is measured using thermocouple and fed to a comparator. The difference between the set point and the input signal (error) is fed to the controller, which controls diaphragm valve to adjust the flow of hot or cooling medium.

7.3 Pressure measurement and control Temperature and pressure measurements considered together are the evaluating devices of industrial materials. Most pressure measurement in the industry is made through elastic devices, either directly connected for local use or transmission type to a controlled location. Pressure is of primary importance in compressed gas systems; pumping equipments are furnished with pressure measuring devices which becomes an indication of the increase or decrease.

7.4 Flow measurement and control Variable head devices are mostly used for flow measurements in the industry. To lesser extent variable area and displacement types are used.

7.5 Control of distillation column This will cover flow rate, composition, temperature and pressure control for distillation column.

7.5.1 Flow rate and composition control There are four cases for flow rate and composition control of distillation column. Regulate Feed and Tops rate and composition

Regulate Feed and Top rate and bottom composition

Regulate Feed and bottom rate and top composition

Regulate Feed and Tops rate and composition

7.5.2 Temperature control The temperature control of the distillation column involves taking a temperature measurement and sending it to a distributed control system (DCS). The DCS contains software which manipulates a control valve that regulates steam flow to the reboiler.

Block diagram for temperature control. Transfer function It is assumed that there will be no gain in the instrumentation and that the process is second-order with the following transfer function: Gp = 1/(s2 + 10s + 20)

The goal is to control the distillation column temperature to 100 F, minimize response time, and minimize overshoot. Open loop response The open loop response states the need to work on with our controller. As most steam control valves fail to a closed position, without any control, the temperature will only rise 5 F. P control Proportional control is used to improve the rise time. It does bring the temperature close to the set point, but there is still a steady-state error. The following graph has a proportional gain, Kc = 300. PI control The proportional-integral control response shows the steady-state error is eliminated. However, the settling time is still very large. The proportional gain is reduced to 30 because integral control accomplishes the same function (reduces rise time and increases overshoot). The following graph displays the response of Kc = 30 and I = 0.429. PD control Proportional-derivative control improves the overshoot, but fails to improve the steady-state error. The following graph displays the response of PD control with Kc = 300 and D = 0.033. PID control Tuning proves the best response with Kc = 350 and I = 1.17 and D = 0.143. As shown below, the closed loop response for the combined proportional-integral-derivative control gives the quickest response with no overshoot and converges to the desired 100 F.

Thus, PID control is the optimal technique for temperature control of a distillation column. 7.5.3 Pressure control In a distillation column it is usually necessary to regulate the pressure in some way. Below there are five different methods described for doing this.

Vent to Atmosphere Cooling Water (varying condenser load) Flooded Condenser - 1 Flooded Condenser - 2 Partial Condenser

One thing to note is that in none of them is a valve simply placed on the vapor line. This would lead to the use of a large expensive control valve. Instead the pressure is controlled indirectly involving the use of the condenser and/or reflux drum.

7.6 Control of fixed bed reactor for the oxidation reactor Catalytic fixed bed reactors are the most widely used reactor type for gas phase reactants and play an important role in chemical industries. The process is very sensitive to load changes or other disturbances. Therefore control of the temperature profile is necessary to obtain a constant space time yield. This paper applies a -optimal controller design to control of an important chemical process. It is possible to describe this reactor by a linear real rational nominal transfer matrix and a (linear) uncertainty description. A -optimal controller was designed on the basis of this structured uncertainty description to robustly attenuate the effects of disturbances on the controlled outputs and to suppress unwanted oscillations in the reactor.


Figure. System with unstructured additive uncertainty.

Temperature [K]

Time [s]

Figure. Closed loop behavior with the -optimal controller. Temperatures Tm1 (solid line) and Tm2 (dashed line).



Figure. for robust performance (solid line) robust stability (dashed line) for the -optimal controller.

7.7 Control of plug flow reactor for the hydrolysis reactor