Chapter 4

Controlled Equipment
Introduction to Controlled Equipment
This chapter introduces batch processing equipment and the control that is applied to it. Every batch process consists of separate process functions that may be invoked by a recipe as required to make a product. Equipment is required to cause or contain each process function. Control is required to bring uniformity to the process function. It is useful to consider the combination as controlled equipment because the process function cannot be carried out by either component alone. The different kinds of control were described in the preceding chapter, but little was said about the human component of control. The following section describes different levels of human involvement in control. The decision is made by management, considering the requirements of the process, the capabilities of the people, and the costs. Some managers prefer to replace the uncertainties of people with the predictability that automation systems provide (after the last bug has been removed). There are too many factors governing this decision to consider in this book, beyond describing the levels.

The Role of Humans in Process Control
The distinction between automatic and automated control, as used in this book, is that automatic control aids the operator while automation replaces the operator with a programmed machine. There are people who define automation as the addition of automatic controls to a process. This was true when automatic remote control was new. Now the cost of automation is always partly justified by the reduction in the number of operators, as well as improved product quality. This section is concerned with the human factors and so the definition of automation includes the effect on people. Automatic control will only hold a setpoint until the operator changes it. Most discussions of equipment control seem to assume complete automation, but that isn’t always possible. Since there are parts of the world where human labor is adequate and less expensive than automation (including support costs), it may be useful to consider something less than full automation. The following is a cost hierarchy from least to most complex control. Each level considers control, communication, cost and other factors.

One day. which allows control of fast loops. no equipment too dangerous to be around while operating. Since the operator is directly responsible for the quality of the batch. Fast loops and high forces are no longer problems with automatic control. but the types of suitable processes are greatly expanded. The initial cost is somewhat higher. But. . Training is by experience. the process has to be capable of human control. which may enable a better job to be done. All communications are verbal. 2. Most control is remote The restrictions of hazardous equipment and inadequate force can be removed by using transmitters with remote indicators and valves with remote adjustment. An operator closes the control loop. Operator communications are still verbal. The operator has less to do. 3. The initial cost for control equipment and design is low. the automatic controllers are local. No fast loops. fieldbus may be a low-cost. Operator communication adds the dialog between the remote operator and a field operator that takes direction from the remote operator and looks for trouble. low-maintenance method. Classroom training is required for maintenance and may be required for operators. continuous improvement may come with pride of accomplishment. depending on the reliability of the automatic controls. both operating and maintenance. providing that the fieldbus supports control in the field. except possibly for radios. All control is manual Chapter 4 Gages and hand valves are located on or close to process equipment or piping. Control communication may be pneumatic or electrical. may also be low at the site because the equipment is simple to operate and maintain. Alarm units may be added to indicators as necessary. Valve adjustment may be made automatic as money becomes available. Some control is automatic Transmitters and automatic valves are mixed with gages and hand valves. There is no cost for equipment or maintenance.60 1. not done in classrooms. nothing requiring more than human force to manipulate. with the help of alarm detection. Since the operator must be present for the manual functions. This does not necessarily double the number of operators because both can handle more process units. Maintenance is more expensive. If electrical signals are used to bridge the distance between the control panel and the process then the major cost of installing automatic control will be covered. Labor cost. Pride is still possible because simple automatic control is well understood as an extension of the operator’s capability.

which will put IT in charge of the box. the field devices must be independent of the upgraded software. assuming that principles from 88 are followed. Most control is automatic 61 Transmitters and automatic valves are connected to a protected area that may contain the controls for several process units. Operating costs per unit and the cost of making recipes are much lower. Intrinsic Safety has greatly reduced the need for pneumatic instruments. The operators assume the role of airline pilots with 95% of their time spent monitoring instruments and 5% reacting to unexpected problems. Operator communications are still verbal. The computer does nothing further until an operator finds the right combination of menus. The difference is that when a computer program bug is fixed. Of course. it tends to stay fixed. Programmers also become human factors in control. Standard automatic controllers are available that will deliver a measured dose of an ingredient. A computer does nothing that has not been programmed by fallible people. simulator training is useful to develop and maintain proficiency. Control communication may be electrical or fieldbus. This requires that each field device own the configuration data that causes it to do the right thing in its plant location.Controlled Equipment 4. A DCS or large PLC or PAS is likely to have a MS operating system or graphical interface. except for valves that need air for power. If the automation system is unable to handle a situation then the problem is given to an operator. Another possibility is a team of programmers that did not communicate well together. Ongoing training is required to keep operations and maintenance familiar with the controlled equipment. but almost certainly use radios. Automation is used when the variability or cost of human control is too high. Maintenance costs may be higher. but most often the fault can be found in a programmer who didn’t understand process control or plant safety. for engineering. equipment and training. The initial cost is considerably higher. A computer may be an obvious box or it may be embedded in equipment. compared to an automation system that has high costs to create but lower operating costs. since there is more of it per person. which can be upgraded without shutting down the plant. A field operator is necessary to walk around looking for trouble or to manipulate seldom-used block valves. clicks and keys to regain control. Fully automated control Most or all automatic controls are operated by computers that are programmed to do the normal work of the operators and handle most exceptions. Control in the field with fieldbus devices with proprietary realtime operating systems will reduce the IT problem to the graphical interfaces. 5. but not all. change a setpoint as a function of time and follow a simple sequential function chart or ladder diagram. . now that all normal control is done by machines. Like pilots. Some people think that “the computer” is at fault when something goes wrong. The central operator initiates controlled equipment actions and waits for them to finish while tending to the needs of other units.

sensors. Difficulties during plant startup may greatly increase project costs. no one has wanted to pay for the sensors and the program complexity required to handle all possible faults. The control room operator still needs eyes in the field that can communicate a fault situation as it develops or operate the odd manual valve. (3) It is non-expendable. An automation system must be looked at as another employee. It is too bad that there are so few probability sensors. computers. it is more feasible to repair the item than to replace it. but definitions of equipment tend to be either fuzzy or too specific.62 Chapter 4 It would be nice to be able to program computers to handle all possible faults. piping. gaskets and bolts. Process Equipment Processes require many physical things. Operating costs per unit and the cost of making recipes should be much lower and process reliability much higher. (4) Under normal conditions of use. protected area. Ongoing training is required to keep everyone familiar with what the computer programs are trying to do and what a program is trying to say when it needs to communicate with an operator. The initial cost is highest. factory training. So far. vessels. including process materials. requiring health benefits. that is. A piece of equipment is an item of tangible property that meets all of the following criteria: (1) It retains its original shape and purpose with use. including reasonable care and maintenance. The operator needs to be able to understand the visual presentations of normal and unpredicted behavior that have been designed by a programmer who may not have fully understood the problem. it can be expected to serve its purpose for an acceptable lifetime. Communication of control information is mostly digital. . insulation. allowing intelligent field devices to report problems. valves. supports. Some of these things are classified as equipment. if not properly managed. The following is a summary of various web definitions of equipment. both in the process and in the control system. Maintenance costs will be higher. The usual solution is to use redundant equipment for probable fault locations. for engineering. networks and programming. (2) It does not lose its identity through fabrication or incorporation into a different or more complex unit. Those who accept the fantasy that computers are infallible and power is immortal will receive a reality check at a time and place determined by the laws of probability. if the item is damaged or some of its parts are lost or worn out. training and all that is required to keep this robot employee competent to do the job as things change. equipment.

The figures that will be referenced in the rest of this chapter should be understood to be highly schematic. Controlled equipment is able to perform a process function that is required. used by tax collectors to tell capital equipment from expendable material. Control and equipment are designed together to perform one of the functions of a batch process. A control valve will probably be repaired. such as a transmitter. it is probably equipment. Equipment will be repaired if the cost of repair is less than the cost of replacement. If you can control it. Some equipment will be replaced. There is no doubt that a paper towel is expendable. A manual valve is controlled equipment because an operator can manipulate it. gaskets and bolts. What is needed is process functionality. can be repaired with new parts. but only if manipulating the valve does something to the operating conditions in the equipment. but it is not repaired if it gets broken. Expendability is a fuzzy concept. but those distinctions do not affect the fact that the equipment is controlled.Controlled Equipment 63 So an entity in a plant is a piece of equipment if it retains its original shape and purpose with use (except for wear). If the valve is considered to be part of a piece of equipment then that equipment is controlled. The drawings leave out very many details in order to make simple points. The control for process equipment may be either manual or automated. . is not consumable or expendable. and has an adequate service life. Process equipment is controlled if something within it can be measured or manipulated. Don’t get caught up in these definitions. A dial thermometer may have an adequate service life. to make a batch of product. either in an analog or discrete manner. They are only guidelines. but the service life qualifies it as equipment rather than expendable. as one of many.01. That would exclude process materials. Controlled Process Equipment The combination of process equipment and control has a major role in ANSI/ISA88.

The square and closed X represents a block valve. The control algorithms may be in some remote control system or may be part of the devices represented by circles and squares. One of the materials must be a liquid. many of them unique to an industry or a plant. The pressure may vary from vacuum to very high. liquid or gaseous. The other material(s) may be solid. It takes at least two materials to have a reaction. The list of equipment is not complete. except that only control equipment is shown. Control. From the top. usually with an exchange of energy. . but should be enough to give a solid grounding in controlled equipment before going into the abstract models of S88. The atmosphere above the liquid in the vessel may be oxidizing. Examples of Controlled Equipment Many of you have applied control to equipment. measurements of pressure. The right side of the figure shows the result of combining equipment and control. particularly temperature control. the circles represent speed control. temperature. reducing or inert. The temperature may be cryogenic to near the loss of strength of the metal that contains the process. may require more equipment that isn’t shown.64 Chapter 4 Figure 4-1 A Combination of Process Equipment and Control The left side of Figure 4-1 shows a piece of equipment that is a jacketed high-pressure reactor with a safety valve and an agitator. They provide the capability to contain and homogenize a batch of process material. Please add the word usually to any sweeping statement. The following is a list of relatively common equipment. An agitator is required to keep the ingredients homogenized. and level. It is treated abstractly in the standard because there are so many kinds of batch processing equipment. The concept is fundamental to understanding S88. Batch Reactor A batch reactor is a vessel that contains a batch of material while it undergoes a chemical transformation. even if it is a solvent that does not participate in the reaction. but may not have thought of the result as controlled equipment. The middle of the figure shows some control equipment.

The agitator tends to destroy level probes and generate foam that bothers level switches and non-contact methods. A wide Figure 4-2a Instrumented vessel is difficult to agitate. and the rate of temperature change must be limited so that the liner temperature does not get too far from the vessel temperature. The source of control is not shown. If the vessel material is not Reactor compatible with the process material. input flows and heat transfer are controlled by other equipment that specializes in material measurement and heat transfer configuration. Generally. A high pressure vessel is less expensive if the end bells are small.Controlled Equipment 65 Figure 4-2a shows an instrumented reactor and an agitator with two blades. The vessel must not be overfilled. Penetrations are expensive because they alter the stress concentrations in the vessel and require certified welds. Larger vessels require fixed baffles to induce turbulence and prevent simple rotation of the entire mass. The same penetration may be used to add solids. The ASME has extensive standards for pressure vessels at different conditions. by a relief valve or a rupture disk. Associated Reactor Control The actuators for reactor control are valves mounted on the penetrations for materials and gasses or piped directly to them. The vessel may require an active heat transfer surface. The vessel is constructed from some material that can withstand the combinations of temperature and pressure. Penetrations may be required for a clean-in-place system that is more complex than simple material addition. with expense increasing as the pressure rating goes up. Figure 4-2a only shows process and control equipment. then the reactor is lined with a suitable material with a similar temperature coefficient. perhaps to fold back the agitator blades for removal or to repair something inside. but that is the most difficult thing to do in an agitated reactor. instruments and an agitator. At least one penetration is dedicated to pressure relief. being lower near the shaft than the wall. The vessel requires penetrations for materials. A large penetration may be required for human entry into the vessel. Reactor shapes vary from four times wider than high to four times higher than wide because requirements and budgets vary. samples. Each penetration has a short piece of pipe with a standard flange welded to it. better heat transfer can be obtained with internal coils of pipe at the expense of increased first cost and maintenance. This is most easily done with a coil of half pipe welded around the outside of the vessel. Agitation also makes the level non-uniform. such as a movable nozzle that can be pointed to most of the inside of the vessel. The level must be measured. The high pressure safety valve is part of the equipment. called a jacket. The reactor principally needs control to protect itself. Differential . If the process material is compatible.

Load cells are the most expensive. The vessel pressure may have to be measured. if only to keep things from falling into the reactor. The shaft must have a rotary seal. An agitator is driven by a motor or steam turbine. the agitator is a separate piece of controlled equipment from the reactor. Other equipment controls the temperature. a stationary temperature probe may be inserted into a hollow agitator shaft. in order to keep the local equipment control simple. In the worst case. It is actually an important piece of processing equipment. measure the inflows and hope it all drains out at the end. any of the constraint control methods may be applied to prevent overfill. then the measurement is used by the control for that equipment. sample penetrations are used to extract samples for measurement. may be used if the density of the mixture remains relatively constant or can be compensated. Analytical control is too specialized to be a part of basic reactor control. the agitator may try to rip out the probe. but it is possible to support a temperature probe with brackets. Some kind of drive box is required to reduce the motor speed. They are separate because agitator design considerations are quite different from vessel designs. perhaps with isolating diaphragms. Control may be a single switch or a more complex device with feedback. or it may be based on power or speed. Otherwise. The entire blade and shaft assembly may be coated with glass. The measurement may be used by constraint control that protects the reactor. The reactor would not have a level control because the accuracy of level measurement is not adequate to measure materials. designed to have a specific effect on the process material. The last resort is to omit the level measurement. then a reactor control may handle the pressure. Sometimes level can be inferred from agitator power if the mixture does not change viscosity. If external equipment can change the reactor pressure. unless a single heat exchanger fluid is used and the loop is quite simple. Analytical measurements may be done inside the reactor if the environment permits an acceptable sensor life. It also adds heat to the process as work is dissipated in the material. If the pressure comes from a single source like an inert gas line. such as an analyzer. Agitator Control people tend to think of the agitator as a motor-driven stirrer. Blade shape and number depend on requirements and budget. or both for redundancy when the material becomes solid if it isn’t agitated.66 Chapter 4 pressure. . although the ultimate protection is the rupture disk or one of the relief valves. and require flexible connections that are not practical as the pressure rating goes up. Again. The vessel temperature must be measured. The measurement lag for large vessels will be a problem. Given a level measurement. have a maximum weight limit. In general. Even if it is simple. a control function is attached to external equipment.

The usual measurements in the reactor are temperature. amount of cooling required or oxygen demand. you put down the reactor data sheets and pick up the agitator design sheets. Foaming can be a problem. oxygen. A thick glop may build up on the reactor walls. The others have to be sampled and analyzed. This kind of reactor has to be completely sterilized between batches with cleaning solution and a timed exposure to steam. after the reactor preliminary design is done. just to stir the mixture so that it doesn’t stagnate but maintains reasonable uniformity. but is well distributed. This works because temperature differences are small between the jacket and the vessel. The level measurement uses a filled system with flush sanitary seals. Bioreactor Seemingly similar to a chemical reactor. The agitation is not as efficient or as strong as mechanical agitation. The microbes may excrete the product as they grow. the agitator keeps things stirred without adding extra energy to the solution. or the product may be contained within the cells. Growth rates may be inferred from rising carbon dioxide concentration. necessitating termination with extreme prejudice in order to extract the product. An analyzer for the gas in the headspace of the reactor measures important properties of the batch. Figure 4-2b shows a schematic of a bioreactor with its agitator and sparge ring. The agitator is never designed to add energy. In this case. concentration of products produced external to the cell and the composition of the inside of the cell. nitrogen or other gasses. Perhaps a separate group that specializes in agitators can work in parallel with reactor design. If the reaction requires or can tolerate a sparge. A temperature probe and its supports are replaced by a short probe in the side. Also. but they are not the only factors that control production. pH and dissolved oxygen in the mixture of cells and nutrient broth. including cell mass. especially if the vessel atmosphere is recirculated. the similarity ends at containing the product because the reactor contains single-celled life. The composition of the gases in the headspace of the reactor is important. but the agitator cannot remove it without killing cells. although there are sensors that can measure foam level as well as liquid level. then a mechanical agitator may not be required. Sparging gas requires a compressor. A sparge ring may be used to add air. Since the ring of perforated pipe that admits the sparge gas is entirely inside the reactor. it may be considered a part of the reactor. Figure 4-2b Bioreactor .Controlled Equipment 67 The purpose of classifying controlled equipment is to simplify designs by compartmentalizing them. broth composition.

The batch stays in the same vessel as reactions take place. The size of the reactor is limited by the transport mechanism. Growth is encouraged at first. no cell must be left alive in the reactor to grow again in the next batch. These controls are hampered by significant measurement lags. cell disrupters like the cavitation bomb. Figure 4-2c shows an abstract drawing of a mobile reactor with a docking panel. that can be mated and disconnected by the transporter. All of these values change as the batch of cells progresses towards the end of their life. This requires special piping. The heavy dotted line represents power for the agitator with a connector in the docking panel. The pH may be controlled by reagents or by carbon dioxide in the sparge. This results in a very versatile set of batch processing equipment. then discouraged as the mixture becomes saturated with cells. but its measurement is necessary for compensation of pH and DO measurements.68 Chapter 4 Temperature may be controlled. The agitator speed may also be controlled. but it is transported to fixed stations where transfers of material and/or energy may take place. valves and sensors that are also found in food and beverage processes for the same reasons. Mobile Reactor The mobile reactor is a key component of a pipeless batch plant. A mobile reactor requires some sort of docking assembly to connect itself to the fixed stations. The reactor is drained by a suction pipe and not by gravity. it is essential that cleaning chemicals and sterilization steam be able to reach microscopic corners of the reactor and everything in it. The light dotted lines represent fieldbus wiring with connectors in the docking panel. with the addition of scheduling both for efficient use of stations and the need to prevent two reactors trying to occupy the same space Figure 4-2c Mobile Reactor . capable of rapid response to new product design that results in fast time to market. there are devices for cell separation like centrifuges and filters. Besides the bioreactors. either manual hoses and plugs or a NASA-style block containing all connections. or the contents may be analyzed. it is not possible to clean or sterilize in place after moving between stations without expensive additional valves and piping. and chromatography purification devices. DO is controlled by using oxygen. The usual control problems must be solved. The reactor has much the same equipment as its stationary father. If a batch goes bad. air or nitrogen as the value rises. Since living cells will grow in the reactor. Multiple mobile reactors are used to keep the fixed stations busy or to increase production. Since the contents stay in the reactor.

Generally. A typical problem is to route a reactor from an analysis station either back to a transfer station if more material is needed or on to the next process operation or to a waste transfer station if recovery is not possible. Dry ingredients may be pre-weighed into bar-coded packages destined for a specific batch. there is no control on the reactor itself. but the design possibilities are endless. If automatic block valves are required. Control is seldom more complicated than a switch for the stirrer motor. vortex. piston actuators rather than spring-operated may be used without pneumatic power during transport. The reactor may require some way to power the agitator and maintain temperature if a situation might arise such that transport cannot be accomplished in an adiabatic manner. or positive displacement. If a throttling valve is used. The means to measure the mass may be a standard flowmeter like orifice. The vessel may be open. Pipeless stations may perform as many functions as make sense in scheduling the flow of reactors through the fixed equipment. The fact that the reactor will disconnect from the station means that precautions have to be taken to keep the floor dry. A local storage tank may be required to assure enough material to finish a batch. Ingredient Addition Repeatable batch quality requires repeatable masses of ingredients. Consider the difficulties of maintaining loop operation while the reactor is in transit. which may be a solvent and assorted dissolved solid chemicals. and it may be emptied by tipping it over. Mixer A mixer is a vessel and stirrer that may be required to prepare a material to enter the reactor.Controlled Equipment 69 at the same time. Mobile reactors have no such limitation. so that no penetrations are required except for a horizontal stirrer shaft. so its stations must represent consecutive operations in the manufacturing sequence. Control of liquids and gasses is done with a throttling or block valve. A level measurement seldom has the required accuracy. The sensors should have transmitters so that low-level signals like thermocouples do not have to go through a frequently operated connection. Mixing requires a vessel and a stirrer. never mind the fact that there is no material or energy source to control. only sensors. once started. Using a fieldbus may reduce the number of connector pins for sensors to two. or it may be loss in weight of a feed tank or gain in weight of the reactor. turbine. A mixer may replace the reactor if the product is something like paint in many colors. but that control belongs with the mixer. Flowmeters require totalizers and weigh feeders require equipment to detect the desired change in weight. possibly with a heat transfer jacket. but the machine only turns in one direction. Fixed stations are similar to the stations on a discrete process assembly machine. then emptied into a mixer or a manhole at the proper time in the process procedure. Others may look like reactors with fewer penetrations. the valve is ramped down to a small percentage of .

but would be undesirable in a multi-purpose group of units. A steam boiler is a special case of heat exchanger in that the transfer material is combustion gas that requires special controls. Heat exchangers are constructed from solid materials that conduct heat and do not corrode in the presence of the flowing materials. Complex headers may handle many transfers at the same time by using block valves to configure paths. a batch heat exchanger does its work without creating a phase change in the materials flowing through it. The source and destination may have to be specified by a recipe. because there may be several such material control valves. Transport Header A set of pipes and valves called a header may be required to distribute a measured material to one of several reactors. such that material from one unit may be automatically transferred to the next available unit. If the reactor is weighed then the controlled equipment is the valve. if you choose to add it to the burden of the reactor control group. or it may be drained and washed between uses. but sterile processes may require additional work to assure that there are no stagnant areas in the exchanger. except for steam. An ingredient weigh tank and its outlet valve. Clean-in-place must be able to completely clean the product side of the exchanger. Most heat exchangers are based on these two designs. Intermediate products may be distributed from one set of mixers or reactors to another. in this case the inside of the tube. Automatic transfer is possible for similar product procedures. Gravity feed is preferred. The transfer may be a function of the equipment. A vent condenser is a heat exchanger that cools the contents of a reactor by condensing the vapor from the reaction and returning the liquid to the reactor. This is less expensive than duplicating the equipment at each reactor. is controlled equipment. One of the materials is the product to be adjusted and the other is the transfer material that provides (or removes) heat. Usually. The target may be biased to allow for valve reaction time and draining material between the valve and the vessel. Heat Exchanger A heat exchanger passes heat from one flowing material to another without physically mixing them. Cleaning requires complete disassembly. A common type of exchanger is a shell-and-tube design. The block valve is wide open from the start of the charge or dose until it is closed at the target. This is required when one of the flowing materials may deposit solids on its side of the exchange surface. Or not. and possibly inlet valves. This control belongs with the equipment containing the measurement and valve. Another design uses parallel plates to separate the flowing materials. The ramp rate and reduced flow are a compromise between speed and accuracy. Such headers may be used to transfer materials to and from tanks in a storage area. The pipe assembly becomes controlled equipment. . The transfer material may be a chilled liquid or involve the boiling of a liquid to generate vapor at a lower pressure than the reactor contents. even if it is only a piece of pipe. but it is relatively easy to add or remove plates to get the desired heat transfer.70 Chapter 4 full flow and shut off at the target. but a pump may be required. The header may remain mostly flooded with one material.

If the transfer fluid is steam. In the case of a reactor jacket. This requires at least two transfer fluids and perhaps more. It may be necessary to use cascade control. For this reason. This is true of exchangers built onto or into reactors as well as external exchangers. there may be an additional cascade where the reactor contents temperature controller sets the jacket temperature controller. the purpose of the batch process heat exchanger is to control product temperature to some recipe-specified value. The controls for a heat exchanger are based on the measurement of temperature as an indication of heat flow. . PID controller and a valve that adjusts the flow of the transfer material. such as steam.Controlled Equipment 71 Figure 4-3 Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger Figure 4-3 shows two cutaway views of a shell and tube heat exchanger. Now a simple sequence controller is required to change the configuration of the transfer fluid piping to suit the sign and perhaps magnitude of the difference between inlet and outlet temperatures of the product flow. the temperature difference is between the jacket and the reactor contents. the level of condensate in a vertical shell-and-tube exchanger may be varied to control the heat exchange area. It requires a drain for the process fluid because the main piping is at the center of the end bells. which may set the flow or caloric contribution of the transfer fluid. but it should be applied to the measurement and not the error. Batch process heat exchangers may be required to do both heating and cooling. Derivative speeds the control action. Indeed. tempered water and chilled brine. also called cascade initialization. More precise control may be achieved by calculating the caloric demand of the product and using the result to control the calculated caloric source from the transfer fluid. The means for control of product temperature is built into the equipment. there must be a product temperature sensor. See Figure 4-4. At a minimum. so that the temperature controller adjusts a flow controller for the heat source or sink. Proportional plus derivative control may be used for reactors because the gain can be set high enough that integral control is not required. The end bells can be unbolted and removed so that the tubes can be cleaned with long brushes. Be sure that your control vendor understands the bumpless-transfer aspects of cascade control.

72 Chapter 4 Figure 4-4 Heat Exchanger for Heating and Cooling Figure 4-5 shows an arrangement of heat exchangers for heating and cooling a jacketed batch reactor. Figure 4-5 Heat Exchangers for Jacketed Batch Reactor .

so it is not reliable . or the moment when the product fraction ramps up at the beginning. that’s how the oil boilers do it. Mixing distillate in a tank prevents rapid sensing of the moment when the product fraction falls off and another component ramps up. except that it just boils the contents until they won’t boil anymore. that effectively stack a series of boilers and condensers. Block valves isolate the exchangers so that only one has to be designed for high temperature operation. Vapor flow is best measured by distillate flow. At least. The column is most efficient at the design vapor flow rate for the component being separated. Cooling is done with water. Vacuum is often used to lower the reactor temperature required to provide vapor. If more distillation was required. The feed is introduced at the point in the column where the separation of light and heavy components matches the composition of the feed material. Material is balanced when the outflows equal the inflow. Batch distillation has no feed point in the column. Heat moves up the column from the base as vapor while gravity returns distillate down the column. Energy is balanced when the heat into the reboiler equals the heat out of the condenser. which is not available. The process requires hot oil for heating to about 200 degrees C without using high pressure steam. Batch distillation requires minimum holdup of the distillate in order to get the most product. Distillation Column Distillation was first done with a single boiler and condenser. packed or trays. Heat is provided by a heat exchanger called a reboiler at the bottom of the column. Batch distillation necessarily begins with the lightest fraction and progresses until no more heavy vapor can be obtained at the operating conditions. The tricky part is that the proportions of the two (continuous) outflows must match the composition of the feed flow. The composition at any point in the column keeps changing. The liquid at the bottom consists of the heavier molecular weight fraction of the feed material. The up and down flows must be carefully balanced so that an excess of one does not cut off the flow of the other. The reactor becomes the reboiler. Control of a column basically consists of maintaining a material and energy balance in the column. so a separate heat exchanger is required. so the only holdup is in the reflux control piping. Differential column pressure depends on the amount of reflux and the condition of the packing. the distillate was put back in the boiler for another pass. so balancing the column becomes more interesting. Batch columns may have the distillate condenser built into the top of the column. Some of the distillate is withdrawn as product or byproduct while the rest is sent back to the top of the column as reflux to do the condensing of vapor as it flows down the column. Now distillation is done with columns. The vapor that reaches the top has been stripped of heavier molecular weight components. where that is possible. where the reactor level falls as components are removed from the distillate. This is not true for batch distillation.Controlled Equipment 73 An intermediate heat transfer fluid is used to transfer heat to/from the jacket. It is condensed to distillate that is held in a tank. for products harmed by higher temperatures. Batch still columns are packed rather than trays for a wider range of efficiency.

providing that the reflux liquid is not excessively cooled by the condenser. Centrifuge Sugar beets are processed by chopping up the beets and dissolving the sugar in a solvent (water). the recipe may specify the loading time and. . the temperature is raised for the next heavier component(s). the speed of rotation. no chemicals change state and no special equipment is needed for energy balance. A temperature measurement near the top is a reliable measure of the components in the vapor. outside of the device that rotates the centrifuge and the bearings. Sequential control is required to cycle the centrifuge between loading and extraction of the solids. When a centrifuge separates the two. A liquid suspension of product is introduced to the centrifuge and the heavy stuff (product or by-product) sticks to the walls while the liquid flows on through. called the reflux ratio. There are other controls to operate and protect the motor. Either the liquid flow is blocked or the bearings give out. The controller begins to close off the product flow as that component is withdrawn from the contents of the reactor.74 Chapter 4 with changing compositions. Then again. Perhaps you can see why most control engineers consider distillation to be a challenging subject. The unit operation is separation. next to exothermic reactor temperature control. some products are crystals grown in an expensive solvent. A centrifuge can be a batch unit. The vapor flow rate is used to control the heat flow to the reactor while a component is being extracted. possibly. There are many clever mechanisms for reflux control without excessive holdup. There are many opportunities for clever machine design when it comes to the extraction part of the sequence. The spin-dry cycle of a washing machine is a centrifuge. In some cases. This method determines the end point for a component and all lighter components. but no product is withdrawn. Then the slurry is fed to a centrifuge where the product bearing liquid is separated from the beet fibers. This condition may be used to end the product draw and switch to another storage tank. so the centrifuge has to be stopped periodically while the heavy stuff is scraped out. That temperature may be used to control the reflux ratio for the specific component temperature. as well as operate the brake and emergency brake. and goes off to the evaporators. But the heavy stuff can’t build up forever. then started up again. All of the above variables affect the component to be separated and the efficiency of separation. If the column pressure is controlled then the column may be used as an analyzer. Reducing the reflux ratio as much as possible greatly improves the economics of the situation. Reactor temperature control is used to set up conditions for the next component separation. After the switch. A column running on total reflux can achieve excellent separation. The most critical control for product quality is the ratio of reflux to product flow. the crystals left in the centrifuge are the product and the solvent can be recycled. so that is why batch distillation begins with the lightest components. The sequence itself is not specified by a recipe because it remains the same for all products.

It is also possible that a . but less than all of them. but the heater isn’t up to temperature yet. it is possible to arrange the operation of batch units so that they are not all doing the same thing at the same time. Then there is the case of priority management of a queue. Control is also required to make sure that only one reactor at a time can get hot water. The heater may also be called a common resource. of course. all of the attached units may ask for hot water at about the same time. the heater is an exclusive-use common resource.Controlled Equipment 75 If there is a load sensor. Common Equipment Because batch processing progresses in a series of process operations. which can be cured by an additional amount of solvent. Control is required to regulate the water temperature. at the same time. like a centrifuge. given that the computer was purchased for other reasons. As you can see. lest the thickening result in a solid mass within the reactor. is meant unless the context makes the choice clear. as are the controls for combustion. This is called a shared-use common resource. Suppose a batch begins with a charge of hot water as a solvent for following reactions. Things get more complicated when a common resource can serve more than one unit. filter or other separator. It is possible that an automatic electromechanical device could do queue management. If the batch units can be staggered so that each wants a charge of water after an external heater has had time to heat it. This request must take precedence over all requests for a charge of solvent. Perhaps common equipment is used for post processing. then the recipe does not have to specify loading time and the equipment can be used to its capacity. If the plant starts up from an extended shutdown. Queue management is still used for shared-use common resources. calling common resources “shared equipment” is imprecise. the unit processes become spread out in time. They will stay in that order until one of the units misses its window and makes a later request for hot water. in such a way that the common equipment is fully loaded before any unit requests are queued up and deferred. You need to specify which kind of common resource. As the heater answers requests. just like a telephone queue. exclusive use or shared use. Only one unit may draw hot water at a time. but computer automation is less expensive. In fact. This is coordination control. The same queue management may be used to allow one and only one unit to send its product to the separator at a time. then a single heater becomes common equipment for a set of batch units. It is not as cost effective to heat the water in the reactor as it is to heat it directly with combustion gases in a heater built for that purpose. Suppose a unit senses that the reaction products are thickening. Either a person or a computer manages a request queue that takes requests from units and honors them in the order in which they were received.

The specific sets of equipment discussed were a batch reactor. agitator. ingredient addition. With those basics. which will be discussed later.76 Chapter 4 production schedule may request a higher priority than the batches in progress. . bioreactor. Summary This chapter outlined the human factor in control as the complexity of control increased. mobile reactor. the rest of the chapter discussed the control of various pieces of equipment. with effects on cost. Then it defined equipment and controlled equipment. Now we are into allocation and arbitration. transport header. mixer. at a higher level than detailed control schemes. associated reactor control. distillation column. centrifuge and common equipment. heat exchanger. communication and other things.

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