Role of Advanced Process Control in Advancing Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 brings in the age of cyber-physical systems with advanced digital intelligence. Process industries are no exception with multiple time-consuming processes generating substantial amounts of data from the various layers of instrumentation and control systems.

This necessitates advanced measures for controlling complex processes to unlock the full value of automation by reducing variability, improving throughput, and influencing sustainability goals. While these controls are increasingly important in process manufacturing environment, traditional implementations focused on feedback and feedforward based regulatory controls. This introduces Advanced process control (APCs) that utilize several techniques, statistical models, and mathematical methodologies to optimize process control by controlling several variables.

However, implementation of APCs has been segregated and monolithic. This means that they only aim to achieve optimal control at a localized stage of the process and limits the ability to achieve overall optimal plant performance. Therefore, to achieve a holistic control aiming at plant wide optimization, a platform-based implementation approach is crucial, that allows multiple variables to be processed and analyzed simultaneously.

This paper, therefore, aims to address how a change in APC strategy (APC 4.0) is required to achieve new levels of benefits previously unobtainable.

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