Batch process control can seem like another world compared to continuous process control. In batch operations, process conditions are constantly changing and control loops are going in and out of service. PID control may take a back seat to sequential scheduling of manipulated flows.
Batch processes pose particular challenges for closed-loop control and optimization due to inherent process nonlinearity and non-self-regulation. At the same time there is a greater potential for increasing capacity in batch than in continuous processes. Solutions need to address the interrelationship between yield, capacity, quality, and repeatability.
The highest value added products use batch operations. Batches can take days to complete and be worth millions of dollars. In many cases bad batches cannot be fixed downstream. Bad batches must be avoided. There are many techniques for making batches more repeatable and faster by better monitoring and control.
Batch processing is a critical part of many high value added biological and chemical processes. Batch processes are capable of higher conversions than continuous processes because there is no discharge flow until the batch is deemed complete.