Voices: Other Voices

Advances in model predictive control

Advances in processors and memory make it possible to embed MPC in the DCS

By Terry Blevins and Willy Wojsznis
Jun 28, 2015

When digital distributed control systems (DCS) were introduced in the late 1970s, control functionality was just a digital implementation of techniques that were common in an electronic, panel-based control system. So it caused quite a stir when Cutler and Ramaker presented a paper in 1980 providing information on a new technique known as dynamic matrix control. Shell Oil had developed and deployed this technique for the control of large, interactive, multiple input-multiple output (MIMO) processes such as refinery distillation columns. This work by Shell was the first version of what is commonly referred to today as model predictive control (MPC). MPC has since been installed in thousands of plants to increase production rates and/or reduce variation in key quality parameters.

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