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Maximizing the Potential of Batch Process Control
In the recent years, batch process optimization has made significant advances. The efforts that went into the development of ISA-S88/IEC 61512 batch control standard has helped us in this direction. However, in today’s highly competitive environment, optimization of individual manufacturing plants is not enough. In order to maximize the return on investments, control engineers must turn their attentions to site and company wide optimization along with the optimization of the supply chains. Typically, batch processes use many different raw materials to produce various products and grades of products. Market demands require frequent changes in product mix under short notice. Thus, batch processes offers greater opportunities than typical continuous processes for the optimization of raw material and intermediate supplies, production scheduling, and upstream and downstream transportations. For the last five years, the ISA-SP95 committee has been developing the standards for integration of control systems with business systems. This effort is significantly helping site and company wide optimization of manufacturing processes. Additionally, the recent developments in Internet and intranet technologies are increasing the feasibility of supply chain optimization. Today, the challenge for control engineers is to broaden their focus from narrow control issues to wider aspects of enterprise-wide optimization.
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