Resources on Process Plant Applications

Covers process control in general and applications otherwise not covered by other sections of the Resource Centre.

ACTC Case Study Reports
  • British Gas: Self Tuning Control of a Furnace Temperature (CS02/1992). This study used the ACTC's own  Self-Tuning Control Toolbox to interface and control plant through a TCS controller.
  • Roche Products: Non-linear Model Based Control for pH (CS06/1993). Investigated the use of Generic Model Control (GMC), a non-linear model based method, for pH control.
  • British Aerospace: Classical versus Modern Control Design Methods for Safety Critical Control Engineering Practice (CS08/1995). Comparison of Classical and Robust (LQG, H-inf) control for safety critical systems, including a pumped water supply system.
  • British Steel: Multivariable Decoupling Control of Collector Main Pressure on Coke Ovens (CS09/1995). Multivariable pressure control using decoupled PI and H-inf.
  • Advanced Gasifier Control, Roger Dixon, IEE Computing & Control Journal, June 1998. An brief overview of the Alstom Benchmarking Challenge on Coal Gasifier Control that was opened to the whole UK control community. Ten groups presented results, and James Taylor's (Lancaster Univseristy) Proportional-Integral Plus (PIP) control was the closest to the meeting the control objective. A more detailed presentation of the different approaches is to be issued in a forthcoming IMechE Journal or Systems and Control.
  • GMC Control of a Strong Acid-Base Neutralisation System, Dec Costello, Technical Report 1992-04, Dept. of Chem Eng., Edinburgh University, June 1992. Looks at using classical feedback-feedforward controllers and Generic Model Control (GMC) for control of strong acid-base neutralisation process. Presents modelling, control design and tuning, comparison and limitations. It concludes that feedback-feedforward control provides significant improvement over standard PI control. The GMC strategy works well under ideal conditions, but it cannot cope with significant model/plant mis-match.
  • pH Control Problems, Greg Shinskey, Foxboro Publication 413-7. Covers nonlinear pH control, importance of mixing and electrodes. Short but very informative.
  • Humidity and Dryer Control Problems, Greg Shinskey, Foxboro Publication 413-6. Covers batch dryers, continuous adiabatic dryers, steam tube dryers. Short but very informative.
  • Flow and Level Control, Greg Shinskey, Foxboro Publication 413-5. Covers blending, flow meters, level control. Short but very informative.
Reference Books
  • Instrumentation for Process Measurement and Control, Norman Anderson. Covering process control in general, highly recommended
  • Process Control: Designing Processes and Control Systems for Dynamic Performance Thomas Marlin. Very comprehensive book on process control theory and practice, highly recommended.
  • Plantwide Process Control, William L. Luyben. A good overview of process control, oriented toward Petroleum and Chemical. Click here for Online Amazon info.
  • Fundamentals of Industrial Control, edited by C. Albert and D.Coggan. published by ISA in its PGS (Practical Guide Series). Contains a lot of useful overview information.
Links to Other Resources
  • Improving the effectiveness of basic closed loop control systems Good Practice Guide (GPG346). an excellent introductory guide published by The Carbon Trust with advice to control engineers, technicians and plant managers in the process industries on improving basic closed loop control systems and maintaining such systems. Six Case Studies are given that illustrate how simple improvements can make a big difference. The guide can be downloaded/requested from The Carbon Trust Publications pages (registration required).
  • IEE Introduction to Process Control CD-ROM. This multimedia CD-ROM based self training course which provides a simple introduction to the basics of process control. The course covers five 1 hour modules; introduction to the basics, the process, applying control to our process, practical problems and how to avoid them and developing control. The CD-ROM includes animated simulations, videos and questions and answers. This CD-ROM is available to members of the ACTC at the special rate of 150+VAT. Please contact us for a special order form to obtain this discount.
  • Tools for calculating properties useful for process applications ( Includes conversion tables, piping properties and sizing, pressure drops, heat transfer and efficiency, compressor sizing.
  • Software and info on orifice plate calculations (
  • Real Rewards From Artificial Intelligence (,1773,173,00.html) and Online Expert-System Applications Use in Fermentation Plants (,1773,199,00.html) ISA articles on use of Experts Systems in an Eli Lilly Ferementation Process.
  • Process Control & Advanced Control Tutorials. from Control Engineering Online. A good array of well written online documents, including PID and Tuning, Problem Loops, Smith Predictors for systems with long time delays and SPC.
  • BrainWave. Advanced adaptive control that has found widespread use in the process industries. Allows models (Laguerre function based) to be constructed on-line as the process operates, giving a self-learning capability. Many application papers are available in their on-line Library.
  • Process Control and Optimisation Consortium based at the Texas Tech Univeristy, USA. A partnership between industry and the Department of Chemical Engineering to assure relevant process modeling, control and optimization research focused on industrial problems.
  • Controls Weekly Review ( A very useful resource devoted to promoting education in the controls and automation industry. On it are links to thousands of good, free, online web resources that have all be personally visited and assessed to be of good quality and useful.