Advanced Process Control

How Intelligent Technology Squeezes Maximum Profit from the Plant

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Adaptive Process Control - The smart technology differentiator

APC applications deliver large benefits to the operation immediately after commissioning, but plant performance degradation will occur over time. This is mainly due to the constant changing conditions within the plant itself, as opposed to problems with the technology.

Recent innovations in APC deliver game changing improvements to both controller sustainability and initial application development. Hence, today there is an intelligent technology differentiator that delivers continuous APC sustainability.


Adaptive Process Control developed by AspenTech is a revolutionary breakthrough technology that eliminates the need to approach APC maintenance as a project and creates a continuous process of assessing model quality, collecting current data and generating new models as the behaviour of the plant changes over time. This smart software can detect, isolate and correct problems without increasing the burden on engineering staff.

There is a crucial difference between the traditional approach to controller maintenance (sustained value) and Adaptive Process Control. With sustained value, revamping the controller is typically carried out as part of a lengthy and costly project. Under Adaptive Process Control, however, the clever controller is modified over time in more of a continuous process.

The update of the model occurs without the need to take the controller off-line and enables a company to reap the benefits of control and optimisation while the model is under maintenance. Model quality analysis, which continually runs and assesses the accuracy of the model, can detect when performance degradation occurs. It can pinpoint a specific part of a controller, thereby helping engineers to determine the underlying cause of the degradation.

Over a long period of time, companies lose substantial profits because the plant conditions change. The additional benefit of Adaptive Process Control is the ability to squeeze every possible cent from the asset on a continuous basis. Today, with Adaptive Process Control, non-expert engineers can do everything required to update the models without the need to turn off the controller. Crucially, the software permits the engineer to always make decisions when new models replace existing ones in on-line applications. This advanced technology dramatically changes the way in which new APC application are created, gaining benefits immediately and eliminating any inconvenience related to a disruptive plant test in order to regain a good model.

The key advantages of Adaptive Process Control over traditional sustained value approaches include:

• The controller model is continually analysed for accuracy

• Poorly performing areas of the model are identified

• Non-disruptive background testing collects new process data while the unit is being optimised

• New data are monitored in real time and bad data are automatically identified and removed