MechChem Africa

Advanced Process Control from Rockwell Automation has been taken to the next level by a software platform that combines empirical and first principles into a single composite model. Pavilion8 software uses an unrestrictive and robust configuration approach and is mooted to reduce the design and execution time of step tests by up to 30%.

Pavilion8 is a modular software platform and the foundation for the Rockwell’s Information Software & Process Business solutions. Leveraging a powerful modelling engine at its core, Pavilion8 includes modules to control, analyse, monitor, visualise, warehouse and integrate, all which are combined in this high-value application.

Rockwell Automation Pavilion8Pavilion8 Model Predictive Control (MPC) software now empowers engineers to design and execute step-tests faster, more safely and accurately. Unlike manual step tests that must be continuously monitored by on-site engineers, the Step Test Assistant in Pavilion8 (version 5.12) independently adjusts readings speedily in a test environment in order to identify models that drive operations to the maximum level of performance. This easy-to-use tool slashes testing time by up to 30%, avoids constraints for safer testing and helps reduce the need for repeat tests by adapting to and identifying good tests.

Manufacturers with complex processes leverage model-based, multivariable control to maximise uptime, reduce variability and control closer to the performance-limiting constraints. When a process has significantly changed, engineers conduct step testing to understand the effects each process variable has on other process variables. As each step test requires a series of small changes, it can be time-consuming to collect all the data, build algorithms and generate a dynamic model.

“Being responsible for the productivity of an entire operation relies on efficient operators and processes,” said Christo Buys, business manager for control systems, Rockwell Automation sub-Saharan Africa. “Pavilion8 software is like having your best engineer available 24/7. It conducts complex, prescriptive analysis to identify the changes needed to improve performance.”

The Step Test Assistant automatically schedules the next test until a sufficient number of good tests are achieved. This helps conduct step testing 20 to 30% faster than with manual testing processes. In addition, the tool learns and avoids constraints through MPC enforcement and provides predictive operation visualisation. Using manual processes, step tests usually require engineering oversight for 100% of the time. With the automated tool, however, step testing is repeatable, adaptive, protected and more accurately processed.

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