All current plants in process industries have control systems managing their production processes. Distributed Control Systems (DCS) and Programmable Logic Controls (PLC) are present all across production sites with continuous semi-continuous or batch processes. However, there is still a lack of integration of local control systems dedicated to unit processes into an overarching real-time optimisation and scheduling system controlling and monitoring the operations of the whole plant. This plant or even site-wide integration is especially challenging for production processes where monitoring involves the collection and evaluation of large amounts of data.
Future plant monitoring and control systems will have to integrate lower scale model based control frameworks into plant scale scheduling, or even geographic and logistic optimisation tools. The generalisation of model based predictive control techniques to plant-wide and possibly site-wide monitoring and control should be developed using overall plant models, and optimised solutions should be demonstrated.Scope:
Research activities should address all of the following areas:
Solutions should consider the “data-intensive” nature of the process chains (data reliability, handling of huge amounts of data in real-time, extraction of decisions from large data-sets. Proof of concept in terms of at least one demonstrator should be delivered before the end of the project, excluding commercially usable prototypes, but convincingly demonstrating scalability towards industrial needs and making a clear case for the safety of the worker under all circumstances.
The project can make use of pre-existing commercially available plant optimisation and scheduling solutions, making all the required adaptations. In order to ensure the impact of the project, standardisation is to be addressed.
Activities are expected to focus on Technology Readiness Levels 4 to 6.
This topic is particularly suitable for SMEs.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 4 and 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.Expected Impact:
Compared to the current practice in the sector:
Proposals should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the Introduction to the LEIT part of this Work Programme.