Regulatory Level Model Predictive Control

  • Yusuf Sha'Aban

Student thesis: Phd


The need to save energy, cut costs, and increase profit margin in process manufactureincreases continually. There is also a global drive to reduce energy use and cut down co2 emission and combat climate change. These in turn have led to more stringent requirements on process control performance. Hence, the requirements for modern systems are often not achievable using classical control techniques. Therefore, advanced control strategies are often required to ensure optimal process performance. Despite these challenges, PID has continued to be the dominant industrial control scheme. However, for systems with complex dynamics and/or high performance requirements, PID control may not be sufficient. Therefore, a significant number of industrial control loops are not performing optimally and more advanced control than PID may be required in order to achieve optimal performance. MPC is one of the advanced control schemes that has had a significant impact in the industry. Despite the benefits associated with the implementation of MPC, the technology has remained a niche application in process manufacture. This thesis seeks to address these issues by developing ways that could lead to widespread application of MPC. In the first part of this thesis, a study was carried out to understand the characteristics of processes that would benefit from the application of MPC at the regulatory control level even in the single-input single-output (SISO) case. This is a departure from the common practice in which MPC is applied at the supervisory control layer delivering set points to PID controllers at the regulatory control layer. Both numerical simulation and industrial studies were used to show and quantify benefits of MPC for SISO applications at the regulatory control layer.Some issues that have led to the limited application of MPC include the cost and human efforts associated with modelling and controller design. And to achieve high process performance, accurate models are required. To address this issue, in the second part of this thesis, a novel technique for designing MPC from routine plant data - routine data MPC (RMPC) is proposed. The proposed technique was successfully implemented on process models. This technique would reduce the high human cost associated with MPC deployment, which could make it a widespread rather than niche application in the process manufacturing industry.
Date of Award31 Dec 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorBarry Lennox (Supervisor)


  • routine plant data
  • routine data
  • dead-time
  • PID
  • Regulatory Control
  • MPC
  • Predictive Control
  • regulatory level

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