Inferential Control

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Key areas for Operational Excellence Transformation

Operational Excellence Transformation is Yokogawa and KBC’s co-innovated portfolio of solutions and services.We provides comprehensive solutions for business automation in all four areas using consulting and digital technology.


Asset Operations and Optimization

Asset Operation and Optimization deals with realizing the potential of physical assets by pushing throughput and maximizing the production of the highest-value products, while minimizing variable costs, such as energy. It ensures small and large capital expenditure projects are delivered on time and on budget, to achieve growth and meet environment requirements. Through these competencies, it will be possible for companies to take full advantage of their physical assets. Yokogawa’s Asset Operation and Optimization solution leverages industry-leading technology to generate precise operating information to increase operator insight, ultimately leading to improved performance and profitability.

Key Operational Competencies in Asset Operations and Optimization

  • Asset Strategy: Define the requirements of plant capacity, operability and production to align with corporate strategy.
  • Asset Improvement: Improve plant profitability by expanding plant operating window and/or adding/modifying plants
  • Asset Optimization: Optimize the plant by enabling shift teams to execute activities as per plan and within operating window boundaries
  • Asset Operations and Process Control: Operate the plant by enabling shift teams to implement plans effectively,stabilize process control beneficially and manage abnormal situations
  • Capital Projects Delivery: Screen options, engineer and deliver capital projects that are cost-effective, timely and fit for purpose 

With our track record of providing project execution and thorough lifecycle services and KBC consulting, our customers can obtain practical and deep insights on maximizing their physical assets. Together, we aim to contribute and actualize improvements not only for profitability, but also for overall safety, operability and reliability.

·Supply Chain Optimization
- Optimize management of supply, whether oil in the ground or feedstocks for a refinery or chemical asset, in light of product market demands. This provides operators with the agility to take full advantage of market conditions.
·Operational Risk Management 
- Reliably control safety, health and environmental risk at a personal and process level. This assures the robustness required to avoid catastrophic losses.
·Asset Management and Integrity
- Confidently ensure asset reliability and availability, whilst controlling maintenance costs. This assures the asset always meets expectations and is always available to capitalize on short term market opportunities.

Inferential Control

Exarqe is a software package designed to provide product quality signal as feedback to APC applications. The package has been widely and successfully applied in refinery and petrochemical processes to infer the following properties:

  • Polymer Melt Index
  • 4CBA in Terephthalic Acid (TA)
  • Kerosene Flash Point
  • Total aromatics in Platformate

The need for a soft sensor...
As refineries and their products become more widely used, the stringent specifications for their quality and refinery products also become tighter.

Crude oil, the starting point of all refinery streams, comprises scores of pure compounds. As such, quality specifications for various refinery streams are built with end-users in mind, i.e. RVP is specific for gasoline; taking into consideration safety in transport, vapor lock in gasoline feed system, type of storage tank employed, starting characteristics of motor fuels, etc. It is rarely an indication of the exact composition of the specimen; this becomes the responsibility of the ground staff (operating personnel) to meet the quality specifications.

Typically, staff have knowledge of the temperature, pressure, flow, DP, etc., as indicators of quality and general health of the plant. The actual point of interest, the quality itself, is only obtainable by lab analysis. Laboratory tests are designed so that they are fast, easy to execute, and repetitive. Depending on the nature of test, results can be derived in anything from a few minutes to a few hours.

As quality requirements become increasingly important, analyzers and GCs also shift from the lab to the field. Currently, there are several companies offering a wide range of easy-to-maintain instruments capable of measuring a variety of properties and numerous other features. There is no doubting the accuracy of the measurements delivered by these, but inherent in the very same instruments is the maintenance that is required.

Elaborate arrangements have to be made to clean and flush them (particularly for those that measure properties in more than one stream), and to provide housing. Safety is also a key consideration for these housings and equipment within as all these factors affect the all important time delay between sensing and delivering instruments.

All of these were necessary till process engineers and mathematicians synergized their knowledge to introduce a fresh lease of life into process quality measurement.

Analyzing Property On-line

Exarqe model displayAs feedback is received from the lab, operators and engineers can change one or more of its process variables to adjust the deviation in quality. Thus, till this point of adjustment, the plant would have been producing goods that are either off-spec or better than necessary - both of which incur cost in the company's overall objective. The first situation requires costly rework, and the latter forces a more competitive product to be a less attractive one; this swing in quality goes on.

Exarqe is a software package designed to provide product quality signal as feedback to APC applications. The package has been widely and successfully applied in refinery and petrochemical processes to infer the following properties:

  • Polymer Melt Index
  • 4CBA in Terephthalic Acid (TA)
  • Kerosene Flash Point
  • Total aromatics in Platformate
  • Light Naphtha RVP
  • Light Cycle Oil 90% distillation point etc.

Exarqe has taken quality prediction a notch higher by incorporating features that take into consideration and accept the reality of lab measurements.

  • Extensive on-line analyzer signal checking, includes out-of-range handling, frozen value detection and spike rejection
  • Operator lab interface with entry consequence preview
  • Prediction calculation and output processing (clamping, asymmetrical filtering)
  • Full model updating with Kalman filtering (on basis of either on-line analyzer or laboratory results)
  • Handling of non-linear qualities either by non-linear Neural Network type model, or by built-in configurable characterizer functions
  • Input checking of reference laboratory result prior to model prediction update
  • SPC techniques, including score card, CUSUM, and spike rejection
  • Internal steady state detection
  • Robust handling of uncertain and varying delay in the quality reference measurement
  • Operator graphical interface and engineer graphical interface
  • Messaging and alarming
  • HMEL selected an integrated solution from Yokogawa
  • Yokogawa India oversaw and implemented the engineering, installation, and commissioning of the refinery

A Malaysian Gas Processing and Transmission Company a subsidiary of the national oil & gas major, plays a prominent role in the gas business value chain. The company operates as a throughput service company providing the services of processing and transmission of gas to the power generation sectors and various customers. 

Yokogawa Technical Report

In 2000, we formed a technical tie-up with Shell Global Solutions (SGSI) to enter the advanced process control and optimization solution business. At the same time, we started marketing a solution based package comprising an Exasmoc multi-variable model-based predictive control function, an Exarqe property estimation function, an Exaspot online real-time optimizer and an MD control monitor & diagnosis function by taking full advantage of the SGSI advanced control and optimization technology (APC&O).


Yokogawa has formed an alliance with Shell Global Solutions International B.V. (SGSI) for advanced process control and has been jointly developing related products since then. As part of this collaborative work, we commercialized the Exasmoc multivariable model predictive control package and the Exarqe robust quality estimator package in 2000, which are used to control DCS and PLC systems based on SGSI's multivariable predictive control and quality estimation algorithms—namely, SMOC (Shell Multivariable Optimizing Controller) and RQE (Robust Quality Estimator).

Yokogawa Technical Report

In 1999, Yokogawa Electric Corporation formed an alliance with Shell Global Solutions International B.V. (SGSI) in Advanced Process Control (APC), and both companies have since jointly developed products. This alliance successfully combined SGSI's experience gained through more than 800 projects in more than 30 years and Yokogawa's great deal of experience with the process control market, and strengthened the scheme to provide the APC technology.

Yokogawa Technical Report

In Japanese industries which grew rapidly until the early 1990's, solid production techniques for creating high-quality products supported the development of manufacturing industries. However, the economic environment has been changing rapidly and tough global competition has become unavoidable. Particularly, the manufacturing industry must adapt not only to changes in economic environments but also to changes in social conditions such as emphasis on health, safety, and environment (so called HSE).

Yokogawa Technical Report

For a coal fired power generation plant (hereafter referred to as "BTG facilities," in which "BTG" stands for boiler, steam turbine, and generator) supplying power to a large-scale production plant, the CO2 emissions from such facilities are a critical issue today.


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