Multivariable Model Predictive Control (MPC) has helped Air Liquide (AL) for more than twenty years control Air Separation Units (ASU’s). In the last few years AL realized that their legacy MPC software was becoming increasingly costly to maintain and was not taking advantage of technological progress in the field. Platform for Advanced Control and Estimation (PACE) was selected to be AL’s new standard MPC platform. A multi-year campaign is underway to deploy PACE at AL’s operational facilities domestically and internationally.
PACE’s unique and differentiating features are discussed with respect to how they solve many of the challenges that were inherent in AL’s legacy MPC and how they are empowering AL’s control engineers to develop and deploy better control of their ASUs. Improvements to project execution workflow, plant efficiency & economics, sustainability of the benefits and higher operation acceptance through minimal need for operator intervention during steady-state and rapid plant production ramping challenges and results are explored.