Project 2 - Disturbance management

The Disturbance management project was a collaboration between the Department of Automatic Control and Perstorp, and the research theme was availability. The project studied utility disturbances in Perstorp site at Stenungsund. The fraction of time a plant produces, the availability, is an important measure of the efficiency of a plant. High availability implies a possibility for large production volume and thereby increased profit for the company.

One way of improving the availability of a plant is by minimizing the effects of disturbances. The focus in this research project was on plant-wide disturbances, disturbances that could affect several production areas at an industrial site. Disturbances on utilities, such as steam and cooling water, were investigated, since these disturbances are typically plant-wide disturbances that lead to large revenue losses at industrial sites.

A generic method for minimizing the effects of disturbances on utilities was developed within Phase 1, which required a model of the site. Starting with simple and quickly obtained models, a step by step move towards more elaborate models was made.

The generic method was applied to the  company's site in Stenungsund in 2010, using a simple model of the site. Approaches for obtaining more advanced site models were then investigated, with the goal is to capture the relationship between disturbances on utilities and production of different areas at the site more accurately.

In Phase 2, the project changed focus to local disturbance management in low level control systems.