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AutoQuiz: Best Strategy for Finding Efficient Operating Points with Complex Shifting Process Conditions

AutoQuiz is edited by Joel Don, ISA's social media community manager.

Today's automation industry quiz question comes from the ISA Certified Automation Professional certification program. ISA CAP certification provides a non-biased, third-party, objective assessment and confirmation of an automation professional's skills. The CAP exam is focused on direction, definition, design, development/application, deployment, documentation, and support of systems, software, and equipment used in control systems, manufacturing information systems, systems integration, and operational consulting. Click this link for information about the CAP program. The following question comes from the CAP study guide, Performance Domain II, Definition: Identify customer requirements and complete high-level analysis of the best way to meet those requirements.

What is required to find the MOST efficient operating points that are highly dependent on complex shifting process conditions, such as equipment fouling?

a) real-time optimization with a detailed process model
b) tactical schedulers with business economics
c) linear programs with detailed process economics
d) model predictive controls with a constraint pusher


Real-time optimization uses a reconciled high fidelity process model with the equipment details, such as heat transfer coefficients and physical properties of the components.

Tactical schedulers do not have process knowledge built in and may request operating points that are not achievable or advisable based on equipment and process constraints.

A linear program assumes fixed economic relationships and does not deal with stationary behavior shifts and nonlinear process behavior.

A model predictive control with a constraint pusher is only able to do a simple maximization on minimization of a process variable such as feed flow.

The correct answer is A, real-time optimization with a detailed process model.


Joel Don
Joel Don
Joel Don is the community manager for ISA and is an independent content marketing, social media and public relations consultant. Prior to his work in marketing and PR, Joel served as an editor for regional newspapers and national magazines throughout the U.S. He earned a master's degree from the Medill School at Northwestern University with a focus on science, engineering and biomedical marketing communications, and a bachelor of science degree from UC San Diego.

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