Solutions Polymer

Cybernetica has extensive experience in developing, implementing and maintaining systems for Model Predictive Control (MPC) and optimization of continuous, batch and semi-batch polymerization processes worldwide. Typical benefits when compared to conventional control strategies include increased productivity, more consistent quality and safer operation.

Polymerization processes

Nonlinear Model Predictive Control (NMPC) based on adaptive mechanistic models

Polymerization processes are often challenging to control. The reactions might be highly exothermal, and the dynamic response from manipulated to controlled variables are highly dependent on the grade being manufactured in a continuous process or on the current stage in a batch or semi-batch process. In addition, it is often impractical to measure important variables subject to control such as reaction rates and quality variables.

Model Predictive Control (MPC) based on mechanistic models is a versatile and powerful technology for control and optimization of polymerization processes. Models will typically include reaction kinetics, phase equilibria and thermodynamics, and quality variables, as well as cooling and other utilities.

Models of polymerization processes are developed specifically for use in MPC applications, and uncertain model parameters are estimated on-line in such applications. This combination of mechanistic models with model adaptation are crucial elements in the successful application of MPC technology to polymerization processes.

Unique NMPC technology for polymerization processes

Cybernetica delivers systems for NMPC and optimization of polymerization processes based on its software suite Cybernetica CENIT. This technology is flexible and easily adaptable to specific customer needs. It is more robust and has higher performance than alternative technologies. Cybernetica’s approach to implementation minimizes impact on production during testing and commissioning of MPC applications.

Model predictive control of semi-batch polymerization processes

Model Predictive Control (MPC) based on Cybernetica CENIT is a versatile and powerful technology for control of batch and semi-batch polymerization processes. The main objectives of using this technology are:

  • Accurate and stable temperature control:
    • Rapid variations in reaction heat are predicted and counteracted.
    • Offset free tracking of non-isothermal temperature reference trajectory.
    • Fast response to temperature setpoint changes.
    • Counteraction of known process disturbances (e.g. dosing of raw materials).
  • Optimal metering (dosing) of reactants and catalysts:
    • Polymerization time is minimized.
    • Fast metering might be important for product quality.
  • A number of constraints are typically complied with:
    • Cooling capacity constraints.
    • Temperature constraints.
    • Pressure constraints.
    • Quality constraints.
    • Safety related constraints.
  • MPC can further be used to control the quality of the final product, by predicting to the end of the batch and by complying with the terminal constraints on product quality parameters.

The main benefits of using this technology, compared to conventional control strategies, are increased productivity, more consistent quality, higher degree of automation and safer operation.