Rockwell Automation eases model predictive control with Pavilion8 Software

June 15, 2015
Modern configuration environment, more flexible work flows, and new user prompts help reduce training and adoption time

Rockwell Automation Pavilion8 Model Predictive Control (MPC) software now delivers a more user-friendly configuration environment, step-by-step prompts, warning diagnostics and flexible work flows to simplify building, maintaining and adjusting highly complex process models.

"Pavilion8 software has long been known as being among the most powerful software for solving highly challenging control problems, and it is now also among the easiest to use," said Michael Tay, Pavilion product manager for Rockwell Automation. "The solution builder tools within the software now offer MPC configuration in a modern Windows environment, giving users a more familiar and streamlined experience. For example, users can now execute right-click mouse operations and complete copy-and-paste-type actions to develop applications in the software, helping them deploy their solutions faster and reduce training and adoption times."

Pavilion8 MPC v5.0 software remains control system independent, but smoothly integrates with the PlantPAx process automation system from Rockwell Automation and includes four key enhancements.

Windows-based configuration and support – An improved overall user experience for expert and inexperienced users alike begins with the updated, Windows-based solution builder tools, which improve work flow by enabling users to create a customized working environment and providing access to online help. For example, problems that arise during configuration will now prompt helpful, context-sensitive warning and error messages. Users can simply click on these messages to receive detailed model-creation steps that will guide them toward a resolution. Users can also more easily modify past work to simplify model maintenance and re-use.

Multivariable run-time controller – Users will also discover new time-saving features in version 5.0. The robust run-time controller has been updated to allow users to add new predictive disturbance measures in half the time as the previous version, and easily compare differences in MPC application versions. Users now can easily sort, re-name, add, delete, compare and copy MPC variables and software supporting a flexible work flow, which can help reduce troubleshooting time. Output variables, such as powder moisture from an industrial dryer or reactor pressure in a vessel, can also be used as inputs to a nonlinear control model to help simplify deployment. Multiple developments that enhance integrating control models simplify and improve run-time performance.

Continuous controller monitoring – Users can now configure their process models with specific metrics for production, quality, energy usage and other factors. They can also continuously measure their processes according to these metrics and use historical records to track ongoing benefits. The software incorporates new data efficiencies to provide a faster and more responsive trend environment, particularly for those supporting larger and more demanding systems.

Supports modern browsers and operating systems – To make the Pavilion8 experience more consistent with other software environments and improve overall ease of use, Rockwell Automation re-designed the software’s user interface to align with current technology standards. This includes support for newer browsers like Internet Explorer 11 and operating systems, such as Windows 2012.

Pavilion8 software is the leading Rockwell Automation platform for MPC and real-time environmental management. It is also the first platform to combine empirical and first principle models into a single composite model. With proven return on investment when applied to a wide range of industries, continuous processes and equipment, Pavilion8 software uses an unrestrictive and robust configuration approach. This allows it to adapt to changing business needs and to flexibly meet simple linear to the most challenging nonlinear processes.

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