Stephen Piche, James Keeler, Greg Martin, Gene Boe, Doug Johnson, Mark Gerules
Model Predictive Control (MPC), a control algorithm which uses an optimizer to solve for the optimal control moves over a future time horizon based upon a model of the process, has become a stan(cid:173) dard control technique in the process industries over the past two decades. In most industrial applications, a linear dynamic model developed using empirical data is used even though the process it(cid:173) self is often nonlinear. Linear models have been used because of the difficulty in developing a generic nonlinear model from empirical data and the computational expense often involved in using non(cid:173) linear models. In this paper, we present a generic neural network based technique for developing nonlinear dynamic models from em(cid:173) pirical data and show that these models can be efficiently used in a model predictive control framework. This nonlinear MPC based approach has been successfully implemented in a number of indus(cid:173) trial applications in the refining, petrochemical, paper and food industries. Performance of the controller on a nonlinear industrial process, a polyethylene reactor, is presented.