ProPAT - Robust and affordable process control technologies for improving standards and optimising industrial operations
PATBox- Global Control System Platform
PATBox consists in a flexible and scalable Global Control System Platform that would enable the seamless management of raw data from multiple different PAT analysers and sensors, whereby PATbox could acquire, process and analyse this data through a series of proprietary, user-built and third-party models, in order to give real-time information to operators for decision support, or to enable closed loop actuation. PATbox vision was also to ensure that this data could be combined with information coming from business systems to guarantee structural consistency with the whole process or compatibility with existing supervision systems.
PATBox- Global Process Control Platform Poster
The Process Industries require a high degree of automation, monitoring, and advanced simulation and control for their often complex manufacturing processes and operations. Emphasis is on continuous or batch production, mixing, reaction and separation of materials of higher value. Indeed, increased globalisation and competition are drivers for process analytical technologies (PAT) that enable seamless process control, greater flexibility and cost efficiency.
ProPAT aims to develop novel sensors and analysers for providing measurements on composition, particle size and local bulk properties, as well as more traditional but smart sensors for measuring other process parameters, such as temperature, flow rate, pressure, etc., and integrate them into a versatile global control platform for data acquisition, data processing & mining and User Interface in order to measure properties of process streams and products, accurately and in real-time. The platform also provides self-learning and predictive capabilities aimed for dramatically reducing overcosts derived from even slight deviations from the optimum process.
Low cost MEMS-NIR spectroscopic and granulometric analysers, smart sensors for in batch and in continuous processes will be developed and integrated into the global control platform with the chemometric tools and the predictive software to deliver an integrated process control platform. ProPAT will enable near real time closed-loop process control to operate industrial processes at their optimum, both economically and environmentally, while ensuring high levels of quality. It will also allow the uptake of the Quality by Design for continuous process improvement. The project results will be validated in different processes and applications including milling of minerals, ceramics, metals, mixing and granulation of pharma products and polymerization of resins, and will represent a major step forward towards more efficient, reliable and sustainable industrial operation.