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Experiences Using Matlab/Simulink For Dynamic "Real Time" Process Simulation In An Undergraduate Process Control Course

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.277.1 - 3.277.8

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Francis J. Doyle III

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Ferhan Kayihan

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3613

Experiences Using MATLAB/Simulink for Dynamic "Real-time" Process Simulation in an Undergraduate Process Control Course

Francis J. Doyle III1 Ferhan Kayihan2 1 Dept. of Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware 2 IETek, Integrated Engineering Technologies, Tacoma WA 98422-1402

1. Introduction

Process simulation technology has evolved dramatically over the past 10 years with the increasing application of object oriented programming. Many packages are available which allow intuitive visualization of process data coupled with a user-friendly graphical interface which allows rapid synthesis of process flowsheets using click-and-drag operations. These packages are common in industry for both process modeling and real-time process control. A significant challenge for instructors is to prepare students to use these tools in their undergraduate chemical engineering curriculum.

In this paper, we describe the use of MATLAB's dynamic simulation engine, Simulink, in an undergraduate process dynamics and control class. Using the graphical user interface (GUI) design tool, dubbed GUIDE by MATLAB, one can create customized interfaces that allow the students to quickly interpret data from the process as well as make modifications to the control operations in an intuitive framework. In effect, it is possible to emulate the interface typically found on an industrial distributed control system (DCS). Using these tools, we have introduced a number of case studies into the undergraduate control curriculum (process control modules (PCM)). In this paper, we concentrate on one of the new case studies: the pulp digester. A continuous digester is one of the strategic processes of pulping operations. In terms of the physical unit, it may be as large as 20ft in diameter and 120ft tall with capacity to hold as much as 1/4 of the daily production in transit. The digester is a multi-phase reactor/separator combination with a moving packed-bed where lignin is removed from wood chips. Various complexities of the process provide a rather rich example for chemical engineering students to exercise the combined application of principles learned in transport, reaction engineering, unit operations, process design, process control and numerical methods.

2. Process Control Modules (PCM)

The Process Control Modules (PCM) are a set of programs written in the MATLAB/SIMULINK environment, for use instruction of an undergraduate course on process dynamics and control. The modules are based on fundamental process models of industrial unit operations (distillation column, biochemical reactor, pulp digester, heated-tube furnace), and incorporate a realistic graphical user interface to emulate an industrial control environment. They were developed to allow educators to strike a proper balance between

Doyle III, F. J., & Kayihan, F. (1998, June), Experiences Using Matlab/Simulink For Dynamic "Real Time" Process Simulation In An Undergraduate Process Control Course Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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