Method and apparatus for distributed process control

  • US 10,386,823 B2
  • Filed: 06/01/2016
  • Issued: 08/20/2019
  • Est. Priority Date: 06/02/2015
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. Apparatus for controlling a process in a plant, the process having at least one plant-side automation unit that calculates first process variables using data provided by a monitoring system connected to the automation unit by a first data link, and uses calculated process variables to control the process, said apparatus further comprising:

  • at least one external computing unit that is external to the automation unit, said external computing unit being adapted to perform process variable calculations using data provided by the monitoring system that produce second process variables, said external computing unit performing more computation-intensive calculations than the automation unit and calculating the second process variables in parallel with the first process variable calculations performed by the automation unit; and

    a distributed communication mechanism connecting said external computing unit to the automation unit, said external computing unit being operatively connected by a second data link to exchange data with the automation unit, said second process variables being executed by the automation unit instead of the first process variables to control the process.

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