Basic Materials

Change comes to the Basic Material Industry

As its name suggests the Basic Materials sector manufactures a wide array of products that serve as the core of our world’s infrastructure. While it also includes the extraction and separation of aggregate resources, the sector’s primary production processes involve the application of heat to transform those same raw materials into intermediate products such as cement and steel.

Practitioners know that the dynamics of temperature control present challenges. Whether production involves an oven, furnace, or kiln, the inertia that’s typically associated with such a process frequently causes unwanted variability. Dead-Time often exacerbates the problem, and combined they can test the limits of PID-based control.

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Our Experience

Leading manufacturers across the Basic Materials sector leverage our technologies and related service offerings to maintain optimal control over their production processes.  With our deep domain knowledge of PID-based regulatory control and portfolio of innovative technologies, we serve as a trusted partner and respected source of industry best-practices.  Following are specific areas where Control Station can contribute to improve plant performance.


When process dynamics evolve slowly it can be difficult to know when those changes impact performance. With its ability to proactively identify and isolate mechanical, interaction and tuning issues, PlantESP equips production staff with valuable details along with the advance warning they need to maintain optimal control.

Tuning software has a long history of underperforming in the Basic Materials sector. LOOP-PRO is different. It is industrial-grade technology that’s unique in its ability to address both long Dead-Time and oscillatory processes. It makes the tuning process faster and more consistent which are keys to success for any manufacturer.

Regular tuning of PID controllers has been proven to improve plant performance, but for many in the Basic Materials industry control loop tuning is a manual effort with hit-or-miss results. We’re experts in PID control and can share a simple, repeatable method for optimizing loop performance during each phase of production.

Process Considerations

Interaction among and between zones makes the difficult job of controlling temperature still more challenging.  The dynamic behavior can result in increased cycle times and even undermine material transformation.  Knowing when dynamics change and how they affect production are keys to success.

Upsets are to be expected in most production environments but processes should be designed for an appropriate response.  Advanced applications of the PID such as Cascade Control provide effective disturbance rejection, limiting the impact of everyday upsets.

Process performance typically degrades as changes in feedstock or other production inputs occur.  The long Dead-Time associated with those processes can result in a protracted deviation from Set Point.  Feed-Forward is an effective control strategy for curbing a negative process response and maintaining steady control.

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