Riku Pöllänen, Ari Koponen, Manu Huttunen, Olli Pyrhönen

Real-time simulation environment for control loop performance monitoring using Matlab

Abstract Evaluating control loop performance has attracted considerable interest in recent years. Different kinds of performance indices have been developed and tested with simulation models and offline process data before implementing them in real automation system or performance monitoring tool. For developing and simulation stages of process control and control performance monitoring, Matlab is often regarded as an efficient tool among both academic researchers and industry. As a major drawback, however, there have been only reduced possibilities to connect it directly to the distributed control system DCS and programmable logic controllers PLCs of the plant for testing the designed algorithms with the real application. An easy way to establish a link between DCS or PLC and plant or process simulator running in an ordinary PC hardware is provided by OPC OLE for Process Control data access specification. Now, the same data exchange principle is emerging to be applied also with Matlab-based control engineering tools. In this paper, a simulation environment consisted of Matlab-based process simulation, control and monitoring tools and connected to the commercial PC automation system by the aid of OPC is demonstrated. A summary of typical performance indices and case studies of real-time control performance assessment are given.