Model Predictive Control (MPC) is becoming increasingly common in the production of nutritional powders, especially spray-dried dairy products. With the rising cost of manufacturing (energy and raw materials) as well as increasing competitive pressures, producers are looking for new ways to improve profitability, environmental performance and asset efficiency. In addition, new formulations can pose significant manufacturing challenges throughout the process.
To meet these challenges, Perceptive Engineering Ltd has developed NutriMV, a real-time software solution for monitoring, controlling and optimising the processes used in the production of many powdered products.
NutriMV has a strong pedigree and an enviable record of success in increasing yield and capacity, reducing specific energy consumption and improving product quality compliance.
SPC and MVSPC Process Monitoring - Shewhart charts, EWMA and CUSUM charts with product and operating point specific control limits. Multivariate statistical models for advanced process monitoring. Detection and first level diagnosis of abnormal operation. Automated reports and email alerts.
Real time estimated of product quality attributes, e.g powder moisture, based upon models developed from process data.
Model Predictive Control
MPC on process units, e.g. evaporators, spary dryers, ring dryers, agglomerators, etc. MPC inherently takes into account process interaction and constraints.
Model Predictive Control reduces variability and provides tighter dynamic control. The optimiser determines the steady state operating point for maximising profit. The optimiser directs the MPC layer to this operating point.
First Principle Humidity Calculations
NutriMV accurately calculates humidity conditions in the drying chamber based on a suite of first principle thermodynamic equations.
Stickiness of the powder can be a major issue and lead to powder build up, lumps and blockages in spray dryers, fluidised beds and cyclones. NutriMV deals with this very effectively by including a product "sticky curve" and the humidity calculations in the optimiser.