Talk of Prof. Ian K. Craig

November 10, 2015

--- Title: Towards lights-out process control

Time: November 10, 2015
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Prof. Ian K. Craig
Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
University of Pretoria, South Africa


Tuesday 2015-11-10 16:00
IST-Seminar-Room V2.268 - Pfaffenwaldring 9 - Campus Stuttgart-Vaihingen



The process industry appears to be evolving towards lights-out process control − processes that are fully automated and that require no human operators on-site. This evolution is part of a larger trend where human mental power is increasingly being replaced by digital technologies.

Examples are given of lights-out process control that is already performed at the base layer control level. Vendors and academics have and are busy developing tools also for the autonomous maintenance of advanced process control systems, such as MPC controllers. These tools show promise, but more work is required before complete autonomy can be achieved.

The results of a survey on the degree of automation in the minerals processing industry will be presented together with a framework for the implementation of lightsout process control and its enabling technologies.


Biographical Information

Ian Craig received the B.Eng. degree in electronic engineering from the University of Pretoria, the S.M. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Ph.D and M.B.A. degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand. He heads the control systems group in the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering at the University of Pretoria. Previously he was part of the Measurement Control Division of Mintek where he was involved in the design, implementation and commercialisation of advanced controllers for the mineral processing industry. His research interests include model-based control and optimisation in the process industries, with particular focus on mineral processing; and the modeling and control of infectious diseases, in particular HIV/AIDS and TB.

Ian was Editor-in-Chief of Control Engineering Practice from 2005-2010 and President of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) from 2011-2014. He is a recipient of the IFAC outstanding service award and is a fellow of the South African Academy of Engineering and a registered Professional Engineer in South Africa.

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