Automatic process control in continuous production processes is a combination of control engineering and chemical engineering disciplines that uses industrial control systems to achieve a production level of consistency, economy and safety which could not be achieved purely by human manual control. It is implemented widely in industries such as oil refining, pulp and paper manufacturing, chemical processing and power generating plants,
There is a wide range of size, type and complexity, but it enables a small number of operators to manage complex processes to a high degree of consistency. The development of large automatic process control systems was instrumental in enavling the design of large high volume and complex processes, which could not be otherwise economically or safely operated.
The application can range from controlling the temperature and level of a single process vessel, to a complete chemical processing plant with several thousand control loops.
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