HITO is a general purpose tool for advanced control developed under the ESPRIT PACE initiative. There is a wide variety of tools on the market for advanced process control: identifiers, predictive control, adaptive control, adaptive-predictive control, expert systems, etc. but the complexity of selecting, integrating and connecting them with the control systems existing on the plant is such that only large and sophisticated organisations can profit from the advantages of advanced control. HITO integrates all of these existing technologies within a single environment friendly and easily connected to the existing system, and therefore, puts the advantages of advanced control within reach of small and medium firms.
The technologies integrated within HITO are: dynamic process identification and signal analysis, predictive control, process simulation, expert systems tool and economic optimisation. It also includes already interfaces with some of the popular basic control systems. It is modular and open in order to be adjusted to the requirements of each application. Tools with this scope do not exist presently on the market.
HITO has demonstrated its functionality, but this functionality is not considered sufficient for the beginning of the exploitation phase of the product.
The main objective at present is its launching to the market with full guarantee and the preparation of an exploitation plan, for which it is necessary a rigorous program of validation tests and its corresponding adjustment in function of the obtained results.
To carry out this validation, an agreement has been established between the companies INITEC (Spain), as principal contractor, Sociedad General Azucarera de Espana (SGAE) as technological support and GENERALE SUCRIERE (France) and AUGHINISH ALUMINA (Ireland) as demonstrators.
INITEC and SGAE, as representatives of the consortium that has developed HITO, supply the technology and the tool, which can be deployed into quite different processes and plant information systems, while GENERALE SUCRIERE and AUGHINISH ALUMINA provide their plants and their experience in the processes.
Once the tool has been validated, its exploitation will permit to extend its to a variety of sectors: chemical, petrochemical, food industry, paper, etc., which share the typical problems of complex dynamic processes.