Process supervision is increasingly important as a major factor affecting the efficiency and therefore the competitiveness of the European process industry which account for nearly half of the European manufacturing sector. Process supervision is also very important from the point of view of equipment manufacturers, including software specialists since the equipment for process supervision represent a market in excess of 15 billion ECU world-wide.
Knowledge Based Systems (KBS), including first generation rule-based expert systems, have demonstrated great potential for many tasks related to process supervision. Malfunction diagnosis, which has relied almost entirely on human expertise until a few years ago, is probably the most critical task among them. Still, the spread of knowledge based technology in process applications is limited to a number of key cases of high economic importance due to the high cost of development, adaptation and configuration.
The strategic objective of PRIDE is therefore to contribute to improving the performance of the European Process Industries, through establishing the basis for a broader application of Model-Based Diagnosis (MBD). PRIDE will validate the benefits of MBD on selected industrial applications including chemicals manufacture, energy generation, water treatment, gas pumping stations and nuclear fuel production. Furthermore PRIDE will contribute to methodological guidelines to enable rapid and relatively cheap applications in other companies, on other plants, and in other sectors of the process industries.
The PRIDE consortium is exceptionally well suited to achieve these objective as it combines key European expertise in model-based technology (CISE, KCL and Heriot-Watt University) with several large process industries operating in various sectors (Unilever, Norsk Hydro, Yorkshire Water, EDP, British Gas and British Nuclear Fuels), major European developers of knowledge based tools for the process industry (Cogsys and Computas), and a leading automation company (Elsag Bailey).
The PRIDE workplan is structured into three main phases. In the first phase the user requirements of the reference applications contributed by the industrial end users will be analysed. A functional specification for the applications will be developed based on the tools that will be made available by the technology providers. the second phase corresponds to the architectural design and realisation of the PRIDE Toolset. This will include integration of the tools on a common software platform as well as development of graphic interfaces, debugging facilities, interfaces to the most common plant databases and to the most common KBS environments for process control applications such as G2 and COGSYS. In the third phase two industrial applications will be fully developed and tested under real operational conditions and the PRIDE Toolset will be reviewed. This phase runs partly in parallel with phase two, to allow early feedback on the Toolset design and realisation.
The PRIDE consortium will exploit the project results in three different ways. First, the end-users are committed to further development and roll-out of the successful applications throughout their companies. Second, the PRIDE Toolset will be commercialised by Cogsys and Computas after project completion. The toolset may include specific diagnostic applications developed by PRIDE experiments. Third, a version of the PRIDE toolset will be available on the supervisory system developed by Elsag Bailey, and eventually by other suppliers of supervisory systems.
Funding SchemeEST - Marie Curie actions-Early-stage Training