Model predictive control of continuous drum granulation

Thomas Glaser, Constantijn F.W. Sanders, Fu Y. Wang, Ian T. Cameron, James D. Litster, Jonathan M.H. Poon, Rohit Ramachandran, Charles D. Immanuel, Francis J. Doyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


This paper details a methodology for the design of a model predictive controller for a continuous granulation plant. The work is based on a non-linear one-dimensional population balance model (1D-PBM), which was parameterized using experimental step test data generated at a continuous granulation pilot plant installed at the University of Queensland, Australia. The main objective was to operate the granulator under optimal conditions while off-specification material was fed back into the granulator to increase the economy of the process. The final algorithm design combines elements of model predictive control (MPC) with gain scheduling to cancel non-linearities in the recycle flow. A model directly identified from the step test data was the basis for testing a model predictive controller. Simulations show that the efficiency and robustness of this granulation process can be improved by applying the proposed control strategy. Ongoing work focuses on the implementation of the proposed control strategy on a full scale industrial plant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-622
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Process Control
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


  • Granulation
  • Model predictive control
  • Process control


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