© 2008

A Distributed Coordination Approach to Reconfigurable Process Control

  • Presents research in the field of distributed automation and control within the process industries


Part of the Springer Series in Advanced Manufacturing book series (SSAM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Problem Development

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Pages 3-14
  3. A Distributed Reconfigurable Process Control Approach

  4. An Assessment of the DRPC Approach

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 125-125
    2. Pages 149-152
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 153-189

About this book


The need to adapt to the demands of global supply chains in real-time is of significant importance to the future success of continuous process industries. Amongst such business drivers, it will become critical that process plants are designed to be easily reconfigured as and when necessary. Recent developments in process control have attempted to address this requirement, yet there has not been a systematic effort made on the analysis of the fundamental shortcomings in the modularity of process control systems.

A Distributed Coordination Approach to Reconfigurable Process Control presents research that addresses this critical question, via developing a new distributed framework that will enable the building of a process control system that is capable of reconfigurability. This framework views the process as a set of readily-integrated, modular process elements, which operate relatively independently and are each supported by a degree of stand-alone decision-making capability. The rationale and benefits of moving towards the new approach is demonstrated by means of a worked example of a real process plant.

A Distributed Coordination Approach to Reconfigurable Process Control will be a useful reference to both academic and industrial practitioners working in the field of design and integration of process control systems. The new architectural dimension presented in this research will also help end-users to gain an understanding of the economic aspects of material flows across their plants, and the ways in which their processes can be integrated across the enterprise.


Distributed Automation Holonic Manufacturing Industrie Reconfigurable Control SRUK Supply Chain Management algorithms control control system design development linear optimization manufacturing model process control

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) Department of EngineeringUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

About the authors

Nirav Chokshi is a Visiting Researcher with the Centre for Distributed Automation and Control at the University of Cambridge. He has worked in the chemical industry and the nuclear industry, where he was involved in a variety of small-to-medium scale projects on design and maintenance of process automation systems. His research interests include distributed automation, systems integration and process optimization and control.

Duncan McFarlane is a Professor of Service and Support Engineering at the Engineering Department of the University of Cambridge, and Head of the Distributed Information & Automation Laboratory within the Institute for Manufacturing. He is also Director of the Cambridge Auto-ID Lab and Research Director of two industrially supported activities: the Service and Support Engineering Programme and the Aero ID Programme. He has been involved in the design and operation of automation and information system for the manufacturing supply chain for twenty years. His research interests include manufacturing control & automation, modular manufacturing systems design, analysis and synthesis of co-operative control systems, information filtering, model tuning and adaptation, manufacturing systems integration, fault diagnostics, automated identification systems, quality control, and supply chain execution systems.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
IT & Software
Energy, Utilities & Environment
Oil, Gas & Geosciences


From the reviews:

"The book is well organized and presents the most important classical and modern essentials of manufacturing control engineering. Suitable for senior under graduate and under graduate students as well as practical engineers and researchers interested in a distributed coordination approach to reconfigurable process control." (Seenith Sivasundaram, Zentrablatt MATH, Vol. 1153, 2009)