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This example shows how to design an MPC controller for a plant with
delays using **MPC Designer**.

An example of a plant with delays is the distillation column model:

$$\left[\begin{array}{c}{y}_{1}\\ {y}_{2}\end{array}\right]=\left[\begin{array}{ccc}\frac{12.8{e}^{-s}}{16.7s+1}& \frac{-18.9{e}^{-3s}}{21.0s+1}& \frac{3.8{e}^{-8.1s}}{14.9s+1}\\ \frac{6.6{e}^{-7s}}{10.9s+1}& \frac{-19.4{e}^{-3s}}{14.4s+1}& \frac{4.9{e}^{-3.4s}}{13.2s+1}\end{array}\right]\text{}\left[\begin{array}{c}{u}_{1}\\ {u}_{2}\\ {u}_{3}\end{array}\right]$$

Outputs *y*_{1} and
*y*_{2} represent measured product purities. The
model consists of six transfer functions, one for each input/output pair. Each transfer
function is a first-order system with a delay. The longest delay in the model is
`8.1`

minutes.

Specify the individual transfer functions for each input/output pair. For example,
`g12`

is the transfer function from input
*u*_{2} to output
*y*_{1}.

g11 = tf(12.8,[16.7 1],'IOdelay',1.0,'TimeUnit','minutes'); g12 = tf(-18.9,[21.0 1],'IOdelay',3.0,'TimeUnit','minutes'); g13 = tf(3.8,[14.9 1],'IOdelay',8.1,'TimeUnit','minutes'); g21 = tf(6.6,[10.9 1],'IOdelay',7.0,'TimeUnit','minutes'); g22 = tf(-19.4,[14.4 1],'IOdelay',3.0,'TimeUnit','minutes'); g23 = tf(4.9,[13.2 1],'IOdelay',3.4,'TimeUnit','minutes'); DC = [g11 g12 g13; g21 g22 g23];

Define the input and output signal names.

DC.InputName = {'Reflux Rate','Steam Rate','Feed Rate'}; DC.OutputName = {'Distillate Purity','Bottoms Purity'};

Alternatively, you can specify the signal names in **MPC Designer**, on the
**MPC Designer** tab, by clicking **I/O
Attributes**.

Specify the third input, the feed rate, as a measured disturbance (MD).

```
DC = setmpcsignals(DC,'MD',3);
```

Since they are not explicitly specified in `setmpcsignals`

, all
other input signals are configured as manipulated variables (MV), and all output signals
are configured as measured outputs (MO) by default.

Open **MPC Designer** importing the plant model.

mpcDesigner(DC)

When launched with a continuous-time plant model, such as `DC`

, the
default controller sample time is `1`

in the time units of the plant. If
the plant is discrete time, the controller sample time is the same as the plant sample
time.

**MPC Designer** imports the specified plant to the **Data
Browser**. The following are also added to the **Data
Browser**:

`mpc1`

— Default MPC controller created using`DC`

as its internal model.`scenario1`

— Default simulation scenario.

The app runs the simulation scenario and generates input and output response plots.

For a plant with delays, it is good practice to specify the prediction and control horizons such that

$$P-M\gg {t}_{d}{}_{,max}/\Delta t$$

where,

*P*is the prediction horizon.*M*is the control horizon.*t*is the maximum delay, which is_{d,max}`8.1`

minutes for the`DC`

model.Δ

*t*is the controller**Sample time**, which is`1`

minute by default.

On the **Tuning** tab, in the **Horizon** section,
specify a **Prediction horizon** of `30`

and a
**Control horizon** of `5`

.

After you change the horizons, the **Input Response** and
**Output Response** plots for the default simulation scenario are
automatically updated.

On the **MPC Designer** tab, in the **Scenario**
section, click **Edit Scenario** > **scenario1**. Alternatively, in the **Data Browser**, right-click
`scenario1`

and select **Edit**.

In the Simulation Scenario dialog box, specify a **Simulation
duration** of `50`

minutes.

In the **Reference Signals** table, in the
**Signal** drop-down list, select `Step`

for
both outputs to simulate step changes in their setpoints.

Specify a step **Time** of `0`

for reference
**r(1)**, the distillate purity, and a step time of
`25`

for **r(2)**, the bottoms purity.

Click **OK**.

The app runs the simulation with the new scenario settings and updates the input and output response plots.

The **Input Response** plots show the optimal control moves generated
by the controller. The controller reacts immediately in response to the setpoint changes,
changing both manipulated variables. However, due to the plant delays, the effects of
these changes are not immediately reflected in the **Output Response**
plots. The **Distillate Purity** output responds after 1 minute, which
corresponds to the minimum delay from `g11`

and `g12`

.
Similarly, the **Bottoms Purity** output responds 3 minutes after the
step change, which corresponds to the minimum delay from `g21`

and
`g22`

. After the initial delays, both signals reach their setpoints and
settle quickly. Changing either output setpoint disturbs the response of the other output.
However, the magnitudes of these interactions are less than 10% of the step size.

Additionally, there are periodic pulses in the manipulated variable control actions as the controller attempts to counteract the delayed effects of each input on the two outputs.

Use manipulated variable blocking to divide the prediction horizon into blocks, during which manipulated variable moves are constant. This technique produces smoother manipulated variable adjustments with less oscillation and smaller move sizes.

To use manipulated variable blocking, on the **Tuning** tab, specify
the **Control horizon** as a vector of block sizes, ```
[5 5 5 5
10]
```

.

The initial manipulated variable moves are much smaller and the moves are less oscillatory. The trade-off is a slower output response, with larger interactions between the outputs.

Alternatively, you can produce smooth manipulated variable moves by adjusting the tuning weights of the controller.

Set the **Control horizon** back to the previous value of
`5`

.

In the **Performance Tuning** section, drag the **Closed-Loop
Performance** slider to the left towards the **Robust**
setting.

As you move the slider to the left, the manipulated variable moves become smoother and the output response becomes slower.

[1] Wood, R. K., and M. W. Berry, *Chem. Eng.
Sci.*, Vol. 28, pp. 1707, 1973.