Advanced Process Control

Helping Reach Your Decarbonization Goals

Platform for Advanced Control and Estimation (PACE) is a state-of-the-art integrated APC technology that provides data collection, controller and estimator development, and application deployment features in one platform. This advanced technology solution optimizes plant processes safely while undergoing continuous disturbances such as feed composition and ambient conditions in the refining, chemical, and petrochemical industries. Typical benefits achieved include a 5% improvement in throughput, a 3% increase in yield, and a 10% reduction in energy consumption, resulting in a lower carbon footprint and helping companies reach their decarbonization goals.

close up oil refinery
Engineer works with the tablet in the production control room

Remove Process Variability While Driving Profitability 

A leading APC technology, our Platform for Advanced Control and Estimation software removes the variability of running large process units at optimal conditions 24 hours per day, 7 days per week in the oil and gas, chemical, and petrochemical industries. In addition, it decreases the cost of developing and maintaining these applications resulting in higher utilization and acceptance and lower overall lifecycle costs. This results in improved profitability while minimizing carbon emissions.

Why Platform for Advanced Control and Estimation?

Adapts to Process Changes

PACE is the only Advanced Process Control (APC) technology that embeds the base layer control (BLC) layer directly in the solution. This allows the APC to adapt to tuning changes, changes in configuration, or degradation of control loops driving higher utilization and performance.

Handles a Wider Range of Control Problems

PACE’s ability to handle non-linear models allows it to accommodate processes such as polymers and blending. This allows control engineers to use the same tool across applications, and eliminates the need to learn different software tools when time is already at a premium.

Flexible and Adaptable

With its built-in event logic and custom processors, PACE is the most adaptable and versatile Advanced Process Control solution on the market. This reduces the need for manual intervention or turning off the controller, leading to higher utilization and greater operator acceptance.

Designed by Users for Users

Not only is KBC the developer of the technology, but we are also users of the technology. With decades of operations and hundreds of applications in service, we know what it takes to keep these applications running in peak shape. PACE was designed with all this experience behind it.

Reduces Energy
Improves Yield
Enhances Safety
Improves Reliability
Global Optimization
Increases Production
oil refinery plant

After raw materials, energy is the most significant variable expense in an operating plant. Additionally, each unit of fuel burned results in a unit of CO2 released into the atmosphere. Therefore, PACE ruthlessly monitors furnaces, boilers, and energy-consuming equipment to reduce energy usage. This results in a 10% decrease in energy consumption and helps meet decarbonization goals.

Runtime message

Maximizing yield is a tricky proposition to do manually. For example, a distillation column is typically highly interactive with long deadtimes and settling times. Controlling overhead product at the maximum impurity level (i.e. maximum yield) is not easy. With its built-in model and estimators, PACE has no problem doing this with an average increase of 3% or more on yield.

Processor NSS

Things are constantly changing in a typical refinery or chemical plant. Feed quality, production demand, ambient conditions. By monitoring the plant minute by minute, PACE is constantly monitoring plant constraints, making adjustments to keep the plant from violating operating constraints and keeping the plant in a safe operating zone.


Often conditions can change quickly in an operating plant. Operators are tasked with monitoring hundreds of things, and before you realize it, a critical constraint may be violated (such as a furnace tube temperature). This reduces the reliability of the furnace. PACE monitors the plant continuously to prevent this from occurring. This has been proven to increase the life of the equipment.

optimization distribution across plant diagram

Many Advanced Process Control's only find a local optimum. However, PACE's ability to span large operating units, integrate multiple units, and seamlessly connect to real-time optimizers such as Petro-SIM, result in finding the true global optimum for the plant resulting in more operating profit.

column tower petrochemical plant

Maximum production occurs when a constraint is reached at the plant. As conditions change, this creates an opportunity to push more production from the plant. For example, as the temperature cools in the evening, more cooling capacity is available. PACE diligently monitors the plant to take advantage of this and squeeze out more production, often increasing average production by 5% or more.

Shell reformer

Advanced Process Control Optimizes Reformer Product Octane

One recent project at Shell Oil Deer Park refinery focused on a catalytic reformer unit, which converts low-octane feed to a high-octane product called reformate and light hydrocarbons ranging from C1 to C5+. Teaming an online analyzer with next-generation Advanced Process Control markedly trimmed reformer output variability.

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PACE Technology

Shell's and Yokogawa's Next Generation Advanced Process Control Technology

Access to modern computers and software languages has improved advanced process control technology that allows for delivering lower-maintenance and higher-performing controllers with shorter project timelines.


simulation on computer screen

Obtain the Maximum from Your APC

How can Advanced Process Control applications significantly benefit the oil and gas, petrochemical, and chemical manufacturing industries? Our industry expert gives ten tips for implementing a successful APC and how best to monitor for long-term value.

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Improvement in plant operations with significant benefits

"Not only was there an improvement in plant operations with significant benefits, but everyone was also able to buy into the benefit. Benefits like recovering valuable materials out of coke paved the way for us to continue to do APC projects around the globe."

David Williams, Team Lead in the Process Automation and Control Optimization group

oil refinery

Platform for Advanced Control and Estimation Helps Indonesian Refinery Save Over USD 3 Million Annually

An Indonesian oil refinery installed PACE to reduce approximately 22,000 tons of CO2 emission per year, generating significant cost savings nearing USD 3.2 million per year.

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refinery with digital AI technology symbols

Key Steps for Delivering Autonomous Operations

Achieving autonomous operations is all about empowering the plant to run, learn, adapt and thrive in tomorrow’s environment. In this whitepaper, we look at how Petro-SIM and PACE work together to achieve dynamic real-time optimization to ensure a facility continuously and automatically responds to changing market and plant conditions.


Brian Burgio - Profile Picture

Brian Burgio

Advanced Process Control Program Manager

Meet our expert on Advanced Process Control (APC)

Advanced Process Control (APC), also known as model based multivariable control, has long been a staple in high-performing refining, petrochemical, and chemical plants for more than 40 years now. However, this technology is even more important in today’s environment as the process industries lose more and more of their experienced workforce to retirement. Couple this with the pressure to reduce their carbon footprint to combat climate change, and operating companies are relying on this technology more than ever to operate their plants safely and reliably while reducing emissions.

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Platform for Advanced Control and Estimation (PACE) brochure