Advanced process control (APC) plays a crucial role in real-time analysis and recipe control for optimizing gasoline blending operations. However, to harness the full potential of these systems, users must be aware of key considerations. This article will explore three important caveats when implementing APC in gasoline blending: configuring the objective function, ensuring accurate parameters and constraints, and establishing a robust performance review process. By addressing these aspects, refineries can unlock the benefits of precise process control, automation, and financial advantages while adapting to lean operational environments.

Table of content:

  • Configuring the Objective Function
  • Parameters and Constraints
  • Performance Review Process
  • Benefits of a Well-Configured APC System
  • Conclusion

Configuring the Objective Function:

To achieve optimal results, configuring the APC system’s objective function is essential. Refineries must customize the solution to align with their specific refinery posture and economic goals. Often, default settings from initial installation are utilized without considering individual circumstances. Refineries should assess and update these settings regularly to maximize performance and value delivery.

Parameters and Constraints:

The accuracy and timeliness of data feeding into the APC system are critical for effective gasoline blending. Refineries must ensure that data sources are up-to-date, reflecting daily operations and incorporating the latest lab data. Careful attention should be given to the calibration and accuracy of the data. Additionally, refining the constraints is vital to strike the right balance. Overly flexible constraints can lead to excessive fluctuations during adjustments, while overly tight constraints may hinder the system’s ability to provide optimized solutions.

Performance Review Process:

Regular performance reviews are essential to ensure that the APC system remains up-to-date and continuously improves. Refineries should establish a robust review process to assess the system’s configuration and identify additional optimization opportunities. By periodically evaluating system performance and exploring new features, refineries can enhance their operational efficiency, identify potential areas for improvement, and capitalize on emerging technologies.

Benefits of a Well-Configured APC System:

A well-configured APC system in gasoline blending brings numerous benefits. It enables precise process control, ensuring the production of optimal-quality gasoline within specifications. The high level of automation reduces manual intervention and empowers process control engineers and operators. In lean operational environments, a well-configured APC system can generate significant financial benefits, potentially amounting to tens of millions of dollars annually.


Maximizing the benefits of APC in gasoline blending requires careful attention to key considerations. Configuring the objective function to align with refinery goals, ensuring accurate parameters and constraints, and implementing a robust performance review process are crucial steps. By addressing these caveats, refineries can achieve precise process control, automation, and substantial financial advantages in an increasingly lean operational landscape.