• quality prediction;
  • multiphase batch process;
  • maintenance-free;
  • setting information;
  • robust modeling

Typically, the operation condition of the batch process is changed frequently, following different recipes or manufacturing various production grades. For quality prediction purpose, the prediction model should also be updated or rebuilt, which leads to a significant model maintenance effort, especially for those processes which have various phases. To reduce such effort, a maintenance-free method is proposed in this article, which incorporates the setting information of the batch process for modeling. The whole process variations are separated into two parts: setting information related and other quality related variations. By constructing a relationship between setting variables and other process variables, the data variations explained by the setting information can be efficiently removed. Then, a robust regression model connecting process variables to the quality variable is developed in different phases of the batch process. The feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed method is evaluated through an industrial injection molding process. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 772–779, 2013