Feedforward/feedback control of multivariable nonlinear processes



This paper concerns general MIMO nonlinear processes, whose dynamic behavior is described by a standard state-space model of arbitrary order, including measurable disturbances. The concept of relative order of an output with respect to an input, extended to include disturbance as well as manipulated inputs, is generalized in a MIMO context and it is used to obtain a characterization of the dynamic interactions among the input and the output variables. A synthesis formula is calculated for a feedforward/state feedback control law that completely eliminates the effect of the measurable disturbances on the process outputs and induces a linear behavior in the closed-loop system between the outputs and a set of reference inputs. The input/output stability and the degree of coupling in the closed-loop system are determined by appropriate choice of adjustable parameters. A MIMO linear controller with integral action completes the feedforward/feedback control structure. The developed control methodology is applied to a continuous polymerization reactor and its performance is evaluated through simulations.