A new multivariable control concept for the falling film evaporator process

Julian Hofmann, Anton Ponomarev, Veit Hagenmeyer, Lutz Gröll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper presents a new multivariable control concept for falling film evaporators (FFEs). Our concept solves the major challenges encountered in modern FFE control: large transport delays, additional control of the output mass flow, coupling of controlled variables, and disturbances due to time-varying input dry matter content. The challenges are addressed together, for the first time, by the following control design. Based on a dynamic nonlinear input–output model, we consider a linearizing output transformation to enable application of classical linear control methods composed of feedforward design, disturbance rejection, and a decoupling network. Due to these features, we are able to design robust PID and PI controllers that substantially compensate plant-model mismatches. Connecting our concept to a digital twin of the plant yields good performance, which encourages future application of the design in the real-world process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-83
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Process Control
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


  • Digital twin
  • Falling film evaporator
  • Multivariable model-based control
  • Time delay


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