Multivariable systems are generally and encountered in real industrial processes due to the complexity, resulting in increased number of loop controls to maintain the quantity and quality of industrial productions. The industrial processes include petrochemical industry, oil and gas industry, refinery industry, cement industry, power plants, etc. Recently, the development of science and technology generate many types of controllers, nevertheless the PID controller still has an important role in the industrial processes because it has several advantages such as robust performance in various range of operating conditions and simple to utilize. Hence, the engineer can easily operate and also appropriately controlling the process. However, the process of finding the best PID tuning parameters is still a major problem in performing PID controller tuning. Over the years, various methods have been developed to perform PID tuning controls on multivariable systems which has been categorized into 6 groups, detuning, sequential loop closing, iterative or trial-and-error, simultaneous equation solving, independent and optimization methods. Certainly, each method has its own advantages and disadvantages in generating the best PID controller parameters.
In order to support resolving the issue, Department of Engineering Physics, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) Surabaya, Indonesia as a pioneer in instrumentation and control study invites students from all over the world to take part in developing a method to perform PID controller tuning on a multivariable system in a competition called IPCC (International Process Control Competition). IPCC is an international competition about the process control in relation to solve the multivariable system tuning issue which is intended to university students. The competition includes the modelling and identification of a multivariable system to determine PID tuning parameters (Kp, Ti, and Td). Hence, the competition topics include problem formulation, modelling and identification system, tuning methods, and optimization algorithms.