During conventional operations of any type of process system, any unexpected change in operational conditions can cause a subsequent unexpected change in down-stream operations causing disruption to the smooth flow of the process system, resulting in potential risk of loss to further production and a dent in finances.

The continuous monitoring of mine sites and continuous process plant are examples of such streams requiring all equipment to have sensors mounted on or within them to warn of times when disruptive behavior strikes. The output sensor data is streamed 24/7 to a control room which automatically applies appropriate checks to validate arriving data, and then provides appropriate alarms so the operator can respond with optimal actions.

Existing control rooms do not do this for the full process stream, if at all, because there is a need to sense all components while establishing a hierarchy of control allowing automatic on-line checks. This chapter discusses a hierarchical system for making an automated command and control system that allows operators to make the optimized process control system decisions, while understanding the operational and financial consequences, and risk levels attached to the decisions as a function of a positive economic and lean system performance.