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S. Skogestad and M. Morari, ``Robust Control of Distillation Columns'', Preprints 10th IFAC Conference, Vol. 2, 281-286, München, July 1987.

Ill-conditioned plants are generally believed to be difficult to control. Using a high-purity distillation column as an example, the physical reason for the poor conditioning and its implications on control system design and performance are explained. It is shown that an acceptable performance/robustness trade-off cannot be obtained by simple loop-shaping techniques (via singular values) and that a good understanding of the model uncertainty is essential for robust control system design. Physically motivated uncertainty descriptions (actuator uncertainty) are translated into the H1/Structured Singular Value framework, which is demonstrated to be a powerful tool to analyze and understand the complex phenomena.