#1450 - Applied Process Control Engineering

Course Objective

Efforts at improving process control are one of the best investments that an operating company in the refining and petrochemical industry can make.  The capital investment for the plant has already been made and improved control can many times provide substantial economic benefit with little or no capital investment.  To attain the full econimic benefit of improved process control, the control engineer must be able to effectively troubleshoot control loops, tune control loops, and make the proper control design decisions.  To effectively apply these skills, the control engineer must understand the hardware (control computers, control valves, and sensors) associated with control loops, have a command of the fundamentals of PID and advanced PID control, and most importantly understand the operation of their process.  This course is designed to provide the attendees with the skill set necessary to become an effective process control engineer.

Who Should Attend

All those working in the petrochemical, oil, and gas process industries with a need to understand and use process control.  Process engineers and professionals associated with process operations will benefit the most from this course.

Course Description

This course covers the key elements associated with the application of process control to the chemical and hydrocarbon processing industries.  The course will begin with an introduction to process control that demonstrates the primary economic benefits associated with improved process control as well as clearly demonstrating the similarities and differences between process control and process optimization.

The control-relevant aspects of control computers, actuator systems, and sensor systems commonly found in the chemical and hydrocarbon process industries will be addressed next.  Then, the forms and characteristics of PID controllers are studied as well as the proper selection of the mode of the PID controller.  Industrially relevant tuning of PID controllers for fast and slow responding control loops is presented and practiced using simulation software.  A systematic approach for troubleshooting a PID controller is also demonstrated.

When and how to apply advanced PID control options are considered next.  Then, an overview of multivariable control and how to apply plant-wide control is presented.  Finally, the specifics of PID control applied to heat exchangers, reactors, distillation columns, and pH are covered.

Training Objectives/Key Benefits

Upon completion of this course, participants will:

Course Logistics

Participants will receive a course notebook and an electronic copy of the simulation software used in the tuning exercises.  Participants will need a laptop computer with MS Excel in order to run the simulation software for the tuning exercises.  There will be time at the end of each day to address questions and provide additional explanations for the material covered that day.

Daily Course Outline


Day 1


Control Loop Hardware

Day 2

Dynamic Behavior of Ideal Systems

PID Control

PID controller tuning

Day 3

Simulation In-Class Exercises

Controller Troubleshooting

Advanced PID Control

Day 4

Advanced PID Control

Multivariable Control

Plant-Wide Controller Design

Day 5 (half-day)

Case Studies

Overview Wrap-up of Course


What this course does not offer

This course will not be taught with respect to a specific type of DCS although specific issues associated with a DCS can be addressed.

Course Duration - Approximately 4-1/2 days