#1480 - Applied Process Control Engineering for Non-Engineers

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 process control can many times provide substantial economic benefit with little or no capital investment.  Operators and technicians with the proper training can troubleshoot control loops, tune PID control loops, and identify opportunities for advanced PID applications.  To effectively apply these skills, the operators and technicians 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 operators and technicians with these skill sets.

Who Should Attend

Operators and technicians working in the petrochemical, oil, and gas process industries with a need to understand and use process control.

Course Description

The course covers the key elements associated with the application of process control to the hydrocarbon and chemical processing industries.  The course will begin with an introduction to process control that demonstrates the primary economic benefits associated with improved process control.

The control-relevant aspects of control computers, actuator systems, and sensor systems commonly found in the hydrocarbon and chemical processing 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 is considered next.  Then, an overview of multivariable 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

PID controller tuning

Day 3

Simulation In-Class Exercises

Controller Troubleshooting

Advanced PID Control

Day 4

Advanced PID Control

Multivariable Control

Day 5 (half day)

Case Studies

Overview Wrapup 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 4.5 days