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Oil & Gas Industry Training



Although the subject of many hundreds of articles, books, and courses, the basic elements of automatic process control are still widely misunderstood. Worse, the majority of control systems are misapplied. Research carried out by ISA and other bodies indicates that up to 75% of all loops will oscillate when operated in automatic.

This workshop, ‘Process Control: Loop Tuning and Analysis’, is designed to provide engineers and technicians with the basic theoretical and practical understanding of the process loop and how this can be applied to optimize process control in terms of quality, safety, flexibility and costs.

What you will learn

The course is based on a wealth of experiential knowledge gleaned from the author's experience working within a systems integration company and also feedback from more than 4000 technicians and engineers who have attended the author’s workshops. On successful completion of this workshop delegates will be able to::

  • understand the fundamentals of closed loop control used in used in the field of process control
  • define such terms as process lag, capacitance and resistance
  • gain an insight into the process reaction curve
  • appreciate the effects of 1st and 2nd order reactions
  • distinguish the effect of span on the system performance
  • appreciate the effects of different valve characteristics on the loop performance
  • analyze such problems as valve hysteresis, stiction and non linearities
  • fully appreciate the effects of proportional, integral and derivative control
  • correctly apply both open and closed Loop Tuning according to Ziegler Nichols
  • apply Lambda Tuning
  • appreciate the effects on loop tuning using a software-based loop analysis progra
  • understand the effects of aliasing
  • realize the effects of filtering on loop performance
  • understand cascade and feedforward control
  • identify and correct problems with process dead time

Training methodology

Throughout the workshop, participants will learn through active participation using exercises, questionnaires, and practical simulation sessions covering:

  • process reaction
  • tuning methods
  • diagnostic tools
  • affect of different algorithms
  • surge tank level control
  • analyze such problems as valve hysteresis, stiction and non linearities and its impact on controllability

Who should attend

Professionals involved in designing, selecting, sizing, specifying, installing, testing, operating and maintaining process instrumentation and control systems

  • Automation Engineers
  • Chemical Engineers
  • Consulting Engineers
  • Design Engineers
  • Electrical Engineers
  • Electricians
  • Installation and Maintenance Technicians
  • Instrument and Process Control Engineers and Technicians
  • Instrument Fitters
  • Maintenance Engineers
  • Mechanical Engineers and Technicians
  • Operations Engineers
  • Process Engineers
  • Process Operators
  • Production Managers
  • Project Managers
  • System Integrators


Workshop length

3 days

What you will receive

  • ‘Process Control: Loop Tuning and Analysis’ – a 200-page reference book.
  • Acrobat copy of all PowerPoint slides used in the presentation on UBS Flash Memory Drive.
  • Certification of attendance: each delegate will receive a workshop certificate documenting their attendance

What people say:

“Mick has received excellent reviews and positive feedback for all his courses. His down-to-earth, practical, and entertaining approach makes him a sought-after speaker and lecturer in a wide variety of disciplines.” - IDC Technologies
“Presented in an easily understood manner.” - E. Maughn, Eskom
“Really knows his subject.” M. Radcliff, Houston Texas
““I gained a full understanding for the first time.” - G. Duff, Krohne Instruments, Sedgefield
“Excellent presenter” - A. Blazey, Siemens-Milltronics, Canada
“Easily understood” - Bob Lawson, Nissan, UK
“I enjoyed the workshop immensely” - T. Fawcett, Krohne, UK
“Gained useful insight into a complex subject” - E. Carter, Johannesburg, South Africa


Basic process considerations

  • Definition of terms
  • Process lag, capacitance and resistance
  • Process reaction curve
  • 1st and 2nd order reactions

Process measurement

  • Instrumentation cabling
  • Do’s and don’ts
  • Filtering (Aliasing, Reaction masking)
  • Sensor placement
  • Correct PV
  • Effect of span

Final control element

  • Choked flow
  • Pressure recovery
  • Flashing and cavitation
  • Valve construction
  • Valve characteristics (Inherent, Profiling, Installed, Cavitation control)

Actuators (Diaphragm, Cylinder, Electric)

  • Valve positioners
  • Deadband and hysterisis
  • Stick-slip
  • Testing procedures and analysis
  • Effect of valve performance on controllability

Automated tuning systems

  • Self tuning loops
  • Adaptive control

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Fundamentals of Process Control

  • ON/OFF control
  • Proportional control
  • Proportional band vs. proportional gain
  • Proportional offset
  • Reset
  • Integral action
  • Integral windup
  • Stability
  • Bode plot
  • Nyquist plot
  • Derivative action
  • PID control
  • Control algorithms
  • Load disturbances and offset
  • Speed, stability and robustness

Fundamentals of Tuning

  • Basic principles
  • Open loop reaction curve method (Ziegler-Nichols)
  • Default and typical settings
  • Closed loop continuous cycling method (Ziegler-Nichols)
  • Lambda tuning
  • Fine tuning
  • Tuning for load rejection vs. set-point rejection
  • Tuning according to Pessen
  • Tuning for different applications
  • Speed of response vs. robustness
  • Surge tank level control

Advanced control algorithms

  • Cascade systems
  • Feedforward and combined systems
  • Ratio control
  • Adaptive control systems
  • Dead time compensation
  • Fuzzy logic control