Control Systems of the Future

Through the looking glass of emerging technologies.

William L. Mostia
CG1503 CovStry

How might we expect emerging technologies to play out in the world of process control? Successfully predicting the future is difficult at best, so we sought out and consulted with industry visionaries and long-term planners to see where there is consensus about how rapidly developing operator interface, computing, data analytics and virtual reality will change our craft. Their informed speculation indicates these emerging technologies and others will be impacting our industries at an increasing, even amazing, rate. Our list is by no means exhaustive, as many technologies are just now emerging out of their cocoons, and there's no telling what else might be lurking out…

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Timeless Resources

Beginner's Guide to Differential Pressure Level Transmitters

By David W. Spitzer

The importance of level measurement cannot be overstated. Incorrect or inappropriate measurements can cause  levels in vessels to be excessively higher or lower than their measured values. Low levels can cause pumping problems and damage the pump, while high levels can cause vessels to overflow and potentially create safety and environmental problems. Vessels operating at incorrect intermediate levels can result in poor operating conditions and affect the accounting of material. Learn more.

Controllers: Direct vs. Reverse-Acting Control

By Bela Liptak

Valve failure position is determined by safety considerations. If, in case of failure, you want your column to go on full reflux, your selection where the reflux control valve is fail-open, and net overhead control valve is fail-close, is right. Assuming that the valve actuators are spring-operated pneumatic ones, and assuming that you define "failure" as the loss of air supply, the spring will act to open a fail-open (FO) valve and to close a fail-closed (FC) valve, regardless what the controller actions are. Read more.

Voices: Ask The Experts

Linear or Equal Percentage Valves: When Should I Use Which?

Since the goal is to control loop stability, the choice that gives you the best chance of that is the one to make.

By Bela Liptak

Question: Is there some general rule on when we should use =% (equal percentage) and when linear control valves? I know that the determining factor is the inherent flow characteristic, the flow vs. lift at constant pressure drop, or something like that. I do not know what this means, because…

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Control Talk Blog

Secondary Flow Loop and Valve Positioner Tips

A lot of time and money can be spent deciding which valves need positioners and which flows need measurement. We tend to look at short term costs such as hardware and not the cost of troubleshooting and the implications as to plant performance.

Control Talk Blog

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