Blogs

Humorous Insights into Disturbances and being an Automation Engineer

What comes at you too fast? How do people know you are a process control engineer? What is more disturbing than talk shows? Is a flea market indicative of a project behind schedule? These and other questions you have not asked will be answered.

PID Structure Tips

Before the 1990s relatively few choices in PID structure were offered. There were also various supplier specific rules as to how to set the proportional mode and integral mode tuning settings to get proportional-only and integral-only control. A different model controller may have been needed for a different structure.

PID Form Trick or Treat Tips

Not knowing the implications of the PID Form in an existing control system being migrated or the PID Form learned in a University course can cause gross errors in the tuning parameters and potential instability. The PID Form predominantly used today is not the Form in most of the controllers...

Measurement Location Tips

The question for the day is where to locate measurements. My first choice would be a Caribbean island but if the plant is not there, the sensing or sample lines and the associated transportation delays would be quite long.

Batch Optimization Recommendations Tips

Batch processes pose particular challenges for closed-loop control and optimization due to inherent process nonlinearity and non-self-regulation. At the same time there is a greater potential for increasing capacity in batch than in continuous processes. Solutions need to address the interrelationship between yield, capacity, quality, and repeatability.

Batch Optimization Perspective Tips

The highest value added products use batch operations. Batches can take days to complete and be worth millions of dollars. In many cases bad batches cannot be fixed downstream. Bad batches must be avoided. There are many techniques for making batches more repeatable and faster by better monitoring and control.

Auto Tuners and Adaptive Control Recommendations Tips

Software for auto tuning and adaptive control provide the opportunity to identify key loop dynamics besides providing a sound fundamental and automated basis for getting the best PID settings. Presented are uses of the knowledge gained and the setup of the automation system and testing/monitoring of PID performance to get...

Auto Tuners and Adaptive Control Perspective Tips

Automating any process can yield big improvements by eliminating human error and adding repeatability and predictability. The benefits are greatest when the best technology and practices are automated, the novice is protected against mistakes, and the specialist is enabled to capitalize on creativity and expertise.

Process Control Improvement Recommendations Tips

Here we look at how to make sure the measurement system is able to provide the analysis, metrics, and control needed for process control improvement. Also outlined is the opportunity sizing and assessment process, the use of statistical tools, the tracking down of the source of variability, and the finding...

Process Control Improvement Perspective Tips

The benefits from process control improvement originate from increases in process efficiency, flexibility, and capacity. Often, there is a tradeoff where an increase in flexibility or capacity is accompanied by a decrease in efficiency. Better measurements, process knowledge, online metrics, and an enhanced PID can provide a more intelligent and effective...