Control Talk Blog
The measurement provides the window into the process. Smart transmitters have made the view clearer. Installation and operating condition effects are compensated for allowing the transmitter to have an installed accuracy close to the sensor capability.
The use of the term "process dead time" can mislead us in terms of recognizing the many sources of dead time. Also we don't often take into effect the profound effect of the speed and the entry point of a disturbance into the process.
Michel Ruel, a frequent source on process control improvement in both my Control Talk Blogs and Columns, offers his concise list of the more memorable mistakes made with actuators, compressed air systems, transmitters, and variable-speed drives.
I have dug deep into my memory to add 21 more items to the list of process, mechanical, and piping design mistakes that have made our job as automation engineers more challenging and in some cases impossible. We learn the most by our mistakes.
With a little help from my friends I have come up with a list of process, mechanical, and piping design mistakes that have made our job as automation engineers more challenging and in some cases impossible. We learn the most by our mistakes.
Most process engineers were not taught how process and equipment design affect loop dynamics and performance. Many of the more demanding control applications are the result poor process dynamics. Automation engineers can help bridge the gap and be able to intelligently discuss how plant design is affecting plant performance.
Tuning has a profound effect on the practical limit to control loop performance. While the effect of execution time and filter time is often much less in comparison, these time settings can get the user into trouble depending on tuning and loop dynamics. Here is a perspective, overview, and recommendations.
The control valve and variable speed drive are the final control elements that directly affect the process by manipulating a flow. The expectation is that these elements do their job and do not adversely affect the tuning and performance of the loop.
A significant part of the challenge in understanding process control is the proper use of terms to describe the dynamics in a control loop. Communication can be greatly improved by focusing on three key terms and adding a few words to more aptly describe the source of the term.
Slow oscillations can be difficult to recognize especially when the period is beyond the typical time frame of the trend chart or there are intervening disturbances or recycle. Slow oscillations can be more detrimental to product quality because the large period means the amplitude is less attenuated by intervening volumes.