The Control Talk Blog provides guidance from a user's viewpoint on the design of automation systems, equipment, and piping for process control improvement. Details are offered on the selection and installation of PID controllers, control valves, variable speed drives, and measurements to maximize loop performance. The blogs are often more intensive and extensive and less vendor specific than a white paper. The goal is an advancement of the profession by sharing conceptual principle based knowledge.
Greg McMillan is a retired Senior Fellow from Solutia/Monsanto and an ISA Fellow. At present, he contracts with Emerson DeltaV R&D via CDI Process & Industrial in Austin and consults for MYNAH Simulation Technologies in Saint Louis. Greg received the ISA Kermit Fischer Environmental Award for pH control in 1991, received the Control magazine Engineer of the Year Award for the Process Industry in 1994, was inducted into the Control magazine Process Automation Hall of Fame in 2001, was honored by InTech magazine in 2003 as one of the most influential innovators in automation, and received the ISA Life Achievement Award in 2010.
The key aspects of good vessel temperature and pH control are often not recognized. Here we provide some simple guidance and overview of the benefits of a particular strategy and implementation guidelines that should be commonly used.
Here we provide the key points for the final Part 3 of the recordings of my recent AIChE course sponsored by MYNAH Technologies. The focus here is on improving the performance of reactors, fermenters, crystallizers, evaporators, distillation columns, dryers and neutralizers.
Here we provide the key points for Part 2 of my recent AIChE St. Louis Section course sponsored by MYNAH Technologies. The focus here is on improving the performance of compressors, jackets, heat exchangers and batch operations and the key role of valve position control (VPC).
Many simple additions to PID control loops are presented here that can increase the plant production rate, yield, product quality, and on-stream time. The improvements typically can be done by the selection of PID options, pairing of variables, and the addition of PID controllers and simple standard function blocks.
Specifying the best valve size can reduce loop variability and enable tighter control. A side benefit can be easier PID tuning and a smaller valve. By understanding key principles, you can become a valuable resource for getting the best automation component that directly affects the process, the control valve.
There are many different worlds of process control. Here you can learn to understand and appreciate the differences enabling you to extend your expertise in process control. You can benefit from the experiences in other worlds, expanding your capability and marketability helping to make the profession stronger by building on...
The most disturbing disturbances, the ones that are frequent, fast and furious (FFF), are self-inflicted either in the design, installation, maintenance or operation of the process control system. The good news is that through better application of advances in technologies and the better education of everyone responsible for the implementation,...
The advent of smart transmitters has reduced the effect of large measurement spans on accuracy but most measurement accuracies are still a function of per cent of span, albeit possibly detailed by more sophisticated equations than simply the error being a percent of span. Bigger considerations these days concern the effect...
Composition, pH and temperature loops that largely determine product quality have a hidden factor that affects the loop linearity and particularly the ability to perform well at low production rates. Here we detail the factor, the consequences and the solutions for continuous unit operations and fed-batch reactions.
The ISA Mentor Program, started by Greg McMillan and Hunter Vegas in 2011, is extending its invitation to prospective protégés/protégées and resources to include any engineer or technician currently employed in a plant or at an engineering center or supplier of services that is applying or maintaining process control systems.