Control Loop Foundation

In a previous posting I provided information on a class I put together to help train new software engineers on the basics of process control and field instrumentation. Over the last three years the power point slides, DVD’s of the class lecture, and class room exercises have successfully been used for internally training. In order to better support external training needed, I have worked with Mark Nixon to turn the class DVD, slides, and class room exercises into a book, Control Loop Foundation – Batch and Continuous Process.


ISA is publishing the book and shipment of the book started this week. The book addresses the original training class topics such as feedback, feedforward, ratio, cascade, override, split range, and valve position control. However, the book includes added examples that illustrate how basics control techniques may be combined to address the control requirement of more complex process units such as distillation columns, spray dryers, lime kilns, continuous and batch chemical reactors, bioreactors, boiler combustion. Also, new material is included on explain how dynamic process simulations can be quickly developed within a control system to support operator training and control system checkout.

The book includes a total of 19 workshops that the reader may use to get hands on experience with basic control techniques as well as more complex control applications such as combustion control or reactor control. It is possible to complete each workshop using a web browser by access the book web site. The web site is a work in progress but will be complete by the end of October. The modules used for the workshop control examples and associated dynamic process simulations are currently available on the web site and may be freely downloaded. Also, a description of each workshop is currently provided on the web site.

Mark Nixon and I are hosting two short courses at Emerson Exchange next week (Wednesday, September 29th) that provide an overview of the book material. If you are interested in learning more about the book but are not able to attend either of these short courses, then a copy of our short course presentation is posted on the web. The book may be purchased through the ISA web site bookstore. All royalties from the book will be given directly to universities and education programs to promote and enhance the understanding of process control.