Control Loop Foundation Learning Website

Emerson’s Terry Blevins and Mark Nixon‘s new book, Control Loop Foundation – Batch and Continuous Processes was highlighted in an earlier post here on the blog. As I noted in the post, the intent of the book was to give automation professionals a foundation in process control in subjects such as:

…measurements, on-line analyzers, final control elements, field wiring and communications, control and field instrumentation documentation, operator graphics, process characterization, control system objectives, single-loop control, tuning and loop performance, multi-loop control, model predictive control, process simulation, and applications.

To extend this sharing of expertise beyond the book, Terry has announced a Control Loop Foundation Web Site in his ModelingAndControl.com blog post today. He describes the Control Loop Foundation website‘s purpose:

Anyone can access this web site to view and perform the exercises for workshops and applications define in the book – a total of 19 exercises.

Control Loop Foundation website
I went over and visited the website. It’s very simple and intuitive to do the exercises. Workshops include process characterization, feedback control, PID tuning, feedforward control, cascade control, override control, split range control, valve position control, ratio control, model predictive control, and process simulation. Each exercise includes the steps to perform in the exercise, a P&ID drawing of the process and a short description of the control strategy to use, a workspace area that shows the simulation running in real time. The simulation allows you to interact with it and view what’s happening in a trend on the chart page. The solution tab of each exercise shows an embedded YouTube video narrated by Terry. He describes the entire exercise including the changes that can be made to the simulation.

To give you a flavor of how this works, here’s the feedback control workshop video:

This website is a fantastic addition to book, since it provides a visual learning component coupled with a hands-on, try-it-yourself area. Kudos to Terry, Mark, and their work with consultant, Deb Franke for a well designed and executed, self-paced learning site.

Whether you’re a new automation professional or your skills are in need of a quick refresh, give the Control Loop Foundation website a visit and let me know what you think.

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