Four Paths to Sharpen Your Process Optimization Skills

Those familiar with American football have heard the idea that the game can be simplified down to the basics of “blocking and tackling“. Fundamentally, the team that executes these two skills the best will likely win the game. So what does this have to do with process automation?

For plant engineers, how well their plant operates often comes down to the performance of all the control loops in operation. Getting these loops to optimally perform require a good understanding of process dynamics and control basics. I shared in an earlier post how Emerson’s Terry Blevins and Mark Nixon wrote the book, Control Loop Foundation – Batch and Continuous Processes to help plant engineers better understand the basics.

Knowing that people learn in many ways, they also developed an interactive website, which I highlighted in a post last week.

Another way to learn these skills is through formal, classroom training. Terry has worked with the Educational Services team to develop a new class, Control Loop Foundation. Here’s the overview for the course:

This 4-1/2 day course covers the concepts and terminology that are needed to understand and work with control systems. Upon completion of this course the student will be able to effectively work with and commission single and multi-loop control strategies. Interactive workshops allow the student to apply what they learn in the class.

The inaugural class will take place here in Austin, Texas during the week of February 21-25. Terry will be teaching the course. In an earlier Modeling and Control blog post, Terry further described the class:

The book will be used as the text for this class – with each student receiving their own personal copy of Control Loop Foundation. Also, the 19 exercises for the workshops and applications defined in the book and supported on the book’s web site will be an integral part of this class. Students… will spend about 30% of their time getting hands on experience by performing these exercises. I will teach the class the first few times it is offered and after that time the class will be taught by the training center’s experienced instructors.

So, if you want to improve your blocking and tackling skills in optimizing your plant’s performance, Terry offers four solid paths–the book, the interactive exercises on the Control Loop Foundation website, his section of the Modeling and Control blog, and an in-person class next month in Austin. If you choose the 4th option, let’s connect while you’re here.

GreenPodcast.gif MP3 | iTunes

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Leave a Reply