Enjoy New Orleans and Learn Process Automation this Week

I had the pleasure of beginning my process automation career in New Orleans, Louisiana working as a Conoco systems engineer on offshore oil & gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. New Orleans’ food, festivities, sights and sounds are firmly embedded in my memories.

For process automation engineers who live in the greater New Orleans area or find themselves there this week, you should check out the local ISA section. The festivities begin with a New Orleans ISA section meeting tomorrow where process automation hall of fame member, Greg McMillan, will share tips from his 101 Tips for a Successful Automation Career book.

Seafood Gumbo

Since the gumbo and po’ boys are so good in New Orleans, I’m sure Greg decided to extend his stay to offer two seminars for folks in the area. On Wednesday, March 6, Greg will conduct a seminar, Effective Use of Measurements, Valves, and Variable Speed Drives. Attendees will receive a free copy of the 101 tips book and learn about:

…the essential information to translate the knowledge of your application requirements and conditions into a successful field automation system. The course provides a sound fundamental basis with concepts important for performance. Objectives are offered on sensor selection and location. Considerable insight and guidance is given in terms of checklists to help ensure the best possible design and installation for all of the major types of measurements, control valves, and variable speed drives. The factors affecting rangeability that is critical for changing plant production rates are detailed.

Specific topics include:

  • Top Ten Concepts for Automation System Performance
  • Sensor Selection and Location Objectives
  • Effect of Transmitter Damping
  • Inline Flow Meter Checklist
  • Pressure and DP Measurement Checklist
  • Radar Level Measurement Checklist
  • Temperature Sensor Accuracy, Range, Output, Size, and Speed
  • Thermowell Velocity and Vibration Effects
  • Thermowell Installations
  • Temperature Measurement Checklist
  • pH Electrode Fundamentals
  • pH Electrode Advances
  • pH Electrode Piping Installations
  • pH Electrode Options for Maximum Accuracy
  • pH Electrode Problems Symptoms and Causes
  • Wireless pH Opportunities
  • pH Measurement Checklist
  • Deadly and Sticky Situations
  • Control Valve Rangeability
  • Actuator Types and Consequences
  • Limit Cycles
  • Real Rangeability
  • Positioner and Booster Setup
  • Installed Flow Characteristics
  • Control Valve Misconceptions
  • Rotary Valve Watch Outs
  • Control Valve Checklist
  • Variable Frequency Drive and Control Valve Comparison
  • When to Use a Variable Frequency Drive
  • Variable Frequency Drive Watch Outs
  • Effect of Static Head on Turndown
  • Variable Speed Checklist

The following day, Thursday March 7 Greg will conduct a second seminar, Effective Use of PID Controllers. The abstract:

The PID controller has evolved over the decades to include a large number of features to address common application opportunities. Many of the features are not effectively used due to lack of a consolidation of functional understanding and best practices. Hundreds of tuning rules have been developed each espousing to being the best. The setting of PID tuning, options and parameters can seem overwhelming. The first half of this course focuses on the fundamentals of PID modes, form, and structures. Numerous test cases are used to provide examples of the effect of tuning for different applications. An online simulator is demonstrated and offered. The second half of the course offers guidance for getting the most out of your PID extending its functionality by the use of important existing and new features for applications encountered in the process industry. The goal of the course is to show how an understanding of the objectives and the functionality and synergism of features can result in a simplification of tuning and configuring PID controllers. For comic relief, attendees will receive a humorous book on the automation profession.

Topics covered include:

  • The contribution of Each PID Mode
  • The ISA Standard and Series Form
  • Positive Feedback Implementation of Integral Mode
  • PID Structure Choices
  • Conversion of Signals
  • Major Types of Process Dynamics
  • Test Cases on Effect of Proportional Mode
  • Test Cases on Effect of Integral Mode
  • Test Cases on Effect of Derivative Mode
  • Reset Gives Operations What They Want
  • Loop Dynamics Block Diagram
  • Consolidation and Simplification of Tuning Rules
  • Triple Cascade Block Diagram
  • External-Reset Feedback
  • Setpoint Filter and Rate Limits
  • Automatic Prevention of Oscillations from Slow or Sticky Valves
  • Automatic Prevention of Oscillations from Slow Secondary Loop
  • Automatic Prevention of Oscillations from At-Line and Off-Line Analyzers
  • Achieving Diverse Loop Metrics
  • Achieving Diverse Process Objectives
  • PID Application Checklist
  • Simple Methods of Reducing Energy Use and Increasing Production Rates

Both seminars will be presented at Jacobs Engineering’s new presentation facility located at 3330 W. Esplanade Ave, Suite 510, Metairie, Louisiana. An enrollment fee of $200.00 is required in advance for each seminar, or $400.00 for both seminars. Proceeds from this seminar fund the Don Iverson ISA scholarship program for engineering majors at the University of New Orleans. PDH certificates will be awarded at the end of each seminar. To enroll email your request for a reservation to: [email protected].

Even if you’re not in the area, it’s worth hopping on a plane to get some process automation wisdom and great New Orleans food!

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