Process Control Concepts and Practice

Process Control Concepts and Practice
Submitted by R Russell Rhinehart on 02/26/2023
Tutorial 29 resources
Last Edited: 03/03/2023

This journey covers some essential and fundamental concepts of automatic control of continuous process, which includes the in-batch control of batch processes.  It is aimed to provide:

  1. Practice-oriented context and conceptual support for a chemical engineering first course in process control, and
  2. Information for a practitioner needing to independently learn the essentials. 

About half finished.  Send any comments to

Here is an outline of current (with author's name) and planned (no name yet)  topics, the resources follow this sequence.

Outline of an application-oriented view of process control essentials

  1. Overview
    1. Processes and Process Characteristics - Russ Rhinehart
    2. Process Control is Inventory Control - Russ Rhinehart
    3. Deviation Variables
    4. ISA Process Control Terminology, Symbology, and Standards
  2. PI&D
    1. Understanding P, I, & D – Russ Rhinehart
    2. PI&D Explained - Jacques Smuts
    3. Understanding Laplace representations in process control - Russ Rhinehart
    4. Unraveling Laplace Notation for PID - Jacques Smuts
    5. PID Controller variations - Russ Rhinehart
    6. Bumpless Transfer and Tuning – Jacques Smuts
    7. Integral Windup and velocity mode – Doug Cooper
    8. PID controlled process simulators
  3. How Process Characteristics Shape Controller Choices
    1. Process Characteristics and Choice of P, I, D functions
  4. Noise & Filtering
    1. “Noise” types
      1. Normal
      2. Spurious events
      3. Discretization
    2. Filters – MA, FO, anti-aliasing, set point - Jacques Smuts
    3. Noise and filters First-order filter, and some analysis – Russ Rhinehart
    4. Statistical Filter
    5. Simulators of Noise and Filtering
  5. Controller Tuning
    1. Goodness of Control Metrics, Goodness Criteria for Tuning, Heuristic PID Tuning I & II - Russ Rhinehart
    2. PID Tuning III
    3. Cohen-Coon Tuning - Jacques Smuts
    4. Minimum IAE Tuning - Jacques Smuts
  6. Design of Sensors and Final Elements
    1. Valve characteristic Responses - Russ Rhinehart
    2. Valve Problems - Jacques Smuts
    3. Orifice Calibration - Russ Rhinehart
    4. Cavitation in Orifices and Valves
    5. Valve Design – size, capacity, expander/reducer, characteristic, actuator
    6. Sensor and Final Element Effects on Pressure Loss and Pump Sizing
    7. Transducers – analog and digital, and calibration and discretization
    8. Instrument issues – rangeability, precision, noise, signal discretization.
  7. Communication
    1. Measurements, Scaled Variables, and Issues - Russ Rhinehart
    2. Scaled Signals and Conversions – Doug Cooper
    3. Lines on the PFD/EFD and P&ID - Russ Rhinehart
  8. Modeling
    1. FOPDT Modeling by Empirical Methods - Russ Rhinehart
    2. Regression software to generate models from empirical data
    3. FOPDT Modeling from First Principles - Russ Rhinehart
    4. The Fortunate Insensitivity of Control to Model Perfection
  9. Classic Advanced Regulatory Control
    1. Override and erf
    2. Cascade Jacques Smuts
    3. Ratio and Scaled Signal Calculations
    4. Ratio Control the right and wrong approach - Jacques Smuts
    5. Feedforward - Doug Cooper & Allen Houtz    
    6. Gain Scheduling – Doug Cooper
    7. Output Characterization - Russ Rhinehart
    8. Output Characterization Application - control valve inverse - Jacques Smuts
    9. Interaction and Solutions – RGA pairing, detuning of less critical, one-way and two-way decouplers