Archive | Books


Q&A with Authors of ISA Book: Industrial Data Communications

Q. Why did you feel it was important to introduce/write a new edition? A. (Thompson) Data communications is not a static or necessarily “mature” technology. New concepts, applications, and data rates are continually changing. While at a somewhat slower rate, those that improve process communications filter into the industrial areas. A text must be updated, […]

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Q&A with Co-author of New ISA Book: The Tao of Measurement

    Q. Why do you believe the book is a “must-read” for all those involved in instrumentation or process control? A. This book provides indispensable information for anyone involved in instrumentation or process control. It explains the principles of operation pertaining to all the main types of temperature sensors, pressure sensors and transmitters, and […]

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How to Design and Implement Performance-Based Fire and Gas Systems for Process Industries

  The recently published ISA book, Performance-based Fire and Gas Systems Engineering Handbook, is co-authored by Austin M. Bryan, Elizabeth Smith, and Kevin J. Mitchell, senior staff members at Kenexis Consulting Corporation. In this blog Q&A, Austin provides important insights on the book’s value and significance. The book provides a thorough overview of fire and […]

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Two industrial engineers

Tip #50: Ask for Feedback

And so we have finally reached our last tip. Trust me when I say that this has NOT been an easy task. Distilling a career of engineering experience into one- or two-page tips is tough! For the last tip, we chose this subject because we believe an individual should never stop learning and improving … […]

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industrial laser with sparks flying around

Tip #101: Use Plant-Wide Feedforward for More Flexible and Efficient Production

The pressure to reduce inventories, coupled with changing market demands and fluctuations in raw material and energy prices, requires a process plant to be able to respond quickly to maintain optimum operation. To most efficiently support changes in production rate or product grade, flows must change in unison throughout the plant. Feedback loops cannot do […]

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Technical writing Disciplines Concept

Tip #2: Always Note the Author of a Technical Article

Of all of the engineering fields, I have to think that our field of automation has one of the fastest rates of change. Every day new processes, new technologies, new instruments, and new control techniques invade the market, and an automation engineer must constantly strive to stay abreast of the latest offerings or face becoming […]

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Factory control room

Tip #89: Identify Deadtime and Ramp Rate

In Tip #70, we learned that deadtime was the key to loop performance. The Control Talk blog The ABCs of Controller Tuning describes how tuning settings can be reduced to a simple function of deadtime. The InTech article PID Tuning Rules and the article’s online appendices describe the fundamental relationships between deadtime, performance, and tuning. […]

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Chemical factory

Tip #94: Smooth the Transition between Batch and Continuous Operations

Processes often include a mixture of batch and continuous operations. For liquid products made in a batch operation, most of the time the batch flow is off because the drain valve is closed during the batch. When done, the batch is drained quickly. This discontinuous batch flow cannot directly feed continuous operations downstream. For traditional […]

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Four candidates competing for one position.

Tip #37: Get Past the References You Are Offered

Over the course of my career, I have never been given a reference that provided anything but glowing reports and testimonials. Perhaps your experience will be different than mine, but the odds are slim. In every case each reference I contacted gushed ad infinitum about how wonderful the candidate was or how positively flawless the […]

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