Q. Please provide a brief description of your book.
A. This intermediate-level book explains the application of basic and advanced regulatory control strategies for the wet process industries. Rather than focusing on mathematical systems theory, the book builds upon the actual experiences and process knowledge of engineers and technicians to demonstrate the application of successful control strategies.
Following a summary of the characteristics of processes and feedback control loops, attention is given to the application of advanced regulatory control (ARC) strategies and their value. The latter portion of the book gives an overview of the next level of control—advanced process control (APC).
Q. What trends or changes regulatory control prompted you to write this third edition of your book?
A. I can point to three primary trends that are influencing process control training.
- At the university level, the pressure of adding to the curriculum reduced the amount of time available for process control education. At some universities, process control is merely one component of a unit operations laboratory and often only covers feedback control.
- In the plant, some managers have heard of “advanced process control,” (i.e., model predictive control and similar techniques) and they believe that it can eliminate the need for advanced regulatory control techniques, such cascade, feedforward, decoupling, etc., and also eliminate the need for technicians to tune the loops.
- The training offered for process automation and control covers many relatively new and very worthwhile topics, such as industrial data communications, safety instrumented system, cybersecurity, and others. Focus on these topics has often reduced the time and expense available for basic process control training.
The ability of the process control engineer to recognize opportunities for, and apply, advanced regulatory control techniques remains a key step to improving the economics of process control.
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Q. What makes this book different than other books that cover the subject?
A. In contrast with many academic textbooks on process control, the aim of this book is to present the concepts of process automation and control with a minimal amount of theory but a large amount of practical application knowledge. The book can be used by both instrumentation technicians and process control engineers, but is primarily aimed at those whose responsibility is to design the control system for a new process or to suggest modifications to an existing control system.
Q. Could you briefly refer to or state specific sections of the book that have either been added or expanded or improved?
A. This updated edition provides: expanded coverage of set-point weighting controllers, an amplified discussion of valve problems, expanded coverage of cross-limiting control systems, a new heuristic procedure for improving “as-found” tuning, and an expanded discussion of tuning liquid level control loops. End-of-chapter exercises also have been added.