ICTD International Centre for Training and Development

Process Control & Instrumentation Troubleshooting & Problem Solving

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About the course

This course presents a systematic approach to troubleshooting and start-up of single- and multi-loop control loops. You'll see how pressure, level, flow, and temperature loops operate to maintain good process control systems. Knowledge of instrumentation and control is assumed.

The course will also cover on maintenance, calibration and troubleshooting of different instrumentation devices and systems. Minimum operation theory is also included either as an introduction or on refreshment basis.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, the delegates will be able to:

  • Develop a systematic approach to troubleshooting
  • Identify why a systematic approach to troubleshooting is most effective
  • Follow specified procedures for proper loop check-out
  • Verify, locate, and identify performance problems and the causes of the problems
  • Take or recommend appropriate follow-up procedures to minimize problem recurrence
  • Identify the common causes of sensor, transmitter, controller, and final control element problems
  • Troubleshoot control systems
  • Apply distributed control system (DCS) functions for troubleshooting
  • Interpret pneumatic and electronic loops
  • Apply safety practices for start-up
  • Check and utilize control loop documentation
  • Discuss applications and procedures to troubleshoot conventional analog control systems
  • State the general operation features of a HARTTM control system
  • State the general operations features of a FIELDBUS control system
  • Compare general troubleshooting procedures for conventional, FIELDBUS, and HARTTM control systems

Course Outline

Day 1


  • Purpose of Troubleshooting
  • Reasons for Troubleshooting

Approaches to Troubleshooting

  • Equipment History
  • Input / Output (Serial)
  • Shotgun Approach
  • Logical Analysis

Logical Analysis Troubleshooting

  • Verify
  • Identify
  • Repair
  • Test
  • Follow-up on Problems

Day 2

Standard Diagrams and Symbols

  • Process and Instrument Drawings
  • Loop Drawings
  • Process Flow Diagrams

Single-Loop Feedback Control Troubleshooting

  • Measurement Concerns
  • Valve Concerns
  • Controller Operations
  • Signal Conditioners
  • Troubleshooting Simulation

Day 3

Multi-Loop Control Systems Troubleshooting

  • Ratio (Controlled Stream, Wild Stream)
  • Cascade (Primary and Secondary Loop)
  • Three-Element Drum Level Control
  • Troubleshooting Simulation

Introduction to Digital Control Systems

  • Advantages
  • Digital Control (DDC)
  • Supervisory
  • Supervisory Plus DDC
  • Analog Back-up
  • HART Systems
  • FIELDBUS Systems

Day 4

Distributed Control Functions for Troubleshooting

  • Elements
  • Displays (Graphic, Trend, Alarm)

Start-up Concerns

  • Safety
  • Documentation
  • Tuning Review
  • Component Check-out

Maintenance concepts in instrumentation

Typical maintenance activity

Types of Maintenance

Day 5

Troubleshooting basics

Hazards, Risks & their analysis

Failures & Reliability

Principles of Preventive Maintenance (PM) and Corrective Maintenance (CM)

Safety Integrity Level

Maintenance and troubleshooting of Pneumatic Field Instruments

Maintenance and troubleshooting Electronic Field Instrumentation

Maintenance and troubleshooting of control valves

Maintenance and troubleshooting of Switches, Thermometers & Gauges

Maintenance and troubleshooting of DCS's and PLC's

Fundamentals of instrumentation calibration

Typical Solutions

Course Methodology

A variety of methodologies will be used during the course that includes:

  • (30%) Based on Case Studies
  • (30%) Techniques
  • (30%) Role Play
  • (10%) Concepts
  • Pre-test and Post-test
  • Variety of Learning Methods
  • Lectures
  • Case Studies and Self Questionaires
  • Group Work
  • Discussion
  • Presentation

Who should attend

This course is intended for all Automation engineers, Chemical engineers, Consulting engineers, Control engineers, Design engineers, Electrical engineers, Instrument fitters, Maintenance engineers, Mechanical engineers, Operations and Production engineers, Process control technicians, Project engineers and managers.

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