New to Control Engineering?
Fall evokes a “back to school” learning excitement, but truth is, if we’re not learning year round, we’re not going to remain at the top of our game for long. A subscriber new to the industry, with the title of project/process engineer, recently asked for “any general courses or references (manuals, books, articles, etc.
Fall evokes a “back to school” learning excitement, but truth is, if we’re not learning year round, we’re not going to remain at the top of our game for long. A subscriber new to the industry, with the title of project/process engineer, recently asked for “any general courses or references (manuals, books, articles, etc.) that would be useful to someone just entering the field of industrial instrumentation and controls.” Here’s some advice.
1. We’re here to teach. Read every issue of Control Engineering , subscribe to our free eNewsletters, and browse www.controleng.com regularly.
2. Here are five “must read” items posted on our site for anyone starting out (or those wanting a quick review) and why I think they’d be particularly helpful.
“Top 20 'must-know’ terms in control & automation”—Editors selected the most significant words, covering process control strategies beyond PID loop control, feedforward, dead-time compensation, lead/lag, adaptive gain, neural networks, fuzzy logic, and more. (Over 115 other Back to Basics tutorials are available in the Control Engineering Resource Center. It’s free. Just sign in and learn!
“Control loop is automation essence” tutorial—By measuring some activity in an automated process, a controller decides what needs to be done next and executes the required operations through a set of actuators. The controller re-measures the process to determine if the actions had the desired effect.
Control Engineering ’s PID guidebooks include the original Ziegler-Nichols paper explaining proportional-integral-derivative tuning, along with variations, tutorials, and a historic Control Engineering interview with John Ziegler.
Events, found at the bottom of www.controleng.com home page—Most events have conference sessions along with exhibitions of latest technologies. Attend several a year, more than one day each if you can manage, to collaborate with others there. Set aside a third day upon your return to look over materials and notes and improve your processes with the knowledge gained.
50th anniversary of Control Engineering —A 2004 collection of articles and an award-winning series of interviews in September provide perspective on where we’ve been and where we need to go.
3. Get more online. Go to this article under September at www.controleng.com/archive to see additional links and resources, from Control Engineering and others. Diversity is good, so I’ve asked each editor on our team to pick their top five “must read” topic-specific items. Recommend your favorites using the “post a comment” function at the bottom of the online version.
The text below adds additional information to the column above beyond what appeared in print.
Links for the tutorials mentions above.
Top 20 'must-know' terms in control & automation (Resource Center, log-in needed)
Control loop is automation essence (Resource Center)
Reference Guide to PID Tuning guidebooks (Resource Center)