Instrumentation, Automation & Process Control

WHAT IS INSTRUMENTATION? WHAT ARE AUTOMATION & CONTROL SYSTEMS?

Instrumentation is that branch of engineering that deals with measurement instruments (hence the word Instrumentation). This is a multidisciplinary branch and practitioners need to be adept in Chemical, Mechanical, Electrical & Electronics disciplines with fair amount of Computer Science. When you see all those dials and gauges (and now graphic displays) on a Control Panel (whether it is to control an industrial plant or an aircraft), it is all part of Instrumentation Engineering.

So how is it related to Automation?  And what about Control Systems? Well, if you want to control something (again it may be an industrial plant or an aircraft or any piece of machinery), you first need to measure some things. Only when you measure and get constant feedback from the equipment, can you hope to control it. If you can control it as per your wishes or as per your algorithm, then you can also make it automatic. Hence Instrumentation, Automation & Control are all deeply intertwined with each other and considered part of the same discipline.

Importance of Instrumentation Automation In Today's Era

The world is increasingly moving, inexorably towards more sensors (more Instrumentation) and more automation. So this is a fast growing discipline. Many things that were not possible to be automated in previous decades are rapidly on the way to becoming automated (think self driving cars, for instance). As computational power becomes cheaper and more ubiquitous (meaning available everywhere), as more sensors and measurement technologies become available,  the field of Instrumentation, Automation & Control will keep on growing in importance.

What is Industrial Automation?

Industrial Automation refers to those systems that are used to automate and control Industrial processes. These Industrial Control and Automation systems are responsible for controlling the vast majority of industrial operations like manufacturing steel, chemicals, plastics, rubber, textiles, food and beverages, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, production and refining of oil & gas, automobiles, discrete parts manufacturing,  generation of electric power and so on. These systems are also present in installations like electrical distribution systems (electrical grids), operation and control of water treatment plants, operation of dams that handle enormous quantities of water, effluent treatment plants and even building automation systems that control Hearing/Ventilation/Air conditioning (HVAC) in buildings. Simply put, they are prevalent everywhere.  These systems include DCS (Distributed Control Systems), PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) and SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems). The systems that are used to ensure safety (Safety Instrumented Systems) are also considered part of Industrial Automation. In addition to these, industrial plants have a large variety of sensors, transmitters, switches, valves, actuators and motors that actually operate the processes.

What technologies are used in Industrial Automation systems?

We have a variety of technologies that are used in Industrial Automation & Control systems. Sensors have measurement technologies like radar, ultrasonic, radiometric, mechanical,  strain gauge types, Infrared, photoelectric  and many more. Transmitters can be  of the analog electronic type ( the 4-20 mA type transmitters) or digital Fieldbus transmitters (FOUNDATION Fieldbus, Profibus PA, ASi) or hybrid (like HART). Controllers can be pneumatic, hydraulic, analog electronic or digital, or microprocessor based digital ones. These can be in the form of single loop controllers or in the form of DCS, PLC and SCADA systems. Actuators can be mechanical, pneumatic or electro-hydraulic. These can drive electric motors as well as  various types of valves, fans and dampers.

Abhisam has e-learning courses and training workshops on a wide variety of these subjects. These include training courses on Fieldbus, Gas Monitors, Safety Instrumented Systems, Variable Frequency Drives and so on.

E learning Instrumentation Training Courses By Abhisam

We have the following Online Courses/E-learning courses related to Instrumentation, Automation & Control Systems. Each of these courses consist of several modules that have text, animations & simulations, graphics, assessments, examples, real life case studies that help you become a professional. You can complete them from the comfort of your home or office or anywhere else. You can either take them online over the internet (Online version). On passing the associated exam, you can get qualified as a professional, earn an electronic certificate with a unique ID number and a badge issued via Credly, that can be added to your Linked In Profile or other places online such as email signatures. This displays your qualifications and competencies to your colleagues, peers, bosses and potential employers and clients.

Fieldbus

Fieldbus Training

Fieldbus is an all digital communications technology used in Industrial Automation systems to communicate between instruments in the field. The main protocols atht are in use today include FOUNDATION Fieldbus, Profibus PA, HART and Asi. These are all covered in this comprehensive self learning e-course. Learners can get a Certificate of Completion, as well as an electronic badge via Credly, after completing the course  and the associated exam.

This course has the following modules:

1.Basic Concepts

2. FOUNDATION Fieldbus

3. HART, Profibus and ASi

4. Fieldbus in Hazardous Areas

5. Case Study of a Fieldbus project

6. Self Assessment Test

 See the Fieldbus course here

 

Gas Monitors

Gas Detector Training

Gas Monitors (also referred to as Gas Detectors) are used to detect and measure explosive gases & vapors, toxic gases and Oxygen. These are a very important part of Instrumentation of any plant or facility. These can be portable as well of a fixed type and very often are combined with other systems, such as Fire Alarm and suppression systems. This easy e-learning course will help you understand everything about gas detection in a few hours.

This course will consist of several modules as under:

1.Gas Monitor Fundamentals

2. Types of Gas Monitors (catalytic combustion, electrochemical, semiconductor, Infrared, Photoionization)

3. Gas Monitoring systems

4. Installation, Calibration & Maintenance

5. Self Assessment Test

On passing the associated exam, you can earn a Certificate of Competency and an electronic badge via Credly that you can display online on places such as LinkedIn. Click here to know more about the Gas Monitors course

Variable Frequency Drives

VFD Training

AC Variable Frequency drives have become very popular in recent years and have become an integral part of implementing Industrial Automation systems. This easy e-learning course will help you understand everything about VFDs in a few hours.

This course will consist of several modules as under:

1.Basic Concepts of Motors & Drives

2. Inside a VFD

3. VFD Functions

4. Energy Saving using VFDs

5. Specifying, Selection and Installation of VFDs

6. Using VFD with DCS and PLC systems

7. Self Assessment Test

On passing the associated exam, you can earn a Certificate of Competency and an electronic badge via Credly that you can display online on places such as LinkedIn.

For more details please see the Variable Frequency Drives course here

 

Hazardous Area Instrumentation

Hazardous Area Instrumentation Training

Hazardous Area Instrumentation is essential to know for all Instrumentation, Automation & Control or Electrical engineers who design, operate, build and maintain equipment used in hazardous areas such as those found in Oil & Gas installations, chemical plants, coal handling plants and so on, where the risk of fire and explosion is very high.

This course will consist of several modules as under:

1.Basic Concepts of Fires & Explosions in hazardous areas

2. Area Classification, Temperature & Material Classification

3. Protection Methods (including explosionproof, intrinsic safety, pressurization, purging, increased safety, non incendive, etc)

4. Using Fieldbus in Hazardous Areas

5. Certification & Labeling

6. Inspections and Maintenance of hazardous area equipment

7. Self Assessment test

The course covers both IEC and NFPA standards. On passing the associated exam, you can earn a Certificate of Competency and an electronic badge via Credly that you can display online on places such as LinkedIn. For more details please see the Hazardous Area Instrumentation course

ICS Security

Most modern plants and facilities today use some kind of DCS, PLC, SCADA or SIS to monitor, control and safely shutdown the process. However most of these Industrial Automation systems are not secure. This is why today ICS Security (also referred to as Industrial Cybersecurity) has become very important. In case of business and IT systems, a cybersecurity breach can result in monetary losses or in loss of proprietary data. However in case of an Industrial cybersecurity incident, there can be a physical disaster since these cyber-physical systems control large plants and facilities that often time process huge amounts of hazardous, explosive and/or toxic materials.

This course will consist of several modules as under:

1.Overview of Industrial Automation & Control systems (IACS)

2. Basic Concepts of Cybersecurity

3. Threats to IACS

4. IACS Security standards (including IEC 62443)

5. Cyber Risk Assessment

6. Case Study of an IACS cyberattack

7. Self Assessment test

On passing the associated exam, you can earn a Certificate of Competency and an electronic badge via Credly that you can display online on places such as LinkedIn. For more details please see here.

Intrinsically Safe Systems

Intrinsic Safety

Intrinsic Safety is one of the techniques used to protect Instrumentation & Control systems in hazardous areas. It is one of the best preventive techniques for hazardous areas, yet the design and implementation is not well understood by many Instrument/Control Systems/Automation Engineers. This easy to understand e-course from Abhisam will enable you to understand everything in an easy manner.

This course will consist of several modules as under:

1.Introduction to Hazardous Areas

2. Basic Concepts of Intrinsic safety

3. Zener Barriers

4. Galvanic Isolators

5. IS Standards & Practices

6. Fieldbus applications using IS

7. Labeling, Inspections & Maintenance

8. Self Assessment Test

On passing the associated exam, you can earn a Certificate of Competency and an electronic badge via Credly that you can display online on places such as LinkedIn. For more details please watch this space.

Safety Instrumented Systems

Safety Instrumented Systems Training

Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS for short) are used in many process plants where there is a risk of asset damage, environmental release or human fatalities due to the complex processes in these plants that handle large amounts of explosive and/or toxic materials at high temperatures and pressures. In case of failure of any of the loops of a basic process control system (such as a DCS or a PLC/SCADA system) the SIS can take control autonomously and bring the plant or facility to a safe state. This course will help you learn all about these systems in detail.

This course will consist of several modules as under:

1.Introduction to SIS

2. Hazards, Risks and their analysis

3. Failures and Reliability

4. Safety Integrity Level (SIL)

5. SIS Standards (including IEC 61508 and IEC 61511)

6. SIS in Practice

7. SIS Testing and Maintenance

8. Self Assessment Test

On passing the associated exam, you can earn a Certificate of Competency and an electronic badge via Credly that you can display online on places such as LinkedIn. For more details please see the Safety Instrumented Systems course

Level Instrumentation (Coming Soon)

Level measurement training

Level is an important parameter that needs to be measured in industrial operations. There are a wide variety of level measurement techniques, ranging from simple mechanical floats to sophisticated microwave radar based instruments.

This often leads to confusion on selection of the best technique for an application. This easy e-learning course will help you understand all these techniques in the span of a few hours.

This course will consist of several modules that will cover majority of the techniques such as mechanical float and tape, differential pressure type measurements, displacers, ultrasonic, radar and more.

Several typical applications will be explained, with the advantage of a particular technology for that particular application.

On passing the associated exam, you can earn a Certificate and an electronic badge via Credly that you can display online on places such as LinkedIn. For more details watch this space.

Basic Instrumentation (Coming Soon)

Abhisam Basic Instrumentation course

Learn the basics of Process Instrumentation by this easy to understand e-learning course from Abhisam. This is ideal for those not from the Instrumentation discipline, but want to learn about the basics.

Hence this course will be suitable for all engineering disciplines such as Mechanical, Chemical, Electrical, Mining, Petroluem, etc) as well as for those Instrumentation, Control Systems or Automation engineers who wish to re-inforce or refresh their knowledge.

This course consists of the following modules.

1.Basic Concepts of measurement & control

2. Flow measurement

3. Level measurement

4. Temperature measurement

5. Pressure measurement

6. Analytical measurements

7. Self Assessment Test

On passing the associated exam, you can earn a Certificate of Completion and an electronic badge via Credly that you can display online on places such as LinkedIn. For more details please watch this space.

Offline Instrumentation Automation & Process Control Training Courses and Workshops

In addition to the above online courses, we along with our associates, also conduct traditional classroom style Training Workshops from time to time in multiple cities around the world. These are offered as public courses but can also be offered as on site training at your location. Our trainers will travel to your location and deliver these programs.  They can be customized as per your needs.

1.Basics of Process Instrumentation  (1 day)

2. Basics of Safety Instrumented Systems (1 day)

3. Industrial Cybersecurity Workshop ( 3 days)

Contact Us to know more

Free White Papers

The following free white papers on Instrumentation & Automation are available on the Abhisam website and can be accessed from the links below.

1. How Toxic Gas detectors work

2. Integrated DCS and SIS or separate? Which is better?

You can also access informative white papers on other interesting topics here.

Free Learning Videos

The following free videos are on topics related to cyber security and provide useful information to learn the basics.Feel free to share,  like them or embed them wherever you wish. Right now there are no videos, but watch this space for some new videos soon!

Instrumentation & Automation Posts from the Abhisam Blog

  • Fieldbus Training Workshop In Mumbai and Thane - Oct 12, 2017– Abhisam is pleased to announce a Fieldbus Training Workshop in Thane and Mumbai, India on 27th and 28th Oct 2017. The workshop will cover major aspects of Fieldbus technology with theory as well as practical exercises on transmitters and valves, connected to a popular DCS. The workshop will be led by an ... Read more