LOOP-PRO TRAINER puts concepts into context and brings process control to life!
Process control is a complex subject and some concepts can be challenging for students to fully grasp. Whether your students are enrolled in college or engaged as practitioners, they must be engaged in order for them to successfully transition from understanding to mastery. Software provides an effective means for simulating process dynamics and bringing abstract concepts to life.
Control Station’s LOOP-PRO TRAINER software is equipped with an array of simulation tools. Each module serves a unique purpose and helps instructors to put key concepts into clear context. Equipped with TRAINER, instructors can move beyond curriculum development and focus on preparing students for success in industry. TRAINER’s software modules include:
In order to cultivate a true understanding of process dynamics, it can be helpful to utilize simulation tools. In particular process simulations of real-world processes allow students to develop the intuition for how a given process should behave through repeated testing – even trial and error. Such tools also enable students to enhance their understanding of the different forms of the PID controller by examining the various response characteristics, the impact of noise, and the influence of uncontrolled disturbances.
TRAINER’s Case Studies module provides access to over 15 common industrial process simulations. Simulations include an array of both integrating and non-integrating processes. They can be customized for noise and disturbances, and each permits students to trial different controller tuning parameters. All simulations are first-principles and provide students with access to authentic process behavior. The following are among the many Case Studies simulations:
- Heat Exchanger
- Gravity Drained Tank
- Pumped Tank
- Jacketed Reactor
- Cascade Jacketed Reactor
- Distillation Column
- Furnace Air/Fuel Ratio
Simulations of other processes are also available, including those closely tied to the following industries:
- Basic Materials
- Food & Beverage
- Power & Utilities
It is not uncommon in industry for controller tuning methods to be passed along from one practitioner to the next. In spite of the PID’s prevalence in industrial applications, formal training on process dynamics and PID-based control remains a rarity. With so little formal understanding it’s no wonder that tuning of PID controllers is widely referred to as a ‘black art’.
TRAINER is equipped with the Design Tools module – a process modeling and PID controller tuning utility. As an extension of the TRAINER curriculum, Design Tools allows users to experiment with different forms of the PID controller and to expand their appreciation for regulatory control techniques. The module helps students with their understanding of process dynamics and how technology can be used to calculate model/tuning parameters both quickly and consistently. Specific modeling and controller tuning considerations supported by the Design Tools module include:
- Data Editing
- Model Selection
- Model Fitting
- Controller Selection
What if? Alternative control schemas can hold the key to greater control and improved production performance. However, implementing a new control strategy can be hazardous – to an individual’s career or worse – without first assessing the consequences.
LOOP-PRO TRAINER includes an advanced simulation module called Custom Process. This utility complements the course curriculum and provides a ‘what if’ environment with which students can investigate the pros and the cons of alternative control strategies. Custom Process simulations include the following:
- Single Loop Process (SISO)
- Multi-Loop Process (MIMO)
- Cascade Process
Through use of these and other resources students strengthen their knowledge of and familiarity with control practices that are commonly applied in industry