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Troubleshooting

Instrumentation Skills

This comprehensive interactive multimedia training program was produced in association with the Instrument Society of America. (ISA). This three individual lesson program trains participants in efficient methods for finding the cause of a problem in a system and correcting it.

Audience: This program is excellent for instrument technicians as well as for the multi-craft training needs of process and manufacturing facilities.

Number of Courses: 3

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Course 1 – Troubleshooting Single Loop Control Systems

Prerequisites: This lesson is designed for participants familiar with instruments and their functions within a control loop and fundamentals of process measurement. A knowledge of process control diagrams is also recommended.

Description: This lesson describes the systematic approach to troubleshooting and applies that approach to single loop control systems. The lesson explains and demonstrates troubleshooting steps such as verifying that a problem exists, identifying possible causes of the problem, dividing the system to isolate the cause, recommending corrective action, and following up to prevent future problems.

Objectives:

  • Describe the purpose of troubleshooting process systems and identify the reasons a systematic troubleshooting approach is most effective
  • Verify that a performance problem exists by gathering information from sources such as the operator, diagrams, trend graphs, historical data, and system performance
  • Locate and identify the possible causes of a performance problem based on information gathered about the system in the quickest, most efficient way possible
  • Divide the system to isolate possible causes
  • Check each possible cause to determine if it is the source of the problem
  • Identify and carry out or recommend appropriate corrective action once a performance problem has been located
  • Verify that corrections have been made by consulting resources such as the operator and observation of system performance
  • Take or recommend appropriate follow-up procedures to minimize the potential for recurrence
  • Apply a systematic troubleshooting approach to its proper conclusion in single loop flow, temperature, level, and pressure control systems

Course 2 – Troubleshooting Multi-Loop Control Systems

Prerequisites: This lesson is designed for participants familiar with instruments and their functions within a control loop and how they are represented on process control diagrams. An understanding of a systematic approach to troubleshooting single loop control systems is also required.

Description: This lesson discusses the application of the steps for applying the systematic approach to troubleshooting multi-loop control systems. Emphasis is placed on isolating possible causes to the appropriate loop of a multi-loop control system. The lesson applies the basic troubleshooting procedure to ratio, cascade, and feedforward systems.

Objectives:

  • Apply the systematic approach to troubleshooting malfunctioning multi-loop control systems
  • Read and interpret a control diagram of a multi-loop system, identifying the process variable controlled and the input and output devices for each loop
  • Verify that a performance problem exists by gathering information as necessary from such sources as the operator, diagrams, trend graphs, historical data, and system performance
  • Locate and identify the possible causes of a performance problem in the quickest, most efficient way possible
  • Divide a multi-loop system into logical divisions to isolate possible causes
  • Once the problem has been located, identify and carry out or recommend appropriate corrective action
  • Verify that corrective action has been taken by consulting resources and take or recommend appropriate follow-up to minimize the potential for recurrence
  • Apply a systematic troubleshooting approach to its proper conclusion in ratio and cascade control as well as feedforward/feedback systems

Course 3 – Troubleshooting Distributed Control Systems

Prerequisites: This lesson is designed for participants familiar with instruments and their functions within a control loop. An understanding of the steps involved in a systematic approach to troubleshooting single loop control systems is required.

Description: This lesson applies a systematic process for identifying, isolating, and correcting process system problems to distributed control systems (DCS). Emphasis is placed on the use of DCS displays as a troubleshooting tool. System graphics such as set point displays, alarm summaries, and trend graphics are included.

Objectives:

  • List the five steps in a systematic approach to troubleshooting
  • Identify the set points and process variables of the components, valve positions, and alarms represented in a graphic display
  • Analyze the trend of a process variable over time in a trend graph
  • Identify the time, tag name, type of an alarm, and current value or status of the process variable in an alarm summary- evaluate information supplied by the system operator to determine the current condition of the system
  • Apply information gathered from displays and from the operator to verify that a problem exists
  • Locate and identify the cause of a performance problem in the most efficient way possible
  • Take or recommend appropriate corrective action
  • Verify that the problem has been corrected
  • Recommend follow-up procedures to minimize the potential for recurrence
  • Apply the systematic troubleshooting approach to its proper conclusion in a distillation system, batch process, cascade control system, as well as separating feed stock, and batch blending processes