Equipment, Facilities and Maintenance > Distributed Control System (DCS) Applications, Selection & Troubleshooting - Virtual Instructor Led Training (VILT)

About this Virtual Instructor Led Training (VILT)

Since the first Distributed Control System (DCS) was installed in the late 1970s, the concept of DCS has swept alternative control technologies from the field. The substantial growth, in the construction of plants in the traditional heavy process industries such as power generation, refining, oil and gas, water and petrochemicals, is driving significant growth in the utilisation of DCS. The broad architecture of a solution involves either a direct connection to physical equipment such as switches, pumps and valves or connection via a fieldbus communication system.

With the advent of high speed data highways and locally collected plant information, DCSs are being used to reduce cabling costs as well as implement advanced control strategies. This Virtual Instructor Led Training (VILT) will cover the practical applications of DCS and is based on a selection of subjects that either have had a strong impact on distributed systems today or explore novel ideas which may be of importance for the future. Other topics in the course cover important aspects of distributed systems such as data communications, SCADA and Safety Instrumented Systems plus PLC applications.

The evolution of computer control systems is discussed in this VILT and the architecture of contemporary DCS offerings is described in general terms. The VILT covers hardware, configuration, data communications, user interfaces and I/O devices. In addition, the VILT introduces the general maintenance requirements of the DCS. It covers troubleshooting techniques using DCS self-diagnostics and the various diagnostic displays available to engineers and technicians as well as safe and proper component replacement procedures for cards, modules and power supplies.

The VILT also looks at the different methods of tuning three term controllers using the various Zeigler-Nichols approaches.

A section of this VILT is also concerned with future considerations on the choice and updating of older DCSs, managing the DCS upgrade, choosing between PLC and DCS for the process industries, immediate action items for an ageing DCS/PLC and configuration implementation considerations for distributed control systems.

Upon the successful completion of this VILT, you will be able to:

  • Apply an in-depth knowledge and skills in DCS systems and implement systematic applications, selection and troubleshooting techniques and methods
  • Identify the DCS hardware & software, particularly the traditional process controllers, programming, execution time, configuration, etc
  • List the parts and configuration of a SCADA system and determine its basic architecture and levels of hierarchy
  • Differentiate DCS from PLC and SCADA and discuss their features and functions
  • Determine the types of DCS used in petroleum refining processes and explain their specific function in each process
  • Employ the concepts of alarm management systems including the types, features, architecture and functions
  • Discuss the concepts of humans in control and identify the factors that contribute in their actions
  • Recognise the safety issues involved in DCS such as intrinsic safety, explosion, approval standards, etc
  • Identify types of redundancy and understand how they work
  • Appreciate the principles of analogue and digital field communications and their transmitter classifications, intrinsic safety, fieldbus communications and technologies, etc
  • Discuss the concepts of safety instrumented systems and explain their functions, integration and hazard and risk analysis
  • Explain the maintenance considerations of DCS and identify the various types of failures and faults
  • Select the proper DCS system for each application and determine the system specification and its functional description
  • Update a DCS for optimised operations
  • Manage the DCS upgrade
  • Choose between PLC and DCS for process industries
  • Carry out immediate action items for an ageing DCS/PLC
  • Configure implementation considerations for distributed control systems
  • This VILT will benefit managers, engineers and other technical staff who are responsible for the selection, application, and implementation and troubleshooting of distributed control systems and their possible upgrades.
  • Personnel in technical positions who want to know more about distributed control systems will also benefit from this course.

Your expert course leader is a Senior Mechanical & Instrumentation Engineer (UK, B. Sc., M.Eng., Ph D) with over 45 years of industrial experience in Process Control & Instrumentation, Pumps, Compressors, Turbines and Control Valve Technology. He is currently a Senior Independent Consultant to various petrochemical industries in the UK, USA, Oman, Kuwait and KSA where he provides consultancy services on both the application and operational constraints of process equipment in the oil & gas industries.

During his early career, Dr. Sproston held key positions in Rolls Royce (UK) where he was involved in the design of turbine blading for jet engines, subject to pre-specified distributions of pressure. During this period and since, he has also been closely involved in various aspects of Turbomachinery, Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics where he has become a recognised authority in these areas.

Later, he joined the academic staff of University of Liverpool in the UK as a Professor in Mechanical Engineering Courses. A substantial part of his work has been concerned with detailed aspects of Flowmetering – both of single & multiphase flows. He has supervised doctoral research students in this area in collaboration with various European flowmeter manufacturers.

He joined Haward Technology Middle East in 2002 and was later appointed as European Manager (a post which has since lapsed) and has delivered over 150 training courses in Flowmeasurement (single- and multi-phase), Control, Heat Exchangers, Pumps, Turbines, Compressors, Valve and Valve Selection as well as other topics throughout the UK, USA, Oman and Kuwait. During the last two years, he has delivered courses with other training companies operating in the Far and Middle East.

He has published about 150 papers in various Engineering Journals and International Conferences and has contributed to textbooks on the topics listed above.

To further optimise your learning experience from our courses, we also offer individualized “One to One” coaching support for 2 hours post training. We can help improve your competence in your chosen area of interest, based on your learning needs and available hours. This is a great opportunity to improve your capability and confidence in a particular area of expertise. It will be delivered over a secure video conference call by one of our senior trainers. They will work with you to create a tailor-made coaching program that will help you achieve your goals faster.
Request for further information about post training coaching support and fees applicable for this.