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Effective and Engaging Industrial Skills Training

I&C Technicians

I&C Technicians

The I&C Technician program covers the common skills and knowledge sets applicable to all industries that must be mastered for successful job performance in operations and maintenance as well as the principles of measurement, standards, and an overview of instrumentation and control necessary to effectively work with and troubleshoot instrumentation systems.


The Basics part of the program focuses on entry-level skills and knowledge, presented within an industrial context, necessary to achieve the requisite competency for further specialization. The Instrumentation and Control part of the program provides learners with a broad knowledge of the multiple disciplines required to effectively work with and troubleshoot instrumentation systems and trains them to maintain the safe and efficient operation of industrial measurement and control systems.


Overview of Industrial Systems

  • Overview of Industrial Facility Systems
    • This module provides an overview of industrial-scale systems, using comparisons to typical residential systems that are used in everyday life, as well as industrial standards and units of measure. These systems are used to provide examples and practical applications of the content presented in each subsequent subject area.


  • Industrial Facility Safety
    • This module provides an overview of common industrial facility hazards and protective systems. Specific hazards covered include auditory hazards, high-pressure steam hazards, travelling crane collision hazards, chemical hazards, tool hazards, and hazards related to working in confined spaces. This module also discusses current and voltage dangers, explaining high- and low-voltage hazards, dry and wet conditions, the effects of current on the human body, and the areas of a facility where these hazards may be encountered. Finally, this module describes systems designed to protect both personnel and equipment.
  • Fire Safety
    • This module introduces key elements related to fire safety. Topics covered include the properties of fires and their underlying causes, including the combustion triangle, common fire hazards, and types of fires common in an industrial environment. Additionally, the module provides an overview of the ways in which fires are extinguished, as well as the key elements of fire safety.
  • Hazardous Communications
    • This module provides an overview of hazardous communication standards. The standards require chemical manufacturers and employers to communicate information to workers about the hazards of workplace chemicals or products. Topics covered include the proper labeling of hazards, the NFPA Diamond, material safety data sheets, and proper implementation of hazardous communication programs.
  • Lockout Tagout
    • This module provides an overview of an OSHA compliant lockout/tagout program, including how to recognize the various locks and tags that may be used. In addition, the module introduces the responsibilities of the authorized team member in regards to a lockout/tagout program to prevent injuries to personnel during the servicing and maintenance of equipment from sources of stored energy.
  • Electrical Safety
    • This module provides an overview of the knowledge necessary to protect personnel and equipment from electrical hazards. Topics covered include the effects of current on the human body and emergency actions that should be taken in the event of an electrical shock. This module also explains the importance of electrical safeguarding, including the use of personal protective equipment and how to ensure that electrical equipment is de-energized.
  • Industrial Signage
    • This module provides an overview of the common signage found in an industrial facility. Topics covered include how to interpret common signs in an industrial facility, the color code for labels used to identify hazards, and the OSHA color code for floor markings.
  • Personal Protective Equipment
    • This module discusses the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce employee exposure to hazards. Topics covered include personal responsibilities regarding PPE, PPE that is commonly associated with industrial sites, and the proper care, use, and inspection of PPE. Finally, this module will explain the effects of using defective or incorrect PPE, including shock hazards, hardhat scenarios, and the risks of poorly rigged equipment falling on workers.
  • First Aid I
    • This module provides guidance for effective responses and treatment related to external bleeding, burns, and nervous system injuries. Topics covered include OSHA compliant first aid kits and how an injured person should be evaluated. In addition, this module provides an overview of how to control external bleeding, the treatment of minor burns, and how to care for head, neck, and spinal injuries.
  • First Aid II
    • This module provides an overview of basic first aid care. Topics covered include actions to take when poisoning is suspected or someone is choking. The module also explains how to perform CPR and the procedures for operating an AED device. Finally, this module describes how to identify the symptoms of a stroke.
  • Benzene Awareness
    • This course will cover the awareness training of benzene and will answer questions such as: What is benzene? What are the health risks? Who is at risk for exposure? This course will also discuss the OSHA regulatory limits, personal protective equipment, and emergency procedures associated with benzene.


  • Whole Numbers
    • This module provides an overview of mathematical functions using whole numbers. The topics in this module define whole numbers, natural numbers, integers, rational numbers, and real numbers, as well as explain how they are used in an industrial setting. In addition, this module describes mathematical operations using whole numbers, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
  • Fractions
    • This module provides an overview of mathematical functions using fractions. The topics in this module define fractions and explain how they are used in an industrial setting. This module also explains the individual terms that make up a fraction and how to reduce a fraction to its lowest terms. In addition, this module describes how to perform mathematical operations using fractions, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
  • Decimals and Percentages
    • This module provides an overview of mathematical functions using decimals and percentages, including the definition of decimals and percentages and an explanation of how they are used in an industrial setting. This module also explains how to convert fractions to decimals and decimals to fractions.
  • Exponents and Scientific Notation
    • This module introduces mathematical functions using exponents and scientific notation, including a discussion of exponents, factors, radicals, and square roots. This module also explains how to identify numbers written in scientific notation. In addition, the module describes how to perform mathematical operations using exponential numbers, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
  • Fundamentals of Algebra I
    • The Algebra I module introduces the basic functions of algebra in an industrial setting. Topics covered in this module include basic algebraic terms, including constants, variables, coefficients, and expressions, as well as how to perform mathematical operations using algebraic expressions, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
  • Fundamentals of Algebra II
    • This module builds upon Algebra I and explains algebraic equations and how they may be applied in an industrial setting. Topics covered in the Algebra II module include an overview of the four axioms used for solving algebraic expressions and the methods by which the axioms are used. In addition, this module explains how to solve an algebraic equation with unknown quantities and the relationship between ratios and proportions.
  • Fundamentals of Geometry I
    • This module provides an introduction to basic geometry and its uses in the maintenance field. The topics included in this module include the types of angles and their measurements, common terms in plane geometry, and formulas for calculating the perimeter area of triangles, squares, and rectangles.
  • Fundamentals of Geometry II
    • This module builds on Fundamentals of Geometry I to provide the knowledge and mathematical tools to understand circles and other geometric figures. Topics covered in this module include the common parts of a circle and how to calculate the circumference, as well as the formulas for calculating the surface area and volume of three-dimensional shapes.
  • Fundamentals of Trigonometry
    • This module explains the fundamental principles of trigonometry and its uses in the maintenance field. The module provides an overview of the Pythagorean Theorem, the sine, cosine, and tangent functions, and trigonometric identities.
  • Scientific Calculator Use
    • This module introduces the basic functions of a scientific calculator. The topics in the module include how to perform basic mathematical operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, as well as order of operations. The Scientific Calculator Use module also explains how to calculate percentages and square roots and how to enter numbers in scientific notations. In addition, this module describes how to use the trigonometric function of a scientific calculator.
  • Fundamentals of Statistics I
    • This module provides an overview of statistics, which is the study of the collection, organization, and interpretation of data. The topics covered in this module include how to read tables and graphs, the difference between mean, median, and mode, and the normal distribution curve.
  • Fundamentals of Statistics II
    • This module expands on Fundamentals of Statistics I to provide the tools necessary to understand more complex statistical operations and functions. The module provides an overview of standard deviation, how to analyze a distribution curve, the rules of probability, and industrial applications of statistical analysis.
  • Introduction to Calculus
    • Calculus has widespread applications in science, engineering, and economics and can solve many problems for which algebra alone is insufficient. This module introduces the industrial uses of calculus, such as calculating production rate and rate of delivery, and covers topics including derivatives and integrals.


  • Hand Tools I
    • The Hand Tools I module introduces some of the basic concepts related to hand tools and hand tool safety. This module provides an overview of the importance of hand tool safety and the basic functions and types of hammers, punches, prying tools, screwdrivers, and wrenches.
  • Hand Tools II
    • Building on the Hand Tools I module, this module introduces the basic functions and types of additional hand tools. Topics covered include cutting tools, such as crosscut and rip saws, knives, cutting blades, files, and chisels, gripping and holding tools, such as pliers and clamps, and measuring tools.
  • Power Tools
    • This module introduces the basic concepts related to power tools and power tool safety procedures and precautions, including the necessary knowledge to select the proper power tool for a given task and how to care for power tools and equipment.


  • Preventive Maintenance
    • This module discusses the importance of preventive maintenance and how it aids in prolonging the life and increasing the reliability of equipment, instrumentation, and general facilities. This module provides an overview of the advantages and benefits of preventive maintenance, the difference between preventive and corrective maintenance, and computer maintenance management systems (CMMS).
  • Predictive Maintenance
    • This module discusses the importance and implementation of a predictive maintenance program to predict possible component failure in order to reduce equipment breakdown. The module introduces the various tools and techniques used in a predictive maintenance program, including infrared, corona detection, vibration analysis, oil analysis, and trend analysis, as well as explains the benefits of thermography and vibration analysis.
  • Basic Troubleshooting
    • This module provides an overview of basic troubleshooting concepts. The topics covered in this module include identifying troubleshooting resources, understanding normal system operations, and diagnosing a problem using the half-split method. In addition, the module introduces the components of a troubleshooting flowchart.


  • Environmental Awareness
    • The Environmental Awareness module discusses the impact of environmental issues on industry. This module provides an overview of environmental, health, and safety regulations established by law, such as OSHA and EPA regulations; priority pollutants, such as noise, water, air, and hazardous waste; and actions to take to minimize pollution.
  • Hazardous Materials
    • This module identifies common industrial hazardous materials as determined by regulating agencies such as the EPA and OSHA, describes the handling and disposal of hazardous materials, and introduces related safety precautions and regulations.


  • Computer Use Basics
    • This module provides an overview of basic computer concepts. The topics covered in this module include basic computer components, file management and naming conventions, and networking concepts.
  • Computers in Industry
    • This module introduces typical computer use in industry. The module provides an overview of both residential and industrial computer systems, equipment control and monitoring systems, and portable peripheral devices, including both those that interface with equipment or a process and those that are used for recording information.

Print Reading

  • Print Reading Basics
    • This module discusses the basics of print reading. Topics covered common industrial prints, such as schematics, P&IDs, blueprints, block diagrams, and construction plans; the importance of blueprints and schematics; the proper use of legends; the purpose of title blocks and revisions; and block diagrams.
  • Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams
    • This module introduces the use of piping and instrumentation diagrams, as well as provides an explanation of how to read them. In addition, the module presents symbols, legends, and part lists that are used to read piping and instrumentation diagrams.


  • Introduction to Chemistry
    • This module provides a basic introduction to chemistry. Topics covered in this module include fundamental concepts of chemistry, such as chemical symbols and the period table; mixtures, solutions, and compounds, including examples of mixtures found around the home as well as those used in industry; and the properties of chemicals. In addition, the module identifies methods of chemical analysis.
  • Water Chemistry
    • The Water Chemistry module discusses the chemical properties of water as well as its use in plant operation and maintenance. The module provides an overview of the properties of water, including whether or not water is potable; the types, sources, and effects of impurities in water, including water treatment systems; methods used to obtain water samples; parameters monitored by the water monitoring station; and the principles of water treatment, including wastewater and boiler feedwater treatment.
  • Applied Physics I - Work, Energy and Power
    • This module introduces the terms work, energy, and power and explains the difference between potential and kinetic energy. Topics covered include the relationship between work, energy, and power; the basic types of energy, including chemical, mechanical, nuclear, gravitational, radiant, thermal, motion, sound, and electrical; the difference between potential and kinetic energy; the principles of levers and inclined planes; the operation of simple machines, including levers, pulleys, wheels and axles, and inclined planes.
  • Applied Physics II - Laws of Motion
    • This module explains the terms, characteristics, and basic concepts of various physical processes. Topics covered include English and System International (SI) metric units for mass, length, and derived units; the proper use of conversion tables; the definition of force, including gravitational force, electromagnetic force, nuclear force, normal force, friction, elasticity, deformation, and torque; mass; velocity; and acceleration. This module will also describe the laws of motion and the relationship between force, mass, velocity, and acceleration.
  • Applied Physics III - Heat Transfer
    • This module explains the principles of heat transfer, which concerns the exchange of thermal energy from one medium to another. Topics covered include the difference between heat and temperature, including the package boiler, temperature gauge, and associated piping; how to perform temperature calculations based on the Fahrenheit and Celsius temperature scales; specific heat, including the phase changes of water; and the three modes of heat transfer: convection, conduction, and radiant.
  • Applied Physics IV - Fluid Mechanics
    • This module explains the principles of fluid mechanics, which deals with fluid flow — the natural science of fluids in motion. Harnessing the power of fluids, such as air, oil, and water, is fundamental to any industrial facility. Topics covered include the states of matter and how density is related to a state of matter; Pascal’s law for fluid power; the relationship between pressure, force, and area; and the relationship between fluid flow and the area of a pipe, including an explanation of Bernoulli’s equation.
  • Applied Physics V - Ideal Gas Law
    • The Ideal Gas Law module continues to explain the principles of fluid dynamics. The topics covered in this module include the use of gases such as air, natural gas, and carbon dioxide in an industrial facility, as well as the Ideal Gas law and how to use it to calculate pressure changes.
  • Applied Physics VI - Thermodynamics
    • This module introduces industrial applications of thermodynamics. Topics covered include the four laws of thermodynamics, including concepts such as thermal equilibrium, conservation of energy, entropy, and temperatures of absolute zero.

Basic Electricity Principles

  • Basic Electricity
    • This module begins with the basic principles of electricity that every technician and electrician need to know. Building on these principles, technicians and electricians will be able to grasp more advanced topics and understand the principles of operation for specific equipment found on the job.
  • Conductors and Insulators
    • From miniature circuit boards to the million miles of transmission lines in the world, conductors are the means to move electric currents. Every technician and electrician needs a fundamental understanding of the properties of conductors and the means to prevent current flowing to the wrong place through the use of insulators.
  • Resistors
    • As one of the basic building blocks in modern technology, resistors are found in nearly every electrical and electronic circuit.
  • Basic Laws of Electrical Circuits
    • Much of the day-to-day work of an industrial electrician and technician involves taking readings and performing preventive maintenance of devices and equipment. The challenge is knowing what to do if the readings are not as expected. Mastery of a few basic laws of electrical circuits is needed to successfully analyze typical problems with circuits or equipment.
  • Electrical Power
    • A 60 watt light bulb. A 500 watt power supply. A 1000 watt microwave. Electrical power and its unit, the watt, are routinely encountered and used in everyday life. Even though the term may be familiar, most people probably do not understand the concept of electrical power. As an electrician or technician, you not only need know what it is, but also be able to confidently calculate electrical power under a variety of on-the-job situations.
  • Electromagnetism
    • Motors, generators, servos, and many other industrial devices apply the basic principles of electromagnetism. A solid grasp of these principles is required for not only the understanding of how these devices work, but how they are controlled.

DC Circuits

  • Batteries
    • Batteries are used throughout industry as backup or emergency power sources. They are routinely used to power mobile industrial equipment, such as automated guided vehicles. While most people are familiar with batteries used at home or in their auto, knowledge regarding how to care for and maintain batteries is less common. In industry, it is often said that batteries don’t die; they are killed by neglect and misuse. Further, there are thousands of eye injuries and burns due to battery explosions each year.
  • Series Circuits
    • In order to safely work with series circuits, it is important to be able to calculate and understand the interactive relationships of current, resistance, and voltage. 
  • Parallel Circuits
    • In order to safely work with parallel circuits, it is important to be able to calculate and understand the interactive relationships of current, resistance, and voltage.
  • Series-Parallel Circuits
    • Typical circuits encountered by a technician are rarely a pure series or parallel circuit. In practice, a combination is encountered on the job and requires application of several techniques to properly analyze circuit performance. In order to safely work with parallel circuits, it is important to be able to calculate and understand the interactive relationships of current, resistance, and voltage.
  • Switches and Relays
    • The controlled application and removal of electrical current is required for every electrical circuit. Light switches and power buttons are everyday examples that we generally take for granted. However, the electrical worker needs a more comprehensive view of these devices and the various types and configurations.

AC Circuits

  • AC Generation and Basic AC Concepts
    • Generally, most people are familiar with alternating current (AC) in their everyday lives. It is common knowledge that a wall socket in a home in the United States is 120 VAC, but did you know that the peak voltage from that wall socket is 170 volts? That fact is simply a characteristic of AC that is described in this module. A technician must have in-depth knowledge of AC generation, characteristics, and measurement to maintain and troubleshoot industrial equipment effectively.
  • Inductance, Capacitance, and Impedance
    • Resistance is a circuit characteristic that operates the same in both AC and DC circuits. However, two additional circuit characteristics are important in order to understand and analyze AC circuit operation: capacitance and inductance.
  • Transformers
    • Transformers are the workhorse for the manipulation and isolation of AC power. They are found in everything from small chargers to the largest power substations. While a technician rarely repairs a transformer, it is necessary to identify transformer failures. Accordingly, understanding the principle operation and applications of a transformer is a fundamental need for every technician.

Motors and Servos

  • AC and DC Motors
    • Electric motors are of the primary means to convert electrical energy into mechanical force in an industrial facility. Many different types of motors are in use for different applications. The type and application will determine the type of maintenance required to be performed by a technician, as well as typical modes of failure.
  • Motor Control Fundamentals
    • When a motor fails to start or stop at the desired time, the technician will be called upon to determine the problem and then resolve it. Understanding the basic principles of how motors are controlled provides the basis for being able to analyze the specific motor control circuit and determine the fault.
  • Servo Drive Fundamentals
    • A servomechanism, or servo for short, is a type of automatic control system using feedback for precise positioning or for speed control of a motor. Servos and their drives are found in many industrial applications including robotics and machine speed control.


  • Diodes
    • A diode is an electrical device allowing current to move through it in one direction with far greater ease than in the other. The most common kind of diode in modern circuit design is the semiconductor diode.
  • Bipolar Transistors
    • The transistor, invented in the early 1950s, revolutionized the field of electronics. Replacing the tube as an amplifying device, it soon became the fundamental building block for modern electronics. The bipolar transistor evolved from a single packaged device into many transistors embedded on a single integrated chip.
  • Other Semiconductors
    • Semiconductor devices are the building blocks of electronic devices. They are used to control and modify electrical power and signals. The devices in this module are used in power supplies, oscillators and amplifiers. A good grasp of the operation of them will aid in understanding and troubleshooting electronic circuits.

Power Supplies

  • Power Supplies
    • Power supplies supply regulated power to devices we see every day. From computers and cell phones to televisions and plant instrumentation, the power supply provides regulated power for proper operation.
  • Uninterruptible Power Supplies
    • Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) provide backup power on loss of main power to a system. The UPS is sometimes called a switching power supply and differs from a backup system such as a diesel in that it provides instantaneous switchover on loss of power. The principles of operation are the same whether backing up a desktop computer or a large power system.
  • Fuses
    • Electrical circuits and components are rated to withstand a certain amount of current flow. Excessive current in a circuit results in overheating and destruction of components. Various protective methods can prohibit the occurrence of overheating by creating a weak link in the circuit that will fail under certain conditions. A commonly used protective device is the fuse.
  • Circuit Breakers
    • Electrical circuits and components are rated to withstand a certain amount of current flow. Excessive current in a circuit results in overheating and destruction of components. Various protective methods are used by establishing a weaker link in the circuit that will fail before overheating occurs. A commonly used protective device is the circuit breaker.

Digital Electronics

  • Communication and Controls I
    • Industrial devices communicate with each other using standard methods for accuracy and compatibility of data. This module introduces the communication methods.
  • Communication and Controls II
    • Data communication between devices is transmitted over a network of wires, fiber optics, or through the atmosphere wirelessly. Communication media needs to properly installed and maintained for accurate information to transfer.
  • Introduction to PLCs
    • Programmable logic controllers, or PLCs, are used to automate processes in industry. In the 1960s, the computerized processor replaced the relay logic control system. With the widespread use of PLCs in today’s automation industry, a technician is required to have a good understanding of their operation in order to perform maintenance and troubleshooting procedures.
  • Introduction to VFDs
    • Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) control the speed of motors by varying the frequency of the supplied power. This provides accurate control of the motor speed and also reduces energy consumption. Many VFD brands exist in the marketplace. This module presents the operation of a typical VFD.
  • Logic Gates and Number Systems
    • The basic building blocks of digital electronics are the logic gates. Most logic gates have two inputs and one output in one binary state of low or high, represented by different voltage levels. Counting performed by these logic gates occurs in a binary number format. Understanding the building blocks of digital circuits will aid in troubleshooting.

Work Practices

  • Print Reading
    • One of the fundamental skills that must be mastered by a craftsperson is print reading. Prints are the building blocks that standardize manufacturing and aide in troubleshooting.
  • Grounding Practices
    • Grounding of electrical equipment is necessary for safety, for signal accuracy, and to minimize interference in a circuit. Understanding proper grounding techniques will help in troubleshooting and may save your life.
  • Test Equipment
    • Test equipment are the tools of the trade for the technician. They are needed for safety, for information and for troubleshooting equipment. A thorough understanding of the tools available and their application will make you a better technician.
  • Electrical Safe Work Practices
    • Electricity is a powerful force that can damage equipment, injure or even cause death if not properly controlled. Working around electricity requires caution to prevent accidental contact with energized equipment. Several regulations exist to document the proper use of personal protective equipment and safety precautions but it is ultimately up to the worker to prevent accidents.
  • Troubleshooting
    • Troubleshooting is a method for finding the root cause of a problem and correcting it. The ultimate goal of troubleshooting is to get the equipment back into operation. An entire production operation may depend on the troubleshooter’s ability to solve a problem quickly and economically. At times, such a task might present itself as a daunting process. Fortunately, technicians have, through trial and error, adopted a series of best practices that, if followed, will make the task of troubleshooting any equipment or process much more intuitive. Sticking to these best practices and adopting a logical approach to solving the problem is always the best way to resolve the situation at hand. 

Introduction to Instrumentation and Control

  • Industrial Instrumentation and Control Overview
    • Instrumentation and control technicians maintain the safe and efficient operation of industrial measurement and control systems. A broad knowledge of multiple disciplines is required to effectively work with and troubleshoot instrumentation systems; physics, chemistry, mathematics, electronics, mechanics, and control theory all need to be applied to some extent. An instrument technician must be able to synthesize and apply this knowledge to real applications. The continued addition of new technologies adds to the challenge. For existing industrial facilities, new equipment is phased in for specific applications and legacy technologies typically remain. It is very common to find state-of-the-art instrumentation next to decades-old instruments, such as digital networks running alongside pneumatic signal tubes or microprocessor-based sensors mounted next to mercury switches. A competent instrumentation and control technician must be comfortable working with old and new technologies, and also have a sound knowledge of measurement principles and system interactions.
  • Principles of Measurement
    • The fields of measurement and instrumentation involve very specific terminology for describing instrument performance characteristics. A technician routinely encounters these terms and principles on the job, typically in the form of instrument specifications. Additionally, many of the routine tasks performed are related to instrument calibration, and are based on basic measurement principles to ensure instrument performance is in conformance to specifications.
  • Industrial Signal Standards
    • A technician may encounter a wide variety of signal standards based on the type of industrial processes and, depending on the age of the facility, possibly multiple generations of standards. A background in common analog and digital standards provides a technician with perspective, necessary for understanding the specific standards used in a specific facility, as well as the reasons for their use.

Process Measurement

  • Pressure Measurement
    • Pressure is one of the fundamental parameters measured in industry. A typical industrial facility may have hundreds or even thousands of pressure meters.
  • Level Measurement
    • Liquid level measurement is critical to the safe operation of a facility. The level measurements obtained are used to monitor and control many of the processes in an industrial facility. Numerous technologies exist that measure the liquid level in a vessel; each type uses different principles of physics to sense the level and provide output to a transmitter or transducer. The basic types of measurement devices can be broken up into two categories, direct measurement and inferred measurement.
  • Introduction to Flow Measurement
    • Flow measurement is one of the four fundamental parameters measured in industrial instrumentation that every technician needs to be well versed in, particularly the principles and technology used. It is also arguably the most complex and has the greatest variety of types of measurement devices.
  • Head Flow Meters
    • Head flow meters, or differential pressure flow meters, are the most common flow meters used in industrial facilities. It is estimated that over 50 percent of all fluid flow measurement applications use head flow meters.
  • Linear and Mass Flow
    • Linear meters, as the name implies, are a classification of flow meters that do not require square root extraction. The two main categories of linear flow meters are: Positive displacement flow meters that directly measure volumetric flow. Velocity flow meters that inferentially measure volumetric flow. Both head and linear flow meters can be used to derive mass flow rate. However, true mass flow meters are used to more accurately measure mass flow rate.
  • Temperature Measurement I
    • Temperature measurement is critical to controlling equipment, processes, and other industrial applications. From power plants to warehousing facilities, accurate temperature measurement is critical to the safe operation and control of these processes and facilities. There are many ways to measure temperature, from the familiar liquid filled thermometer to using resistance temperature detectors and thermocouples. This module will cover the most common methods used to measure temperature.
  • Temperature Measurement II
    • There are many way to measure temperature. From the simple liquid-filled thermometer to the infrared pyrometer, there are a number of reliable and accurate devices used in industry to perform this critical measurement. The type of device chosen is usually determined by factoring in required accuracy, the environment in which it is used, the temperature range over which the measurement is required, and the cost.

Process Control and Monitoring

  • Process Control Fundamentals
    • In almost all industrial process applications, control of process variables is critical to the safe and efficient operation of the process. The most common variables controlled are pressure, level, temperature, and flow. Even though there are many different methods used to control these processes, this monitoring and control is generically called process control. Level, pressure, temperature, and flow are all controlled in a similar fashion. In this series of modules, level control will be used to explain the various concepts and control methods.
  • Two-Position and Proportional Control
    • Control of processes is accomplished by using a number of control strategies. Two of the most common methods of control that will be discussed in this module are two-position and proportional control.
  • Integral, Derivative, and PID Control
    • Offset error in proportional controllers is a problem when trying to maintain a process variable at an exact value. As we saw in the proportional control module, one way to eliminate offset error is to manually reset the controller. The problem with manual reset is just that — it’s manual. If we could automatically perform a reset every time a process supply or demand change occurred, the issue of offset error would be eliminated. We can do just that by adding integral to a controller. Integral, sometimes called reset, is used in conjunction with proportional control to bring the process back to setpoint without having an offset error. While integral eliminates the offset error, it brings its own issues, which are dealt with by adding derivative to the mix. The result is a control mode known as proportional, integral, and derivative control, commonly known as PID control.
  • Loop Tuning
    • In order for a control loop to operate as desired, it must first be tuned. Tuning a control loop is the act of adjusting the values of proportional gain, integral gain, and derivative gain such that the process responds in a manner desired by the operator. There are two major methods of tuning a control loop: open and closed loop. Almost all technicians will use the closed loop method, where data is taken from an operating loop that is online. Open loop methods are more often used on the initial startup of a system and allow engineers to collect baseline data. This module will only cover closed loop tuning methods.
  • Advanced Control Methods
    • While PI or PID controls are the most common forms of control strategies used on control loops, there are some other control strategies that are used to solve control issues. The control strategies discussed in this module are: Feed forward control Cascade control Ratio control Three element control
  • Introduction to Actuators
    • A single facility can have hundreds, if not thousands, of valves to control everything from turbine operation to ventilation, to systems that ensure the safety of personnel and equipment. The valves used can range in size from less than an inch to several feet in diameter. While some of these valves are designed to be operated manually, many of them require some form of automatic or remote operation. Operators and technicians must understand the different types of actuators used to operate these valves, and how these actuators work.
  • Actuator Principles of Operation
    • A single facility can have hundreds, if not thousands, of valves to control everything from turbine operation to ventilation, to systems that ensure the safety of personnel and equipment. The valves used can range in size from less than an inch to several feet in diameter. While some of these valves are designed to be operated manually, many of them require some form of automatic or remote operation. Operators and technicians must understand the different types of actuators used to operate these valves, and how these actuators work.
  • Control Valve I
    • On June 11, 2008 at the Goodyear plant in Houston, TX, a heat exchanger violently ruptured due to an over pressurization caused by the isolation of a pressure relief valve. An employee walking nearby was killed by the hurtling debris from the explosion. An understanding of the importance of these valves and their proper positioning could have prevented this incident. In this module, several types of these valves and their common components will be briefly discussed, as well as the proper mounting and installation guidelines.
  • Control Valves II
    • Isolation or insufficient flow can result in instantaneous overpressurization and/or explosions; therefore, the proper positioning of isolation and throttle valves is crucial to the safe operation of any system. Gate, globe, needle, and butterfly valves are all used to stop, start, and throttle flow.
  • Control Valves III
    • Flow reversals and improper flow rates can lead to equipment failure and destruction. By understanding valve operations and ensuring proper valve orientation, these situations can be avoided. Ball valves and plug valves are used to stop, start, and throttle flow, while the check valve is used to prevent flow reversal, and the regulating valve is used to automatically adjust flow.
  • Control System Architecture
    • Control loops, implemented with proportional, integral, or derivative control circuitry and simpler on/off system control points, are utilized within one of three architectures. PLCs, or Programmable Logic Controllers, are used in smaller and simpler applications. They are the oldest of the three technologies and are often programmed with ladder-logic, relay-based tools. DCSs, or Distributed Control Systems, can be used to control an entire, large scale production facility, such as a power plant or refinery. DCSs can control separate PLC systems and have other branches they simultaneously control. SCADA, or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, systems are used to control even larger applications, such as a series of power plants connected to a grid or multiple refineries all supplying multiple pipelines.
  • Limitorque Valve Actuator Fundamentals
    • The first type of motor controller was the knife switch. It was a simple design and very effective, but also very dangerous. To protect workers from harm, equipment from damage, and to improve operations, a wide range of improvements have been made over the years. Today, complex limitorque valve actuators are one of many advanced designs that allow for safer and more precise control of valve positioning.

Programmable Logic Controls

  • PLC Overview
    • Programmable logic controllers, or PLCs, are used to automate processes in industry. In the 1960s, the computerized processor replaced the relay logic control system. With the widespread use of PLCs in today’s automation industry, a technician is required to have a good understanding of their operation in order to perform maintenance and troubleshooting procedures.
  • PLC Communications
    • In order for a PLC to effectively operate, it must be able to communicate with computers, field devices, other systems, and the various modules that make up the PLC system.
  • PLC Software
    • Software is used in a PLC to create user projects and programs, which allow the PLC to operate. The software allows each user to create individual and unique programs for each type of PLC.
  • PLC Hardware
    • Hardware is the physical equipment that makes up a PLC system. It includes chassis, I/O cards, processors, power supplies, communication cards and interconnecting wiring.
  • PLC Addressing
    • PLCs can monitor and control thousands of individual field devices. In order to correctly access these devices, each device is assigned a point, or address, in the PLC. The method by which these addresses are assigned is called addressing.

Process Analyzers

  • Introduction to Process Analyzers
    • The main four process variables encountered in the field of Instrumentation and Control are temperature, pressure, level and flow. However, none of these parameters provide qualitative information about the actual substance being measured and controlled. Process analyzers are used to determine qualitative properties of a process parameter, such as impurities in water or moisture content of a gas. A technician may encounter various types of analyzers depending upon the industry and specific parameters of concern within the process.
  • Gas Chromatography I
    • A sample of gas may contain several different types of gases. The main goal in the gas industry is to identify and separate the one gas source into several useful, pure gas volumes. Chromatography is the collective term for a set of techniques used for the separation of mixtures. Gas chromatography is used for separating and analyzing compounds that can be vaporized without decomposition.
  • Gas Chromatography II
    • Obtaining the knowledge of exact gas concentrations allows for more efficient and higher processing rates of natural gas. The gas industry relies on gas chromatography to analyze and identify the exact concentrations of the sample gas.
  • Hydrogen Sulfide and Oxygen Analyzers
    • Both oxygen (O2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) are present in varying concentrations in unrefined natural gas. Although most of the oxygen and hydrogen sulfide are removed during the refining process, trace amounts still remain. These trace remnants and their levels must be monitored and controlled to ensure gas quality standards, as well as prevent corrosion of pipeline materials and damage to handling and utilization equipment. This module will serve as an introduction to the equipment and methods used in determining the presence and concentrations of oxygen and hydrogen sulfide in a gas sample.
  • Moisture Analyzers
    • There are many applications in which trace moisture measurements are necessary for manufacturing and process quality assurance. Some examples are: Moisture in percentage amounts is monitored as a specification in commercial food production. Trace moisture in solids must be controlled for plastics, pharmaceuticals and heat treatment processes. Trace moisture must be measured and controlled in dry air, hydrocarbon processing, pure semiconductor gases, bulk pure gases, dielectric gases, such as those in transformers and power plants, and natural gas pipeline transportation. This module will serve as an introduction to some of the equipment and methods used to measure the amount of moisture in a gas sample.
  • Density Analyzers
    • Density is one of the fundamental physical properties required when the composition of a product sample is being determined in a process industry. Product density measurements are needed for: Process monitoring and control Custody transfers
  • Dew Point Analyzers
    • Dew point is the specific temperature at which condensation begins. Process gas analyzers for dew point/moisture content perform an important role in operations.  They are used to: Monitor for damaging levels of entrained liquids to protect piping and equipment Correct for entrained water to calculate amount of gas during custody transfers
  • Hydrogen Sulfide Gas Analyzers
    • Hydrogen sulfide, or H2S, exists in many natural gas and oil fields throughout the world.  H2S is both highly toxic and corrosive, and must be reduced to acceptable levels to: Preserve public safety Reduce corrosion in pipelines and related equipment Ensure proper custody transfer agreements Control the odor of the gas
  • Introduction to Spectrometry
    • Spectrometry is an analysis technique that measures the electromagnetic radiation emitted, absorbed, or scattered by a sample in order to study, identify, and quantify its composition and structure. Spectrometric measurements can be: Quantitative - determining how much of a component is present Qualitative - identifying what components are found in a sample
  • Infrared Spectrometry
    • Infrared, or IR, spectrometers are commonly used to determine the concentration of sample components, like carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, as well as that of common functional groups like the oxygen-hydrogen bond in liquids and gases.
  • Mass Spectrometry
    • Mass spectrometry is an analysis technique that is used to determine the composition of process samples. Advances in technology have led to the development of versatile, easy-to-use mass spectrometers. Mass spectrometers are commonly used in, among others, the oil and gas, environmental, pharmaceutical, and food processing industries.
  • Process Analyzer Detectors
    • Gas analyzer detectors are used to identify specific types of compounds within a given gas sample. Knowing the concentration of these various compounds is vital to the safe and efficient operation of plant systems. 
  • Residual Chlorine Analyzers
    • Chlorination treatment is widely used for the disinfection of potable water supplies and industrial water systems. Residual chlorine levels are monitored in: Influent water for proper disinfection levels, enabling operators to optimize processing Effluent water to ensure they are within acceptable limits prior to discharge
  • Turbidity Analyzers
    • Turbidity is used as a measure of the clarity or cloudiness of a liquid. It gives a good indication of the appearance of water in an aesthetic sense, but more importantly, it is an indicator of the amount of suspended material.
  • UV-VIS Spectrometry
    • Ultraviolet-Visible (UV-VIS) spectrometry is used to measure the concentration of components in liquids and gases. Visible light can be seen by the human eye, while ultraviolet, or UV, light cannot.
  • pH Analyzers
    • Whether it be the drinking water produced by a municipal water treatment plant or the feedwater that will become the steam used to spin a power plant turbine generator, the ability to control the pH of a fluid is vital to many industrial processes. In order to control and optimize the pH of a process fluid, it is important to first understand what pH is, how it can be measured, and how it can have an effect on different processes.
  • Total Organic Carbon Analyzers
    • Total Organic Carbon, or TOC, analyzers provide important water analysis by detecting organic compounds in process water. TOC levels are monitored in: Influent water for the early detection of high organic loads, enabling operators to optimize processing Effluent water to help control the amount of organics present prior to discharging wastewater
  • Introduction to Chromatography
    • Chromatography is an analytical method used to separate, identify, and quantify substances of a product into its chemical components for identification. For example, a gas chromatograph can be used to identify the amount of sulphur present in crude oil or the amount of each chemical component in natural gas.
  • Titration Basics
    • Titration is a common method of chemical analysis that is used to determine the unknown concentration of an analyte, the substance being analyzed, in a solution. There are many types of titrations with different procedures and goals.
  • X-Ray Spectrometry
    • X-ray spectrometry is an analysis technique that measures the radiation emitted from a sample. Each element is composed of specific atoms. X-ray spectrometry identifies the types of atoms found in a sample, therefore identifying the elements that are present. Advances in technology have led to the development of compact X-ray spectrometers, ranging from inline and table top equipment to small handheld devices.

Distributed Control Systems (DCS)

  • Data Acquisition and Control System Architecture
    • Control system architecture can range from simple local control to highly redundant distributed control. Supervisory control and data acquisition, or SCADA, systems, by definition, apply to facilities that are large enough that a central control system is necessary. Reliability criteria for C4ISR facilities dictate the application of redundant or distributed central control systems.
  • Data Acquisition Communication Strategies
    • Communication networks may be used in supervisory control and data acquisition, or SCADA, systems to pass data between field devices and programmable logic controllers, or PLCs. They can also be used between different PLCs or between PLCs and personal computers that are used for operator interface, data processing and storage, or management information.
  • Data Acquisition System Reliability
    • Supervisory control and data acquisition, or SCADA, systems require many design considerations to obtain a high level of reliability. These considerations include everything from the power supply to the individual components that make up the whole system.
  • Operator Interface Strategies
    • Operator interfaces are referred to as human machine interfaces, or HMIs. For supervisory control and data acquisition, or SCADA, systems, HMIs provide the functions of status indication, alarm reporting, operator intervention in control action, and data storage and programming.

Procedure Writing Best Practices

  • Procedure Writing Best Practices
    • Procedure writing is both an art and a science. Well written procedures reduce the number of errors and omissions in operations and maintenance, as well as assist less experienced personnel to perform complex tasks efficiently and effectively.

Workflow and Controls

  • Workflow and Controls
    • An important part of maintenance is a structured control program. This program provides a means to provide instructions for the maintenance technician through work orders. Work order results are recorded to provide a history of performance both of the technician and of the equipment. Performance of maintenance is scheduled for equipment access, cost control and to maximize equipment uptime. Planning the performance of jobs allows pre-staging of parts, tools and even pre-briefing of technicians on performance of work to increase efficiency. Tracking of performance through a series of key performance indicators will allow continuous improvement of the maintenance organization. 

Preventive Maintenance Programs

  • Preventive Maintenance Programs
    • Periodic maintenance, performed to extend the life of equipment and reduce operating costs, is known as preventive maintenance. When you change the oil in your car, it is preventing premature failure of the engine. Your mechanic may tell you to change it every 3000 miles. Where does this number come from?

Introduction to Maintenance

  • Introduction to Maintenance
    • Whether a ship at sea, a car in your driveway or an 800 MW electrical generator at a power plant, all equipment is subjected to wear. Sometimes the wear is in the form of corrosion from exposure to chemicals or harsh atmospheric conditions. Sometimes it is due to friction or heat. Continued wear eventually results in failure of the equipment. Equipment is designed to perform a specific function over a defined time period. Excessive wear reduces the lifespan causing early failures. Whatever the cause, it is the inspection, repair, and replacement of components, known as maintenance that keeps the equipment running. 

Condition Based Maintenance

  • Condition-Based Maintenance
    • Condition-based Maintenance, or CBM, is the process of measuring and analyzing a parameter that has a direct relationship to the health, or operational, condition of equipment. The goal of CBM is to identify and correct equipment degradation prior to failure. CBM is also known as condition monitoring, or performance monitoring, or Predictive Maintenance, which is abbreviated as PdM. There are a wide range of predictive technologies that support CBM. The table highlights typical applications for some of the more common predictive maintenance technologies and their applications.