Control Loop Tuning


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The correct assessment of control loop performance and the need for retuning can deliver improvements in plant uptime, product quality and reduced emissions. All too often, control loops are incorrectly set up to handle plant upset conditions and require manual intervention at a time least favourable to such action. It is often the case that processes are too critical to allow control loop tuning to be practiced by inexperienced personnel on-line.
Delegates will leave this 1-day course better able to identify opportunities for increasing plant performance and deliver that performance by the use of good control loop tuning techniques. Approximately half of the course is spent hands-on, tuning loops manually or with PC-based packages.

Improved control loop performance will reduce production losses due to either plant shutdown or by operating too defensively. Ultimately this will increase profits by improving plant performance and uptime. Process trips will be reduced, restarts will be quicker and safer, wear and tear on equipment will be reduced and environmental performance will be improved.


This course has been designed for instrument technicians, control room operators and all other plant personnel who have an interest in plant performance improvement.


At the end of this course, delegates will:

  • be able to explain each element of a typical control loop.
  • be able to list a number of practical problems that may be encountered with each element.
  • be able to describe the objectives of plant tuning and the desired response from three-term controllers.
  • be able to describe the action of each of the three terms of control (P+I+D).
  • be able to list the advantages and disadvantages in the use of Derivative or Rate Action.
  • be able to provide typical starting values for the terms when tuning pressure, level, flow and temperature loops.
  • be able to calculate P, I and D values from a process rate reaction curve.
  • be able to hook up and use a PC-based tuning package to analyse and tune a cascade loop.
  • be able to identify when specialist help is required.


  1. Control Loop Hardware
  2. Basic Control Theory and Principles
  3. Reasons for Controller Tuning
  4. Pre-Tuning Activities
  5. Process Dynamics
  6. Loop Assessment
  7. Loop Responses
  8. Cascade, Ratio and Bias
  9. Control Lags
  10. Loop Tuning Criteria
  11. Refinements to the Basic Loop
  12. Practical Problems