Practical control and instrumentation (2021)

Course manager

Simon Craige

Semester schedule

Autumn (13-week period)



Language of instruction


Course type



Competences corresponding to the participation in the following courses: Project 1, 2 and 3, Chemical engineering, and Chemical unit operations


There is practically no production that is not monitored, controlled and regulated. The objective is to secure optimal operation and optimal technical/economic performance – preferably both at the same time. The course provides basic proficiencies in the theory behind process control systems, and the practical application of this knowledge. Experience will be gained in data collection, data processing and interpretation, common control techniques and the application of simulation models. 


  • A presentation of relevant theory and selected basic knowledge in analogue and digital control systems (e.g. including binary digitisation and elementary electrical engineering)
  • Basic understanding of the principle and design of common process instrumentation
  • Control techniques (On-Off, PWM, FF & FB, PID, and multi-stage control)
  • Control of pumps
  • The design of basic control and instrumentation systems
  • Practical equipment control via automated controllers
  • Setting up ordinary differential equations and an introduction to transfer functions
  • Evaluating system response to step change and process disturbances
  • Setting up control flow charts (block diagrams)
  • Simplification of complex systems
  • The use of computational based process simulation models
  • Stability analysis
  • The ability to explain trends and evaluate systems on the basis of collected data

The purpose of the laboratory element (corresponding to 1.5 ECTS) is to illustrate, explicate and entrench the theoretic principles through practical exercises comprising e.g. selected control techniques, data collection and processing (e.g. in Excel).

Learning targets

On completion of the course, the student is expected to be able to:


  • Understand and explain the principles of flow-chart preparation
  • Understand and explain the principles of selected control techniques (e.g. PID regulation)
  • Understand and explain the design and application of control circuits


  • Set up the necessary differential equations (e.g. FOPDT equations) in order to simulate the dynamics of the system
  • Transfer differential equations to a simulation tool
  • Apply a simulation tool in the prediction of a system's response when subject to change
  • Specify relevant control constants for a simple control system (PID and On-Off)
  • Collect, process, and interpret operational process data
  • Apply simple forms of control and adjustment in practice
  • Be able to simplify problems for the purpose of simplified system operations


  • Be able to determine whether a process is in control or not
  • Assess operational process and quality data in connection with analysis
  • Select and argue for model selection in connection with data description
  • Explain trends and evaluate process systems on the basis of collected data

Teaching method

Seminars, problem solution and experimental work

Qualifications for examination participation

  • Participation in laboratory exercises and acceptance of mandatory papers in connection with these.

All shall be executed and submitted pursuant to guidelines set out by the course manager

Examination and aids

Written examination. Duration of the examination: 2 hours.

Permitted aids: Textbook, notes, laboratory reports and mathematical programs/spreadsheets applied in the course. No access to the internet.




The 7-point grading scale