My name is Kody and i am an Electrical Engineer by profession. Few months back I was being given another position of instrumentation by my company. My boss knew that I have no instrumentation experience, but he suggested it would be a good learning opportunity. I willingly accepted this opportunity. I would highly appreciate if someone can guide/advise me in regards to instrumentation world. which websites should i learn from, which documentation etc is needed to master instrumentation world.
I know it won’t happen over night, but at least basic knowledge will help a lot. so please provide your valuable suggestions/feedback and please guide me in the right direction.
I presume your question is about process instrumentation, not test and measurement or scientific instrumentation.
1. Go download Tony Kuphalt's free pdf instrumentation training book from the link below
It's massive, 3300 pages, quite basic (technician level) so you can skip the chapters on electricity and electronics. The chemistry chapter can be of value. The instrumentation stuff is very practical.
2. Every instrument has a spec/data/cut sheet. Most include the critical model number decoder table. Decoding the cryptic model number is critical for figuring out exactly what you have to work with.
3. Every instrument has an I&M (installation and maintenance) or operator or user manual. Sometimes communications is in a separate manual, sometimes in the main manual.
Collect the pdf's for each of the instruments for your site. Reading either or both will put you into an exclusive club. It's amazing what's in the manuals. Not everything, but lots of solid information on installation. Sometimes there's even a troubleshooting section that goes beyond checking the fuse.
4. Vendor books or engineering guides
Emerson/Rosemount has separate level, tank gauging, DP flow, wireless, and industrial temperature measurement engineering guides that are quite good.
Siemens publishes short books on ultrasonic level, radar level and Profibus.
Vega has a radar level book.
Wika's Pressure Gauge hand book is a comprehensive reference
I'm sure there are others that others can mention.
5. Sometimes Youtube hosts an occasional decent product video that's more than a sales pitch, sometimes.
6. Trade journals.
Flow Control flowcontrolnetwork.com
Control Engineering controleng.com
Control magazine controlglobal.com
ISA is technically around but it is a mere shadow of its former presence in the instrumentation field.
8. Manufacturer or distributor/rep support
A huge variation from vendor to vendor. Some are pros, some are clueless. Since the latter outnumber the former, I suggest checking out a vendor's web site because it's likely a reflection of the available support. Not always, as some small niche vendors can have a lousy site, but you always talk to the guru when you call. .
Formerly Instrument Society, now International Society of Automation.
There might be a local chapter, might not be. Some training courses listed on their web site. ISA publishes a number of topical books annually (excellent on their topics), links to both on the home page.
10. Commercial books
Google the topic.
11. If your site uses a fieldbus (Profibus, Foundation Fieldbus or even Ethernet/IP) it would be worth paying for a formal training class.
Thanks a ton for your reply David. Appreciate that. In this position I am dealing with flow, pressure, level and temperature instruments. I kind of get jealous when i see people around me with so much knowledge about flow, pressure, level and temperature. But i understand that they have experience and i am new to the field. so my plan is to master these instruments and gain experience as i go on.
Thanks once again for your help and please let me know if there is some additional advise from your end....:)
ISA Instrument Society of America 🤪, now the International Society of Automation.....great books for beginners to advanced. Books are expensive but very good....join and they give you a little discount.
Control Systems Engineer
Hope this helps.
All the main instrumentation suppliers have product and application information online on their web pages;
- Rosemount, Fisher valves
- E + H
Check with the manufacturers that you use on site for free seminars and classes as well as their schedule of paid courses.
The Fisher Valve handbook is available as a free download;
Develop a working relationship with the instrument techs, process engineers and control room operators, they are your customers.
You will educate each other.
In the mid 70s as a newly graduated Electrical Engineer, I started my career as an instrument engineer and the job evolved into process instrumentation and control. I retired recently as a Senior Associate Control Engineer having experienced 2 control system upgrades; Bailey 820 Analogue to Fisher PROVOX and Fisher PROVOX to Honeywell Experion PKS; boiler BMS upgrades; Bailey Net 90 to Triconex Tricon TMR; and many small to major project startups and commissionings.
Try this website https://www.predig.com/resources.
There are a good number of educational videos and white papers.
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