Practical control and instrumentation (2024)

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 main objective of a control system is to secure optimal operation and provide constant and reliable product quality. The course provides basic proficiencies in the theory behind process control and automation systems, and the practical application of this knowledge. Experience will be gained in common control techniques and the application of simulation models to describe the dynamic response and behaviour of system.


  • Presentation of relevant theory and selected basic knowledge in analogue and digital control systems (e.g. including binary digitisation and elementary electrical engineering)
  • The principles and design of common instrumentation components (e.g. thermometers, pressuregauges and control valves)Control techniques(On-Off, PWM, FF & FB, PID, and multi-stage control)
  • Evaluating system response to step changes and process disturbances.
  • Practical equipment control via automated controllers
  • An introduction to transfer functions, and their use in complex system control
  • Setting up control flow charts (block diagrams) and the simplification of complex systems
  • The use of computational based process simulation models
  • Introduction to more advanced control principles, such as statistical process control (SPC) and machine learning control (MLC)
  • Introduction to robotics

The purpose of the practical  elements of the course will be to illustrate, explicate and entrench the theoretic principles through practical exercises comprising e.g. selected control techniques, data collection, processing and modelling.

Learning targets

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


  • Understand the fundaments of common equipment used as process instrumentation
  • Understand and explain the principles of  control flow-charts. Understand and explain the theory 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
  • Apply a simulation tool in the prediction of a system's response when subject to change
  • Specify relevant control settings for a simple control system (PID)
  • Apply simple forms of control and adjustment in practice


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

Teaching method

Lectures, problem solution, and case studies and exercises in practical application

Qualifications for examination participation

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

All course work 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 supplied and applied specifically to the exam. No access to the internet.




The 7-point grading scale