REALTIME PID TUNING TRAINING SOFTWARE SIMULATOR WITH CERTIFICATION AND TESTING
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(Get PID control loop tuning training and practice on a computer- feels like working on a real DCS/PLC)
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Simcet is a real-time, online PID tuning simulator for practice and testing of tuning skills. Tuning PIDs in Simcet is exactly as if you are tuning loops in the real plant. The uniqueness of Simcet is that it also provides testing and grading features to test the PID tuning skills of engineers and technicians.
When new engineers and technicians come to the control room and start tuning loops, their prior experience and skill level is rather low. They are often afraid of making tuning changes. Simcet allows them to practice tuning a variety of PID loops on the PC, as the DCS simulator is in an environment identical to the real DCS at the plant.
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After a new process control engineer or technician enters the control room, Simcet gives him the hands-on experience necessary to understand and tune PID loops in the practical control room environment. Before starting to tune real PIDs in the DCS, the person should work on Simcet to get hands on tuning practice on the simulator. Simcet lets the person practice tuning and then take various tests to test his/her tuning skills. This unique testing feature in Simcet allows plant management to test technicians and engineers before allowing them to tune real loops in the control room.
There are two menu options in Simcet: PID Tuning Practice and PID Tuning Test, as shown in Figure 1.
Various canned process simulations are provided to simulate flow control, level control, temperature control, compressor surge control, etc. in distillation columns, chemical reactors, heat exchangers, gas compressors, levels in tanks etc. Custom simulations can be easily configured to mimic a specific plant or process.
The user can fearlessly play with the tuning parameters in real-time as if he were in the real plant with no possibility of process or plant problems since he is “playing” on the simulator.
Figure 3 shows a loop that was made unstable by the user because of entering very aggressive tuning parameters.
In a matter of a few minutes, the user can create simulations matching process dynamics and control action of a specific loop in any plant.
Figure 5. Simcet Transformation Menu
Figure 6. Simcet PID Gap Action Menu
Figure 7. Simcet Transfer Function Configuration Menu
Figure 8. Simcet Disturbance Configuration Menu (Pulse, Ramp and Sine Waves)
Simcet allows menu screens to specify parameters to create a custom real-time online simulation easily. A few sample configuration menu screens are shown in Figure 4 – 8.
After playing and practicing with various canned (pre-configured) simulations and custom simulations, the user is then ready to take PID tuning tests. The user is allowed to take up to twelve tests, as shown in Figure 1. Each test shows detailed information on the control loop to be tuned. An illustration of loop details is shown in Figure 9.
After completion of all tests, then a detailed grade report is generated, as shown in Figure 10. This report can be used as a certification and qualification record and to allow the engineer or technician to be skilled enough for tuning real loops in the control room.Simcet provides the required real-time hands-on training in the control room. The plant managers and supervisors can conveniently keep records of the Simcet test grade sheets to keep track of engineers and technicians who are qualified to tune and maintain PID and other control loops in the control room. With increasing emphasis on training, safety, reliability and stricter government regulations, Simcet is expected to be a required software module in the modern control room environment in all chemical plants, refineries and related industries.
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