Issue 1

Spring 2003

Whitehouse Consulting

Process Control Newsletter

Open-access courses confirmed for 2003

Our full range of open-access process control courses will be presented twice in 2003, once in London and once in Delft.

London dates:


May 12th - 14th


May 15th - 16th


May 19th


May 20th


May 21st - 23rd

Full details can be obtained from the web site of our partner GT Forum.

Delft dates:


Nov 17th - 19th


Nov 20th - 21st


Nov 24th


Nov 25th


Nov 26th - 28th

Full details (in Dutch) can be obtained from the web site of our partner Paperwork.

Interested in an in-house course? These can be tailored as required and are a more economic solution if there are four delegates or more. The full range of modules is described on Whitehouse's web site. We can also structure on-site courses around some real controllers - a very effective way of demonstrating that the techniques really work!

Would like to understand more about the technical content of courses, or what companies have used them? Just contact us.

Not heard of Whitehouse before?

While training is an important part of business, we are primarily an independent consulting organisation specialising in the practical application of advanced control and information systems to the oil and petrochemical industries. Our aim is to ensure our clients exploit all the profit improvement opportunities in the most cost effective way. Since we provide neither the technology nor implementation services our clients can be confident that the advice we offer is impartial.

Whitehouse was established over ten years ago and has worked with many of the world's leading companies. Its consultants each have around 30 years experience. Full details of our services are available from our website. This also provides clients lists and contact details.

New course module helps clients capture more benefits

Our recently released new course module, entitled Advanced Control Monitoring, has been presented to several clients. It lasts around six hours and is designed not only for process control engineers, but also for others interested in the benefits being captured by existing advanced controls. Topics include:

  • use of true process economics
  • monitoring benefits captured by multi-variable control
  • quantifying lost opportunities from over-constraining
  • process debottlenecking incentives
  • detecting variation in process dynamics
  • validating inferential property calculations
  • monitoring on-stream analysers
  • measurement validity checking and reporting

When presenting the course, Whitehouse also implemented several prototype performance monitoring tools. These collect data from the client's existing process information system and have enabled clients to make substantial improvements to the benefits captured. Many clients have gone on to further enhance these tools to meet their specific needs.

Free controller tuning advice

Our PID tuning technology has been developed over 10 years and is a major part of our Toolkit that we have supplied to many clients. Although the tuning charts on our web site are a greatly simplified version of the software, they can however be used to help with many controllers. We will also soon be extending them to incorporate some of our more recent developments. To help clients evaluate our technology we are also happy to provide a limited amount of free advice by e-mail. Just contact us with your problem!

ERTC conference, Milan

We are pleased to announce that we have been selected to present the keynote paper Advanced Control and Optimisation: The Next Challenge at the ERTC conference in Milan (23rd to 25th June). Full conference details from ERTC.

Past papers available

A number of past papers written by Whitehouse personnel are now included on our website, under articles. These cover subjects such as guidance on how to implement and support advanced control and justifying OM&S automation projects.

Toolkit and Training software (version 9) released

We have released version 9 of its Process Control Toolkit and Training software. The Toolkit has been greatly expanded and now includes:

  • dynamic model identification (for both regulating and non-self regulating processes)
  • controller tuner (supporting all the commonly used versions of the PID algorithm)
  • inferential property development
  • relative gain analysis
  • Lagrangian interpolation
  • pressure compensated temperature development
  • physical property database
  • engineering unit conversion utility

Full details, with some example screen displays, are on the Toolkit pages in our web site.

The training modules comprise

  • feed drum to enable the user to learn about tight and averaging level control, and the use of non-linear algorithms
  • fired heater to help with the understanding of process dynamics, PID tuning, the use of filters and feedforward control
  • effluent treatment to show the difficulties of controlling highly non-linear processes and how these can be overcome
  • compressor to permit the exploration of the common load control schemes and surge protection
  • reactor to offer solutions to problems associated with inherently unstable processes, long deadtimes, discontinuous measurements and variable dynamics
  • distillation column to allow the application of all the common control strategies, including inferential property control
  • steam boiler to help the user design schemes to deal with changing fuel gas conditions, dual firing, excess air control and steam drum level control
  • process optimisation using multivariable control and an open-equation based optimiser

The package has been revamped to increase the number of parameters that can be trended and to allow ready access to historical values. Full details are on the software pages in our web site.

Suggestions for version 10

Enhancements are underway for inclusion in version 10. As usual we would be pleased to receive suggestions from our users for improvements or additions.

This is the first issue our Process Control Newsletter. It is not our policy to continue to send unsolicited e-mail to our clients. Recipients preferring not to receive future issues should not hesitate to e-mail its author, Myke King. The same address can be used to change the recipient or to add others.