Automation Engineering Survival Training Integrator Version (AEST-IV)


Bonus Features

5-Day Intensive Training Curriculum

  • Measurement and Documentation
  • Control Valves, Control Strategies, and Loop Tuning
  • Advanced Control: Operator Effectiveness & Safety Systems
  • Industrial Security & Project Management
  • Advanced Process Automation

(See Curriculum tab for more details.)

Class Graduation*

As a culmination to an intensive week of training, students will receive their certificates of successful completion for a job well done and the right to say, "I SURVIVED ISA SYSTEM INTEGRATOR SURVIVAL TRAINING!"

*Note: Students must attend the entire week of lab-intensive exercises and lecture in order to receive their certificate of completion.

Course Includes ISA Textbook:


Do you work for a system integrator? Do you support client projects? Do you need to expand your skills in working in a project design or commissioning environment? ISA's new Automation Engineering Survival Training: Integrator Version (AESTIV), designed specifically for system integrators, focuses on concepts important to automation engineers and others involved in a project design and commissioning role.

This unique process automation engineering experience is designed to hone your process automation knowledge and skills. ISA's seasoned "Survival Expert" will guide you through a fast-paced and rigorous course of topics from process measurement through advanced automation, and everything in between!

Whether you are new to the system integration industry or are a seasoned professional, this course will challenge you and enhance your knowledge in key concepts beneficial to system integrators and allow you to perform at a higher level and will help you deliver superior value to your clients.

Who Should Attend?

  • New automation, control system, or process control engineers working for system integrators
  • Seasoned system integration engineers looking to refresh their process automation skills
  • Automation engineers in a position with a system integrator or end user
  • Automation engineers wishing to move into a career as a system integrator


Intensive Hands-on Training Curriculum


Days: 4.5
CEUs: 3.6
PDHs: 36

Recommended Prerequisite:

  • A basic understanding of automation principles and documentation methods

DAY 1: Measurement & Documentation

You Will Cover:

  • Concepts of Process Control: Definitions | Feedback Loop
  • Documentation: Piping and Instrumentation Drawing (P&ID) Instrument Index | Instrument Specification Sheets | Loop Diagram | Location Diagram | Interlock List
  • Process Segmentation: Modularity | Intro to Functional Specifications | Intro to ISA88 Models | Planning for Success
  • Industrial Measurement Systems: Process Measurement | Standard Signals | Instrument Performance
  • Temperature Measurement: Resistance Temperature Detectors (RTDs) | Reference Junction Compensation | Thermocouples
  • Pressure Measurement: Pressure Elements | Signal Generation | Pressure/Force Relationships | Selection
  • Level Measurement: Differential Pressure | Surface Detection | Interface Detection | Selection
  • Flowmeters: DP | Magnetic | Mass | Other | Selection
  • Current Loop: Ohm's Law | Resistance & Impedance |
  • Hardware Interface: Single Loop Controller | Distributed Control | Controller I/O Interface | Scaling & IO Configuration Issues
  • Fieldbus: HART | ASi |Foundation Fieldbus | Profibus | Ethernet/IP | Segment Planning

Classroom/Laboratory Exercises:

  • Interpret complex P&IDs and identify modular code opportunities
  • Evaluate temperature, level, pressure, and flow sensors for a given process
  • Construct a current loop and measure the performance of a pressure transmitter using Ohm's Law and a simple fieldbus (HART)
  • Determine the effect of scaling on pressure and temperature measurements

You Will Be Able To:

  • Discuss the fundamentals of process control
  • Apply specific ISA Standards to interpret symbols and drawings associated with process control documentation
  • Discuss and apply the most common methods and devices used in temperature, pressure, level, and flow measurement
  • Wire, scale, measure, calibrate, and troubleshoot a pressure transmitter in a current loop control scheme
  • Use a simple fieldbus (HART) to evaluate the performance of a pressure transmitter

DAY 2: Control Valves, Control Strategies, and Loop Tuning

You Will Cover:

  • Control Valves: Valves | Actuators | Positioners | Types
  • Performance: Gain | Recovery | Cavitation | Flashing | Shutoff | Safety
  • Valve Sizing: Bernoulli's Equation | Cv | Manual Sizing | Computer-Aided Sizing Demo
  • Dynamic and Steady State Considerations: Gain | Dead Time | Time Constant | FOPDT | Dynamic Response | Interactive PV's
  • Control Actions: Proportional | Integral | Derivative
  • Basic Control Strategies Comparison: On/Off, Pulse Width Modulation, PID, Cascade, Ratio, Split-Range, Feedforward
  • Tuning Control Systems: Closed Loop Tuning Using Ziegler Nichols Method | Evaluation and Control Criteria
  • Advanced Regulatory Control: Feedback Penalty | Challenges in Feedback Control | Real-World Control Scenarios

Classroom/Laboratory Exercises:

  • Explore the important factors in sizing a control valve and actuator
  • Tune feedback control loops via a number of different methods
  • Tune control loops using PC-based simulation software, including ratio control and feed-forward control
  • Configure a smart digital valve positioner for split-range control
  • Tune a control loop using a pressure transmitter and digital valve positioner

You Will Be Able To:

  • Compare various types of final control elements
  • Determine the effect of valve selection, sizing, and actuator selection on control loop performance
  • Define the concepts of PID control
  • Explain the operation of the components in a closed loop control system including static and dynamic functions
  • Use several methods to tune a feedback control system for stated quality control
  • Apply the operation and function of split-range, feed-forward, and ratio control systems

DAY 3: Advanced Control: Operator Effectiveness & Safety Systems

You Will Cover:

  • Advanced Control Strategies: Multi-Variable Process Control | Model-Based Control | Model Predictive Control
  • Graphics and Controls: HMI Hierarchy Design | Classes of Displays | Navigation | Human Factors in Console Design
  • Alarm Management: Common Problems | Life Cycle
  • Electrical Safety: Standards | Area Classification | Protection Techniques | Enclosures | Intrinsic Safety
  • HAZOP Process Analysis: Procedure | Numeric Analysis | Actions
  • Permissives and Interlocks: Strategy | Do's and Don'ts |
  • General SIS Design Considerations: Design Life Cycle | Separation of Control and Safety | LOPA
  • Failure Rates and Modes: Safe vs. Dangerous | Failure Mode vs. Technology | Failure Rates | Reliability | Availability | Test Intervals
  • Operations and Maintenance: Installation | Bypassing | Testing

Classroom/Laboratory Exercises:

  • Tune complex systems using Multi-Variable Control, Decoupling, and Model-Based Control
  • Perform an area classification analysis
  • Perform a HAZOP on one unit of a model process
  • Assign permissives and interlocks for a typical process

You Will Be Able To:

  • Identify real-world control problems as the basis of need for advanced control
  • Design a graphical hierarchy for navigation
  • Explain best practices in HMI
  • Develop an Alarm Management Philosophy
  • Discuss rationalization, classification, and prioritization of alarms
  • Describe and use procedures for electrical classification
  • Describe the basic principles of protection
  • Select the appropriate protective techniques for different hazards
  • Describe the process for HAZOP analysis and assigning actions
  • Discuss strategies for assigning permissives and interlocks
  • Differentiate between process control and safety control

DAY 4: Industrial Security & Project Management

You Will Cover:

  • What is Data Communications?: ISO/OSI Reference Model | Terminology Basics
  • TCP/IP Basics: Ethernet on the Plant Floor | Industrial Ethernet Design Techniques
  • Networks: Layers | Functions of Network Layers | Interactions Between Network Layers | Intro to ANSI/ISAS95 | Network Segmentation
  • Network Software / Hardware: Versioning | COTS vs. Custom | Virtual Machines | File Management |
  • Data Exchange: Using OPC for Inter-System Data Exchanges
  • How Cyberattacks Happen: Understanding the Threat Sources | The Steps to Successful Cyberattacks | Stopping Attacks
  • Types of Projects: Facility Update | Addition to Existing Process | Technology Replacement | New Facility
  • Automation Economics: Economic Equations | Justification | Role of Economics in Automation Project Management
  • Functional Requirements Documentation: ANSI requirements | Network Diagrams | Definition Documents
  • Fundamentals of Project Management: Activity/Phase Concept | Best Practices | Phase Interaction | What to Do/How to Do It | Change Management
  • Project Development: Schedule Preparation | PERT | CPM | GANT | Cost
  • Workflow and Project Leadership: Opportunity Identification and Project Justification | Communications and Team Processes

Classroom/Laboratory Exercises:

  • Perform a Business /Control network segmentation
  • Analyze Modbus communications using a data monitor
  • Use OPC to extract data from a process control system
  • Conduct a security threat analysis
  • Identify key business processes and objectives
  • Perform an economic analysis of a potential project

You Will Be Able To:

  • Identify Local Area Network (LAN) topologies and protocols
  • Understand concepts that are important to designing, installing, commissioning, and maintaining a modern automation network
  • Define the different Ethernet varieties and which are best for industry
  • Discuss the principles behind creating an effective long-term security program
  • Define the basics of risk and vulnerability analysis methodologies
  • Specify the requirements for an enterprise-control integration solution
  • Explain the economics and business drivers involved in integration
  • Identify project types and overall goals and objectives
  • Explain the four important objectives critical to automation projects vs. the three objectives typical of other projects
  • Explain the importance of Automation interpersonal skills.

DAY 5: Advanced Process Automation

You Will Cover:

  • ANSI/ISA88: Best Practices | Why Use S88? | Procedural Control | PLC versus DCS for Procedural Control
  • Physical Model: Process Cells | Units | Equipment Modules | Control Modules
  • Recipe Information Categories: Header | Procedure | Formula | Equipment Requirements
  • Procedural Control Model: Procedure | Unit | Operation | Phase
  • Modes and States: Exception Handling | Allocation and Arbitration | State Transition Diagram
  • Integration: Communications | Manufacturing Execution System (MES) | Network Security
  • Standards and Models: ANSI/ISA95 Standards | MESA International Model | WBF B2MML XML Schemas
  • Control Activity Model: Recipe Management | Production Planning and Scheduling | Production Information Management | Process Management | Unit Supervision | Process Control | Personnel and Environmental Protection
  • Information Model: Production Resources | Process Segments | Production Schedules | Production Performance | Data Transactions

Classroom/Laboratory Exercises:

  • Develop procedural elements using the ANSI/ISA88 procedural control model and test those procedural elements against the equipment entities
  • Identify common (shared) resources and arbitration schemes
  • Analyze different ways to allocate functionality between equipment modules and control modules
  • Design a data transaction model for a typical plant information exchange

You Will Be Able To:

  • Use ANSI/ISA88 to define the requirements for a process using procedural control
  • Effectively structure and subdivide equipment entities
  • Describe modes and states and how they are applied at the equipment level
  • Describe the interfaces that are needed between batch control and other systems within an enterprise

For more information:
Contact us at +1 919-549-8411 or to start your company on the path to well-trained employees.



Your Automation Survival Experts

Nicholas Sands is currently a process control engineer working for DuPont's Kevlar® and Nomex® businesses. In his 19 years with DuPont, he has been a business process control leader, site process control leader, process control consultant, and plant control engineer in several different businesses.

Over the last 18 years, Nick has worked on several alarm management projects, both for new plants and existing plants. He led two company alarm management teams from the early 1990s to the early 2000s. He is the author of DuPont's best practices on alarm management.

Nick is co-chair of the ISA18 standards committee working on alarm management; and was the lead editor for the new standard: ANSI/ISA-18.02-2009, Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industries. He followed Vernon Trevathan as editor for ISA's A Guide to the Automation Body of Knowledge, as well as authored the chapter on alarm management.

Nick's path to instrumentation and control started when he earned his BS in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Tech. When not working, or reading, Nick and his wife Ruth run a recreational sled dog team.

Scott Sommer, PE, CAP, has over 27 years of experience in automation, instrumentation, and process control design and applications, with 20+ years of batch control experience. During his career, Mr. Sommer has worked for several large manufacturing companies, including Conoco, Celanese, and Wyeth, and several engineering firms, including principal ownership in a growing systems integration firm for nearly 10 years.

His experience from all sides of the automation and systems integration industry has given him a unique vision and insight to effectively and efficiently managing the automation scope and activities of large industrial projects.

Mr. Sommer holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois and an M.Eng. in Chemical Engineering from McNeese State University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in multiple states and is an ISA Certified Automation Professional and Senior Member of ISA. Scott is a frequent speaker and presenter at ISA, WBF, and ISPE conferences.

Past Students Said…

"[He gave a good] Explanation of how to achieve an alarm management program and how to interpret ISA-18.2." - Kevin Zaderey, Past ISA Student

"[He provided a good] Introduction of the lifecycle concept for alarm management." - Calvin Lambie, Technologist

"[He provided an] Excellent introduction to the ISA18.2 standard. I can find immediate application for the information I received today." - Michael Marshall, President