Tactics for Advanced Troubleshooting Boot Camp (TATC)


This intensive boot camp course details the techniques required to troubleshoot today's instrument loops and equipment. From understanding loop fundamentals to employing built-in equipment diagnostics, this class will give the student an advantage in problem identification via the latest in test equipment and communicators used in the process control industry. The class is hands-on intensive with student exercises and instructor demonstration designed to simulate loop and equipment malfunctions, thus requiring the student to follow established troubleshooting techniques. The various equipment built-in diagnostics will be discussed and employed to aid in equipment troubleshooting.

Who Should Attend?

  • Instrument technicians with maintenance responsibilities that require specific knowledge of instrument control loops and equipment malfunction identification
  • Maintenance and reliability engineers responsible for loop and equipment integrity
  • Process control engineers
  • Automation engineers
  • Supervisors needing general knowledge of troubleshooting techniques employed for rapid problem identification


Course Objectives

  • Demonstrate actions and measurements used to troubleshoot pneumatic loops.
  • Provide specific troubleshooting techniques and measurements used for the analysis of the 4-20 mA loop.
  • Review, illustrate and discuss the operation of HART protocol physical form of transmission.
  • Discuss various built-in diagnostics employed to determine proper transmitter operation or malfunction.
  • Discuss the effects of transmitter malfunction and failure on control loops
  • Identify failure methods employed by various manufacturers
  • Describe the most common communication signals and demonstrate measurements used to ensure proper operation.
  • Demonstrate control valve DVC configuration and calibration processes used to validate proper operation.
  • Discuss and demonstrate DVC built-in diagnostics used to identify control valve malfunctions.



Bonus Features

Week-Long Intensive Training Curriculum

  • Details coming soon.

(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 TACTICS FOR ADVANCED TROUBLESHOOTING BOOT CAMP!"

*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:

Troubleshooting: A Technician's Guide, Second Edition, by William L. Mostia, Jr. P.E.



Intensive Hands-on Training Curriculum:


Days: 4.5
CEUs: 3.2
PDHs: 32

Details coming soon!

Classroom/Laboratory Exercises:

  • Construct a pneumatic loop and identify the effects of supply pressure variations on loop performance
  • Design and construct a 4-20 mA loop; identify loop malfunction caused by voltage and resistance variations
  • Identify the effects of ground circuits on loop and measurement performance.
  • Identify and Interpret various current signals outputs set by transmitters to indicate transmitter malfunctions
  • Construct and Analyze HART, Fieldbus and Wireless loops; utilizing the latest in measurement equipment, determine proper communications
  • Analyze digital transmitter outputs to determine proper configuration, output ranging and calibrations
  • Utilize communication devices with vendor furnished diagnostic software to identify equipment misconfigurations and malfunctions
  • Utilize configuration devices to test control valves for proper operation and diagnose operational malfunctions
  • Utilize vendor installed diagnostic software to detect and record DVC malfunctions on valves while on automatic control
  • Determine proper loop tuning parameters by utilizing "rule of thumb" measurements and calculations

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



Your Drill Instructor

Manuel Garza has extensive work experience in the areas of project development, engineering, construction, and start-up. His professional background includes positions from Instrument Trainee to I&E Technologist to Engineering Technologist with Dow Chemical Company since 1967. He holds an Associates of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Del Mar Technical Institute of Corpus Christi, TX. He started teaching for ISA in 1998.

What Past Students Have Said

"[Mr. Garza was] very knowledgeable and interesting."

"Mr. Garza was able to help with any questions we had and explain the proper way to do [the labs]."

"[Mr. Garza] was the best I've had so far. He made the class very interesting even though I don not work with smart xmitters at all."

"Very exceptional instructor. Attitude was very good. Helped further everyone's understanding."

"Manuel is the best instructor...he teaches and makes it very easy to understand—would love to take more classes taught by him."