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7 Habits of a Successful Control Engineer

7 Habits of a Successful Control Engineer

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Published by: TESLARAZEN on Jan 29, 2013
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 Real-Time Performance Supervision by ExperTune.
www.planttriage.com Phone: (262) 369-7711
The 7 Habits ofHighly Successful Controls Engineers
 © 2008 ExperTune, Inc.
George Buckbee, P.E.ExperTune, Inc.
 Real-Time Performance Supervision by ExperTune.
www.planttriage.com Phone: (262) 369-7711
The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Control Engineers
George Buckbee, P.E., ExperTune Inc.© 2008 ExperTune Inc
Highly successful control engineers didn’t become that way by accident. The mostsuccessful engineers develop habits that improve results and recognition of those results.This paper addresses specific habits that you can develop or enhance to be moresuccessful.
The 7 Habits listed in this paper were developed from over 20 years, working withthousands of control engineers around the world. I have seen some people who struggledto identify their results, and others who had great results, but couldn’t get recognition. Inthis paper, we’ll look at some of the habits that have ensured success for the mostsuccessful of these engineers.
7 Habits 
The 7 Habits listed in this paper are:
Know the Process.2.
Focus Only on the Most ImportantThings3.
Document the Baselines4.
Use Tools to be More Effective5.
Network and Communicate Results6.
Keep Learning7.
Share Your KnowledgeIn the pages that follow, we’ll look at each one of them, and provide some suggestionsfor how you can improve your own rate of success.
Habit 1 - Know the Process
Knowing the process is the first and most important habit for control engineers. To beeffective in the automation and control of a process, you must
have a thoroughunderstanding of the process.
 Real-Time Performance Supervision by ExperTune.
www.planttriage.com Phone: (262) 369-7711
To develop process knowledge takes time and effort. Start by studying process flowdiagrams and P&IDs. Trace the primary product as it flows through the process,highlighting it on thedrawing with a coloredmarker.Talk to operators. Theywork with the process day inand day out. Theyunderstand a lot about howthe process normallybehaves. They also knowabout the abnormal, unusualthings that can happenduring equipment failures,shutdowns, start-ups, and shift changes. The process doesn’t always behave according tothe text book. Make sure you know what to expect in abnormal situations.With a little bit of process knowledge, tools like Process Interaction Mapping can helpyou to pinpoint the source of control upsets.
Figure 1. Interaction Hot Spots identifies the source of interactionsLearn More At Night
Some of the best learning experiences in my careercame on the night shift, work You can work withthe operators, get to know them better, and learnfrom their experience. You might even developsome operating experience of your own!The best advice I could give to a controls engineer isto spend a few weeks on-shifts with the operators.

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