PTOA Focus Study Areas

PROCESS TECHNOLOGY AND OPERATOR ACADEMY
FOCUS STUDY AREAS

  • Announcements from Your Mentor
  • Process Industry Jargon You Need to Know
  • Process Industry Jargon Used for Instruction
  • Math You Will Have to Use During Your Process Technology Career
    • Understanding Fractions, Decimals, and Percentages
    • Adding and Subtracting Positive and Negative Numbers
  • A Helpful List of Common Conversion Factors
  • Things you Already know like the Physical Properties of Stuff
    • Physical Properties of Stuff I: Mass and Weight, and Volume
    • Flowrate (Volume of flow over a period of time)
    • Physical Properties of Stuff II: Density, Specific Gravity, API Gravity, Baume Gravity
    • Pressure (Absolute, Gauge, and Vacuum)
    • Hydraulic Pressure
    • Temperature Sensing and Temperature Scales (deg C, deg F, deg K, deg R)
    • Temperature changes solids to liquids and gas and vice versa
    • Relationship of Temperature and Pressure on Gases
    • Gases are compressible but liquids are not
    • Temperature and Boiling, Freezing, Evaporating, Melting, Condensing, Saturation
    • Temperature Changes and viscosity, solubility
    • Changes of State and Latent Heat/Sensible Heat, Thermal Expansion and Contraction
    • Level (Percentage and Inches)
    • Volume (English and SI Measurement)
  • Chemical Properties of Stuff
    • Atoms , the Periodic Table, Molecules
    • How Temperature, Pressure, and Volume of a gas are related
    • Chemical Properties of Stuff (Reactivity, Inert, Hazardous, Oxidizer, Etc)
    • Basic Hydrocarbons: Paraffins, Olefins, Naphthenes, Aromatics
    • The Role of Reactors in Process Industry
  • More Challenging Things You Are Ready to Learn
    • Batch versus Continuous Processes
    • What’s the difference between Mass and Weight?
    • Mass, Length, and Time Measurement
    • Dimensional Analysis
    • Conversion Factors and Factor Labeling
    • What is a fluid, when will it flow and how fast will it go?
    • Swapping liquid pressure and velocity
    • The Difference between Temperature and Heat
    • How do things get hotter or colder?
      • Heat Transfer with Conduction
      • Heat Transfer with Convection
      • Heat Transfer with Radiation
    • What does Voltage have to do with Current?
    • What is a Mole and why should I care?
    • First Order Reactions to Step Changes
  • Your Life Depends Upon Changing Your Attitude About HSE
    • OSHA and Right to Know
    • Behavior Based Safety Programs in Industry: Pro Active Safety
    • OSHA Safety Incident Reportable Categories
    • Types of Physical and Chemical Hazards
  • Getting Rid of Health Safety Environmental Problems with Better Designs
  • Paperwork: Reducing HSE problems with Policy and Procedures
    • Safety Audits and Meetings
    • UA Testing
    • Written Procedures
    • Lock Out Tag Out Safe Out Methods
    • Incident Reports and Near Misses
    • Root Cause Analyses
    • Other Examples of Administrative Safety
  • Working in a Hazardous Environment
    • Personal Protective Gear Types and Purposes
    • Awareness of hazard: Warning Signage
    • Fires and Explosions
    • Hazardous Operations Certification
    • Other Safety Issues Working in a Hazardous Environment
    • Making Good Safety Choices 24/7
  • Making Sure You Stay Healthy at Work
    • MSDS
    • Hand Tool Safety and Awareness
    • Power Tool Safety and Awareness
    • Annual Testing
    • Other Industrial Health Issues
  • Making Things People Want While Also Keeping Air and Water Clean
    • Clean Water Act
    • Clean Air Act
    • Spill Reporting
    • Hydrocarbon Emissions
    • Other Environmental Concerns
  • How Can a Control Room Board Man Control A Process from Far Away?
    • Overview of Automatic Industrial Process Control
    • Automatic Process Control/Process Operator Interface
    • Common Process Variables: Temperature, Pressure, Level, Flowrate
    • Analog verses On/Off Control
    • ISA Symbols
      • Use of ISA Symbols
      • Field Instrumentation versus Control Room Instrumentation
    • On-Off Control
      • Indicators and Alarms
      • Use of On/Off Control in Industrial Processes
      • Programmable Logic Controllers
      • Ever-changing Modern Control Systems
    • Analog Control Signal Types
      • Pneumatic 3 – 15 psi
      • Electronic 4-20 ma
      • The Need for Live Zero
      • Other commonly used signal types
      • Digital Control Signals
      • Converters
    • The Basic Feedback Control Loop
      • Example Schematic Control Loop
      • Detecting Elements and Function
      • Transducer Function
      • Transmitting Elements and Function
      • Controller Function
      • Final Control Element and Function
      • Square root extractors and other control loop components
      • Controlled and Manipulated Variables
    • The Controller
      • Controller Fundamentals and ISA representation
      • Input to/Output from Controller
      • Setpoint and Error
      • Manual and Automatic Mode
      • Direct vs Indirect Acting
      • Tuning modes (Proportional, PI, PID)
      • The Board Man and the Controller
      • Troubleshooting the Controller
    • Detectors and Transmitters
      • Commonly used Temperature Detecting/Measuring/Transmitting Instruments
      • Commonly used Pressure Detecting/Measuring/Transmitting Instruments
      • Commonly used Flowrate Measuring and Transmitting Instruments
      • Commonly used Level Measuring and Transmitting Instruments
    • Commonly Used Final Control Element: the Automatic Control Valves
      • ISA Symbol shows valve function
      • Pneumatic Control valve components and fundamentals
      • Valve Characteristics and Selection
      • Fail Modes
      • Electronic Final Control Elements
    • Advanced Control Loops
      • Feed Forward Control Loop
      • Cascade Control Loop
    • Six Ways to Change the Temperature of an Industrial Process
      • Heat Transfer Equipment Fundamentals
      • Fired Heaters
      • Heat Exchangers
        • Shell and Tube
        • Fin Fan
      • Boilers
        • Stand alone package boilers
        • Waste Heat boilers
      • Reboilers
      • Cooling Towers and Cooling Water Systems
      • Important Instrumentation for Temperature Changing Equipment
      • Safe Operation of Equipment used to Change Temperature
      • Environmental Concerns of Temperature Changing Equipment
      • Troubleshooting Temperature Changing Equipment
    • Five Ways to Use Boiling Point Temperature and Pressure to Separate Good Stuff from Less Good Stuff
      • Fundamentals of Separating Processes
      • Three phase separators (Solid, Liquid, and Gas)
      • Distillation Columns and Systems
      • Extraction Equipment and Systems: Absorbers, Strippers and Scrubbers
      • Closed Loop Systems and the Need for Blowdown
      • Adsorbers and Adsorption Systems
      • Important Instrumentation for Separating Systems
      • Safe Operation and Maintenance of Separating Systems
      • Environmental Concerns of Separating Systems
      • Troubleshooting Separating Equipment and Systems
    • How to Make Good Stuff by Controlling Chemical Reactions
      • Reactor and Reaction Fundamentals
      • Reactor Design and Improvements
      • Continuously Regenerating Reactors (CCR and FCC)
      • Important Instrumentation for Reactors
      • Commonly Used Reactor and Separating Systems
      • Safe Operation and Maintenance of Reactors
      • Environmental Concerns of Reaction Systems
      • Troubleshooting Reactors
    • Extruding Equipment and Systems
      • Extruding Fundamentals
      • Extruders and Extruding Systems
      • Important Instrumentation for Extruding Processes
      • Safe Operation and Maintenance of Extruding Systems
      • Environmental Concerns of Extruding Processes
      • Troubleshooting Extruding Processes
    • How the Industrial Complex Parts are connected together
      • Piping and Tubing
      • Gaskets and Bolting Patterns
      • Valve Types and Uses
      • Filters
      • Vessels and Tanks
      • Miscellaneous Static Equipment
      • Important Instrumentation for Connecting Equipment
      • Tank Farm and Blending Systems
      • Safe Operation and Maintenance of Connecting Equipment
      • Environmental Concerns of Connecting Equipment
      • Troubleshooting Connecting Equipment
    • Making Fluids move around, build pressure and gain energy
      • Fundamentals of Increasing Pressure and Energy of Gases
        • Positive Displacement Compressors
        • Centrifugal Compressors
        • Axial Compressors
        • Compressor Selection for Duty
        • Compressor Auxiliaries
        • Important Instrumentation for PD and Centrifugal Compressors
        • Safe Operations of Compressors
        • Environmental Concerns of Compressors
        • Troubleshooting Compressors
          • Surge
          • Other Troubleshooting Concerns
        • Steam Turbines
        • Gas Turbines
      • Fundamentals of increasing Pressure and Energy in Liquids
        • Positive Displacement Pumps
        • Centrifugal Pumps
        • Pump Selection for Duty
        • Pump Auxiliaries
        • Safe Operation and Maintenance of Pumps
        • Environmental Concerns of Pumps
        • Troubleshooting Pumps
          • Pump Cavitation
          • Other Troubleshooting Concerns
        • Rotary Equipment Drivers/Motors
      • A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Process Industry Schematics
        • Process Unit Block Diagrams
        • Process Flow Diagrams (PFDs)
        • Piping and Instrumentation Design Diagram (P&ID)
        • Industrial Complex Plot Plan
        • Electrical One Line Diagram
        • Ladder Logic Diagram
      • Common Utility Systems Used in Process Industries
        • The Importance of Utility Systems
        • Steam: BFW Treating, Boiler Types, Steam Distribution, Condensate Systems
        • Instrument Air Systems
        • Nitrogen Systems
        • Water Related Systems: Raw, Potable, Sewer, Fire Water
        • Off Gas collection and Sweetening Systems
        • Flare Systems
        • CoGeneration of Electricity and Steam
        • Electrical Generation and Transmission
      • Troubleshooting Process Systems
        • Gotta know what’s normal to recognize what’s abnormal
        • Outside Operator readings and awareness
        • Temperature related troubleshooting hints
        • Pressure related troubleshooting hints
        • Flowrate related troubleshooting hints
        • Level related troubleshooting hints
        • Inter relationship of process variables
        • Troubleshooting Tools
        • Troubleshooting Steps
        • Preparing for Trouble
        • Troubleshooting the Controller
        • Cascade Control Troubleshooting
      • How to Be Sure What You’re Making is Good Quality
        • Distinguishing Quality Assurance from Quality Control
        • Variance Happens
        • Random sampling is QA/QC Russian Roulette
        • Pareto’s Rule
        • Finding Failure Modes
        • Using Statistics for Quality Control
      • For Automatic Instrumentation Geeks Only
      • Exploration and Production Industry Fundamentals
      • Industrial Applications of Process Technology
      • Deja Vu Review
      • Where do we go from Here?