Project Synopsis

Assess, recommend, and re-tune a series of existing control loops on all the fired heaters throughout the plant in an effort to improve heater performance and reduce trip events.

Project Summary

The refining client processes crude oil to produce fuels and specialty lubricating oils and waxes.   As part of a broader effort to reduce fired heater trips, the client contracted Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) to assess and re-tune heater firing control loops throughout the refinery.

PROCESS performed an assessment of the existing loop conditions and documented this in an “As-Found” Status Report.  The report documented current tuning constants, identified issues with control valves, recommended valve maintenance where required, and recommended changes to control loop design to improve performance and reduce fired heater trips.

After the client performed recommended valve maintenance and control strategy design changes, PROCESS worked with client operators and controls group engineering personnel to re-tune the individual PID (proportional / integral / derivative) controllers using a loop tuning method recommended by PROCESS.  PROCESS also trained client controls group engineering personnel in the loop tuning method, who then themselves tuned a subset of the PID controllers.

PROCESS prepared an “As-Left” Project Final Report that thoroughly documented all of the tuning changes and performance improvements.  The report included numerous trends with detailed comments describing loop tests for deriving tuning constants and comparing loop responses before, during, and after re-tuning.


Industry Type

Petroleum Refining Lubricant Production  

Utilized Skills

  • PID loop tuning assessment
  • PID loop tuning optimization
  • PID loop tuning training.

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