K&S Associates Troubleshooting Inc.

Performance Solutions & Troubleshooting Methodologies for the Refining & Chemical Industry
Just for Engineers

Process Systems Surveillance & Troubleshooting Workshop
Developed specifically for the Process Engineer 

As Originally Developed and Delivered by K&S Associates

Course Length: 1 day (10 hours) 


Course Purpose:

This workshop is designed to provide Engineering Professionals with a 3-step method for troubleshooting and determining root cause of a process upset.  This one day course is intense and focused specifically on the needs of a process engineer that needs a practical thought process to support the front line staff.  The K&S method is based on the logic or predictability designed into the system and supports foundational principals taught in college level courses but provides a true hands on experience.  We ensure the physics of the process are clearly related to the equipment function reinforcing key process controls used to predict, prevent or solve process problems.  There is no reactive guesswork, just sound scientific analysis that works on any process equipment.  

Emphasis is also placed on the necessity of selecting appropriate (safe & economical) corrective action plans that return the process to normal without creating additional problems. Pro-active monitoring and control of the process is also stressed as a way to recognize abnormal early on and prevent loosing control of the process.  

Course Objectives:

After course completion the student will be able to:

Solve complex process problems (determine root cause) using a 3-step method with 100% accuracy 

Describe the functions of the 5 most common processes (Reaction, Absorption, Stripping, Decanting/Separation, & Distillation) in industry

List the process control factors associated with each of the processes (Reaction, Absorption, Stripping, Decanting/Separation, & Distillation) 

Use the process control factors to develop a punch list for troubleshooting that process 

Determine if a process upset is the result of a controller problem or a mechanical problem

Recognize abnormal conditions in the process early on and prevent loosing control of the process

Take better control of the process to eliminate environmental upsets

Improve communications with co-workers using a common language for problem solving

Operate the process with increased confidence

Increase Up-Time in their respective process

Train others in a common method for troubleshooting process problems

Who should attend?

This course is intended for new or experienced process engineers with day to day responsibilities of troubleshooting the plant or improving the process.  

Topical Outline:


         a.   Goals / Objectives

Challenge the participants base level process logic knowledge

a. Introduce Universal Process

b. Work 3 Problems

c. Start developing a Logical Method of Thinking

Reaction Process Discussion

a. Develop Control Factors

b. Introduce the 3-Step Method

c. Introduce the 3-Step Form

d. Work Reaction Process Problem

Separation / Decanting Process Discussion

a. Develop Control Factors

b. Discussion on Proofreading Data Using Process Logic

Absorber Process Discussion

a. Develop Control Factors

b. Work Absorber Process Problem

c. Review 3-Step Method / Form

Stripper Process Discussion

a. Develop Control Factors

b. Work Stripper Process Problem

c. Review 3-Step Method / Form

Distillation Process Discussion

a. Develop Control Factors

b. Work Distillation Problem

c. Review 3-Step Method / Form

d. Re-emphasis the use of Temperature Profile

Full System Problems 

a. Work Full System Problems 

b. Proofread, Determine Cause and Critique Each Problem

c. Develop / Initiate Corrective Actions

Close Program

                  a.   Review class Goals/Objectives 

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