Instrumentation & Controls

Instrumentation is defined as "the art and science of measurement and control", and the available methods of measurement and control and the instruments which facillitate this.

Instruments are the devices which are used to measure attributes of physical systems. The variable measured can include practically any measurable variable, such as pressure, flow, temperature, level, density, viscosity, radiation, current, voltage, inductance, capacitance, frequency, chemical composition, chemical properties, various physical properties, etc. These devices are generally connected to some sort of control system which responds to the instrument's measurement. The response programmed into the control system manipulates control devices attached to the process. This cycle of changing of manipulated variables, measurement of controlled variables, and proper response is the basic concept behind process control. The control systems used are often considered part of the field of instrumentation, and can include simple Programmable Logic Controllers(PLCs) or Remote Terminal Units (RTUs), to more advanced Distributed Control Systems (DCSs).

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