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Successful Integration of Controls System Devices

John P. Cole, PE

Course Outline

The first section introduces protocol interfaces. Common benefits and pitfalls are followed by project management principles needed for successful integration.

The second section discusses sixteen technical factors important to successful protocol interfaces. Each factor is explained as to how it may affect the success or failure of an interface. All should be considered when specifying an interface before it is built or purchased.

The third section presents four unique case studies to illustrate integration principles in real applications. These illuminate the selling points behind integration via either purchased or custom-developed gateway devices. The examples analyze both costs and benefits to the customer.
The final section covers advanced topics of a complete integration solution. It includes tips to facilitate life-cycle support of an operating integration solution.  Links to further resources encourage the student to expand his capabilities in this very rewarding field of study.

The course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

The student will learn how to:

Intended Audience

Engineers, programmers, Systems analysts, and controls specialists will all benefit. Any one buying, building, or considering a link between devices with different protocols should know these principles.

Benefit to Attendees

Whether a device is listed as compatible or not, often connecting it to a controls system from a different line is not as simple as just plugging it in. This course shows how to determine compatibility of given controls devices to be connected. Further, you will see what is necessary to get past obstacles, so that any device necessary can be integrated successfully. Lastly, by finding what level of effort is required, you will be able to determine feasibility of a proposed project.

Course Introduction

Controls systems help people in almost all industries. From the high-rise buildings full of office workers and computers, and the factories making products of all kinds, down to a town that just wants good water and sewer services, controls are important. Due to product cycles and advancing technology, obsolete systems are everywhere. Notwithstanding, facilities continue expanding and upgrading. A salesman may want you to completely replace the entire control system top to bottom—but often this is prohibitively expensive. This is where integration projects are born. 
The genius and challenge at this point is to make a new combination work. Two components that never have met before have to work together. Controls integration makes this happen. This course is not about process control, but it covers how to make controls components cooperate with each other, thereby expanding the control system to new extents.

Course Content

For this course, you are required to purchase the course before you can download course content in PDF format. Once you purchase the course through the following link, you will be directed to the quiz page. The link to the course content file is at the beginning of the quiz.

Purchase Course and Take Quiz: Successful Integration of Controls System Devices

Course Summary

The course details the challenges of controls integration. It gives the straightforward principles that overcome these challenges. Potential benefits are great, but not all projects are justified. Learn how re-engineering other parts of the system can give equal or superior performance. Most of all, the course helps the neophyte identify integration issues, and helps the skilled engineer attack these issues with increased confidence.

Related Links and References

The links and references are included in the course content file.


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.