PID Loop Tuning: Basic course

Get to grips with the basics of PID loop tuning in this two-day introductory level course

Ideal for apprentices and technicians, this course offers an introduction to feedback control and covers the basic principles, structure and terminology of controllers and control elements. Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) controllers and the actions of the various elements are explored using a combination of hands-on simulation and real process control systems for controlling level, pressure and flow. Simple controller tuning is also covered.


  • Day 1 (am): Basic objectives, architecture and methods for feedback control. Terminology and technology used to implement feedback control. Obtaining the measured value. Direct and inverting control action. Typical control systems.

  • Analogue signal transmission: the 4‐20mA standard. Process value calibration and scaling. Device parameter access and HART technology. Fieldbus and process value communication standards. Reaching limits and control saturation.

  • Day 1 (pm): Manual operation of a control system. Common control actions. The problem of offset. Effect of controller gain and system stability. Integral action and offset removal, reset time and units. Derivative action and overshoot damping.

  • Simple process dynamics. Process gain, time constant and dead time determination. Problems associated with feedback control. Introduction to process dynamics using simulation. The effects of controller gain on response. System load performance.

  • Day 2 (am): Ziegler‐Nichols reaction curve and continuous cycling methods. Brambilla’s method. The problem of reset windup, anti‐reset windup. Simple PID controller tuning exercise. Demonstration of anti‐reset windup.

  • Day 2 (pm): Final control elements. Control valve types & characteristics. Control valve actuators & positioners. Problems associated with control valves, non-linearity & hysteresis. Changing pressure across the valve. Controller tuning exercises.


  • On completion of this introductory course, attendees will have a sound understanding of PID and control terminology and will be able to understand, operate and adjust a range of industrial PID controllers.

Who should attend?

  • Anyone interested in gaining a good basic understanding of PID controllers.