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Automated measurement and control

Instrumentation is the science of automated measurement and control. Applications of this science abound in modern research, industry, and everyday living. From automobile engine control systems to home thermostats to aircraft autopilots to the manufacture of pharmaceutical drugs, automation surrounds us.

Lessons in industrial instrumentation
Lessons in industrial instrumentation (photo credit:

This guide explains the fundamental principles of industrial instrumentation.

The first step, naturally, is measurement. If we can’t measure something, it is really pointless to try to control it. This “something” usually takes one of the following forms in industry:

  • Fluid pressure and flow rate
  • The temperature of an object
  • Fluid volume stored in a vessel
  • Chemical concentration
  • Machine position, motion, or acceleration
  • Physical dimension(s) of an object
  • Count (inventory) of objects
  • Electrical voltage, current, or resistance

Once we measure the quantity we are interested in, we usually transmit a signal representing this quantity to an indicating or computing device where either human or automated action then takes place. If the controlling action is automated, the computer sends a signal to a final controlling device which then influences the quantity being measured.

Final control device block diagram
Final control device block diagram

This final control device usually takes one of the following forms:

  • Control valve (for throttling the flow rate of a fluid)
  • Electric motor
  • Electric heater

Both the measurement device and the final control device connect to some physical system which we call the process (shown above as a general block diagram)

Title:Lessons in Industrial Instrumentation // Version 2.13 (development) – Last update August 13, 2015 – Tony R. Kuphaldt
Size:58.41 MB
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Lessons in Industrial Instrumentation by Tony R. Kuphaldt
Lessons in Industrial Instrumentation by Tony R. Kuphaldt

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  1. Sanele Simphiwe
    Jun 21, 2022

    Sir can you pleased attached this document of Sanele he is looking for a a vacancy as an instrument machanician i would be great to receive the feedback from the company

  2. Ian Thomas Jones
    Oct 29, 2017

    I am a tutor of Industial Instrumentation and the infomation is excellent for teaching.

  3. Habib
    Aug 03, 2016

    Hello all,
    I want to buy this book where i live in Pakistan. Can anyone tell me how and where i can buy this book online?

  4. Dmitriy
    Jun 11, 2016

    Thank you so much for writing this book! God Bless!!

  5. Kenneth ugorji
    Sep 30, 2015

    Hello, Hw are you doing hop fine, if infact i must tell u this, i love what you are doing, inpacting engineering into a lot of people, all the topics are good. It has help me so much on my job, keep It up. I will like you to talk on DC generator pmg systems

  6. sirelkhatim
    Aug 22, 2015

    This is a very good lesson to me as a mechanical engineer involved in maintenance of mechanical, electrical and instruments hoping you be able to further explain the interface between PLC and instruments.

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