CME8366 : Instrumentation and Measurement

  • Offered for Year: 2013/14
  • Module Leader(s): Prof. Dermot Roddy
  • Owning School: Chemical Eng & Advanced Materials


Semester 2 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 8.0


The aim of the module is to provide a thorough grounding in the principles, technology and practices of measurement, with an emphasis on the specification, installation and operation of the common types of instrumentation (including valves) used in the process industries.
The intent is that it may be assumed, in other modules, that delegates appreciate how measurements are made and have an understanding of the instrumentation used.

To develop an awareness of the principles of measurement and principal design features of a variety of instruments.
To appreciate the key issues in selecting instrument types (including valves) and specifying their requirements.
To become familiar with the operation and use of a variety of typical items of process instrumentation and control loop hardware.
To understand modern signal transmission techniques and relevant standards.
To recognise the importance of good measurement as a basis for effective control.

Outline Of Syllabus

Metrics of measurement: accuracy, resolution, repeatability, etc. Measurement errors.

Signals: Use of pneumatic, electrical and digital signals. Standard signal ranges, e.g. 4-20 mA and 0.2-1.0 bar. Power and air supply.

Principles of measurement of temperature, pressure, level, flow, weight, pH, power, speed, position, etc.

Instrumentation: Principal features of design of common sensors, transducers, transmitters, controllers, actuators, recorders, switches, etc. Criteria for selection of instruments. Location of instruments. Sampling systems. Commissioning instruments.

Control valves: Principal features of construction. Valve bodies: e.g. butterfly, globe, etc. Plug and seat arrangements. Noise. Terminology. Inherent and installed characteristics. Specification and sizing. Control valve failure actions. Actuator types. Use of positioners. Split range (duplex) action. Installation practice. Methodology for calibration. Intelligent valves: integration with PID and measurement functions.

Digital communications: Pros and cons. HART and Fieldbus protocols. Layers. Topology. Interoperability. User layer functionality. Function blocks and device description language. IEC/ISA SP50 standard.

Control practice: Layout of control rooms and motor control centres, I/O racks, marshalling panels, field termination racks, etc. Signal distribution. Documentation. Electrical installation. Trays, trunking and conduit. Power and air supply and distribution. Earthing. Intrinsic safety. Hazardous area classifications: gas groups and zones. Enclosures. Ingress protection and IP66. Barrier systems. Segregation policy.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities

Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00Lectures/demonstrations
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion351:0035:00Revision and further study prior to exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion14:004:00Exam and remote support (email, phone)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical61:006:00Sturctured exercises in process control lab
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00Tutorials/Case study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork140:0040:00Completion of assignment (works based or otherwise) and writing of report
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study135:0035:00Background reading for assignment

Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are used as the primary vehicle for disseminating knowledge.
Tutorials (examples classes) and practicals are used for reinforcing understanding.
Industrialists’ involvement is to emphasise applications orientation of module.
Demonstrations enable delegates to appreciate functionality of proprietary products.
Assignment provides opportunity to apply theory and principles to a real/realistic problem.
Exam and assignment enable success of the module to be assessed.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners


Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1203M50In-house closed book exam 2.5 months after the start of the module

Other Assessment

Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report3M50Assignment issued during week of module. An 8-15 page report on the assignment submitted 2 months after start of module

Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The objective is to assess as many of the learning outcomes as possible by means of the combination of both the formal exam and the report on the assignment.
The exam enables a formal assessment of theory and problem solving skills whereas the assignment enables assessment of delegates’ ability to adapt and apply theory and technology to relevant open ended problems of an industrial nature.
The 50/50 split between assignment and exam is deliberate to balance the needs of:
• delegates in full time employment working towards their MSc degree/Diploma on a remote basis, and
• the rigour necessary to have confidence in the examinations process.

The 150 student hours is split equally between the assignment and tuition/exam to reflect a 50/50 split in assessment.

Reading Lists


Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.