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PROCESS

CONTROL
BASICS

This complex batch-kettle control scheme involves both shared display/control and
programmable logic control. Using the letter combinations from Table 1, the line
symbols from Table 2, and the instrument or function symbols from Table 3, one can
either prepare or decipher a diagram such as the one shown here

TABLE 2. INSTRUMENT LINE SYMBOLS*


Instrument supply or
connection to process**
Undefined signal
Pneumatic signal
Pneumatic binary signal
Electric signal
Electric binary signal
Hydraulic signal
Capillary tube
Electromagnetic or
sonic signal (guided)
Electromagnetic or sonic
signal (not guided)
Internal system link
(software or data link)
Mechanical link

TABLE 1. IDENTIFICATION LETTER KEY FOR GENERAL INSTRUMENTS


Letter First Position
Measured or
initiating variable

Succeding Position
Modifier

Readout or
passive function

Analysis

Alarm

Burner, combustion

Users choice

Output
function

Modifier

* All lines to be fine in comparison to process piping lines


** The following abbreviations are suggested to denote the types
of power supply. These designations may also be applied to
purge fluid supplies:
AS Air supply

Users choice

Users Choice

Users Choice

Voltage

Flowrate

Users choice

Hand

Current (electrical)

Power

Scan

Time, time schedule

Time rate
of change

Level

Users choice

Users choice

Users choice

Users choice

Orifice,
restriction

Pressure, vacuum

Point (test)
connection

Quantity

Radiation

Speed, frequency

Temperature

Multivariable

Vibration,
mechanical
analysis

Weight, Force

Unclassified

X Axis

Event, state or
presence

Y Axis

Relay, compute,
convert

Position, dimension

Z Axis

Driver, actuator,
unclassified final
control element

Users choice

Control

IA Instrument air
PA Plant air

SS Steam supply

ES Electric supply

WS Water supply

GS Gas supply

Differential
Sensor (primary
element)

TABLE 3. GENERAL INSTRUMENT


OR FUNCTION SYMBOLS

Ratio
(fraction)

Primary
location
(normally
accessible to
operator)***

Glass, viewing
High
Indicate

Light

Field
mounted

Auxiliary
location
(normally
accessible to
operator)***

Discrete
instruments

Control
station

Momentary

HS Hydraulic supply
NS Nitrogen supply

Low
Middle,
intermediate
Users choice

Users choice

Shared display, shared


control
Computer
function
Programmable logic
control

Integrate,
totalize
Record
Safety (8)

Switch
Transmit
Multifunction

Multifunction

Multifunction

Valve, damper,
louver
Well
Unclassified

Unclassified

Unclassified

* Symbol size may vary according to the users needs and the type of
document. Consistency is recommended
** Abbreviations of the users choice such as IP1 (Instrument Panel
#1), IC2 (Instrument Console #2) and so on, may be used when it is
necessary to specify instrument or function location
*** Normally inaccessible or behind-the-panel devices or functions
may be depicted by using the same symbol but with dashed horizontal bars, such as

Reference
Reprinted by permission from ISA-5.1-1984 (R1992), Instrumentation
Symbols and Identification. Copyright ISA 1984.

Note: A postscript to Februarys Facts At Your Fingertips on Material and Energy Balances can be found on p. 8 of this issue (April 2006).