Instrumentation and control engineering

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Instrumentation is defined as the art and science of measurement and control of the process variables within a production or manufacturing area.[1] The process variables used in industries are Level, Pressure, Temperature, Humidity, Flow, pH, Force, Speed etc. Control engineering or control systems engineering is the engineering discipline that applies control theory to design systems with desired behaviors. Control engineers are responsible for the research, design, development and control devices/systems, typically in manufacturing facilities and plants. The practice uses sensors to measure the output performance of the device being controlled and those measurements can be used to give feedback to the input actuators that can make corrections toward desired performance. When a device is designed to perform without the need of human inputs for correction it is called automatic control (such as cruise control for regulating a car's speed). Multi-disciplinary in nature, control systems engineering activities focus on implementation of control systems mainly derived by mathematical modeling of systems of a diverse range.

Instrumentation and Control Engineering[edit]

This term refers to the graduate discipline many universities provide at graduate and postgraduate level. Instrumentation and Control plays a significant role in both gathering information from the field and changing the field parameters, and as such are a key part of control loops.The Instrumentation Technology, being an inter-disciplinary branch of engineering, is heading towards development of new & intelligent sensors, smart transducers, MEMS Technology, Bluetooth Technology. This discipline finds its origin in both electrical and electronics engineering, and it covers subjects related to electronics and electrical streams. In short, it deals with measurement, automation and control processes.In today's scenario, there are many people who are willing to make a career in this stream. Almost all process and manufacturing industry such as steel, oil, petrochemical, power and defense production will have a separate instrumentation and control department, which is manned and managed by instrumentation and control engineers. “Automation is the buzz word in process industry, and automation is the core job of instrumentation and control engineers. Hence, the demand for instrumentation will always be there."[2]

Nature of Job[edit]

An instrumentation and control engineer is required to[3]

  1. Design and develop control systems
  2. Maintain the existing control systems
  3. Manage the control systems
  4. Collaborate with design engineers, purchasers and other staff members involved in the production processes
  5. Manage projects within the given restraints including cost and time
  6. Troubleshoot
  7. Ensure that the instruments comply with health and safety regulations
  8. Ensure that quality standards are maintained
  9. Provide consultancy support


Instrumentation and control engineers have a role to play in all the fields where there is automation.The instruments created by control engineers to automate the processes,thus reducing the involvement of manpower.

An instrumentation and control engineer is expected to learn subjects like

Knowledge of PLC programming, Panel view HMI screens, SCADA Application programming preferred.

Goal of Instrumentation and control engineers[edit]

Instrumentation and control engineers work with the goal of improving

  • Productivity,
  • Optimization,
  • Stability, dedication
  • Reliability,
  • Safety,
  • Continuity.

These engineers design, develop, maintain, and manage the instruments and the instrumentation systems.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Instrumentation ", The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology., Retrieved 17 October 2012.
  2. ^ "Instrumentation engineering in demand", The Hindu, April 16, 2012
  3. ^ "Instrumentation and Control Engineering is for Perfectionists", Diksha P Gupta

External links[edit]