Target Audience




Skills for Operation Personnel

Course Description


Course Duration: One Day

In the hydrocarbon and chemical process industry, a typical process operator controls an investment in plant and equipment that runs into the tens of millions of dollars; raw materials in process worth as much as a million dollars a day; and the safety of hundreds of people working and living around the plant.

Today’s hydrocarbons and chemicals processing plants are the safest they have ever been, thanks to investment in sophisticated process control equipment and improvements in operating reliability.  Process operators are far better trained then their predecessors a generation ago.  But most operators aren’t well schooled in troubleshooting process problems - and the consequences of failure can be huge.

We have developed an approach to teaching troubleshooting based on widely recognized training best practices:

  •   We’ve analyzed how good troubleshooting works, and developed a step-by-step method that can be used to troubleshoot any kind of operating problem.
  •   We teach troubleshooting methods in a classroom environment.
  •   Operators learn how to troubleshoot by applying the method to process simulations running on desktop or laptop computers in the classroom

We believe that our five phase approach and the use of computer simulation in our case studies provides a method of teaching troubleshooting that is unmatched by any other approach we have seen.

An investment in troubleshooting skill development can pay huge returns, measured by improved operating performance, fewer shutdowns, and the benefits of improved process safety and reduced releases to the environment.


Operation personnel learn the principles and methods of troubleshooting, and get hands on experience applying these techniques using computer process simulation.  This is a one-day course that stresses learning a rigorous model of troubleshooting and its use in solving operating problems effectively.  This course stresses “what to do” and “how to do it.”


Fundamentals of Process Troubleshooting is designed for process plant operators who want to improve their basic troubleshooting skills.  It is also valuable for other operating staff that needs to understand the principles of troubleshooting and its application to process operations.  The course is also available in a version for outside operators and a version for maintenance technicians.

The Program

Fundamentals of Process Troubleshooting is an intensive one-day workshop. Classroom lectures, individual and group exercises, and case studies are used to bring real world operation troubleshooting problems into the classroom.

The morning is devoted to teaching our model for troubleshooting.  Our model recognizes five distinct phases in the troubleshooting process.  As the model is taught, the participants apply the principals to state of the art process simulation run on desktop or laptop computers.

The afternoon deals with the application of the model in the real world considering many factors that often stand in the way of effective troubleshooting.  Case studies utilizing the computer simulation allow these influences to be injected into the class in a very realistic and dramatic way.

The course is taught by an instructional staff of senior line managers, each with more than thirty years of experience in process plant operations.


Revised: 11 March 2016