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1. The Excitement of Control Engineering

1.5.1 Plant

As mentioned in subsection §1.4.1, the physical layout of a plant is an intrinsic part of control problems. Thus, a control engineer needs to be familiar with the physics of the process under study. This includes a rudimentary knowledge of the basic energy balance, mass balance, and material flows in the system. The physical dimensions of equipment and how they relate to performance specifications must also be understood. In particular, we recommend the production of back of the envelope physical models as a first step in designing and maintaining control systems. These models will typically be refined as one progresses.