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AutoQuiz: What Is the Best Location in an HMI for the Graphic Display of a Distillation Column?

AutoQuiz is edited by Joel Don, ISA's social media community manager.


Today's automation industry quiz question comes from the ISA Certified Automation Professional certification program. ISA CAP certification provides a non-biased, third-party, objective assessment and confirmation of an automation professional's skills. The CAP exam is focused on direction, definition, design, development/application, deployment, documentation, and support of systems, software, and equipment used in control systems, manufacturing information systems, systems integration, and operational consulting. Click this link for more information about the CAP program. The following question comes from the CAP study guide, Performance Domain IV, Development, software development and coding.

The graphic display for a distillation column in a refining train would BEST fit in the HMI display hierarchy at which level?

a) plant
b) area
c) group
d) loop
e) none of the above


A typical hierarchy has displays at four levels:

Plant level: Provides information regarding the entire plant

Area level: Provides information on portions of the plant equipment that is related in some way

Group level: Provides information for the control loops and data points relating to a single process unit within a plant area

Loop level: Provides information that deals with individual control loops, sequences, or data points

A distillation column refers to one piece of equipment in the distillation process, which will contain several loops. Therefore, it falls into the group-level category.

The correct answer is C, the group level.

Reference: Lukas, Michael P., Distributed control systems: Their evaluation and design

Joel Don
Joel Don
Joel Don is the community manager for ISA and is an independent content marketing, social media and public relations consultant. Prior to his work in marketing and PR, Joel served as an editor for regional newspapers and national magazines throughout the U.S. He earned a master's degree from the Medill School at Northwestern University with a focus on science, engineering and biomedical marketing communications, and a bachelor of science degree from UC San Diego.

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