Instrumentation and Control Engineering is for Perfectionists

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Just imagine a world without instruments. It would be like traversing into a time that probably goes even beyond the Stone Age. Man has always been fascinated towards instruments and the quest to invent and innovate on new instruments has pushed mankind beyond barriers to an age where instruments have become a part and parcel of the life. Today, we find instruments at home and at workplace, and this was possible only because of the instrumentation and control engineers around us
“There is hardly any area of engineering, science and technology where instrumentation is not needed. Hence, there is vast scope in this field –says” Prof. Harsukhpreet Singh., from the department of Instrumentation Engineering, College of engineering and management.
Instrumentation engineering is the engineering specialization focused on the principle and operation of measuring instruments that are used in design and configuration of automated systems in electrical, pneumatic domains etc. , with the goal of improving system productivity, reliability, safety, optimization and stability that are used to measure or control physical quantities such as temperature, pressure and flow.. The control of processes is one of the main branches of applied instrumentation. To control the parameters in a process or in a particular system, devices such as microprocessors, microcontrollers or PLCs are used, but their ultimate aim is to control the parameters of a system.
Instrumentation engineers are commonly responsible for integrating the sensors with the recorders, transmitters, displays or control systems. They may design or specify installation, wiring and signal conditioning. They may be responsible for calibration, testing and maintenance of the system. The discipline is also the basis of mechatronics and robotics engineering.
There is hardly any area of Engineering, Science and Technology where Instrumentation in one form or the other is not needed. As a certain process is becoming more and more automated, the need for a closer monitoring of inputs and responses become more obligatory and the instruments at the component and sub - system levels tend to become more and more integrated.

Instrumentation engineering is a multi-disciplinary stream and covers subjects from various branches such as chemical, mechanical, electrical, electronics and computers,” says Prof. A. Bhujanga Rao, from the department of Instrumentation Engineering, Andhra University.viz Instrumentation is a very broad area in the sense that it has an interdisciplinary character. There is a proliferation of a variety of Instrumentation systems for a variety of purpose.
Instrumentation and control engineering is one of the brightest fields in engineering today. If you look at the Indian scenario, there are many people who are willing to make a career in this stream. There are many colleges that provide education in this field, and to top it all, there are ‘well-paid’ jobs as well. A talented instrumentation and control engineer need not worry about getting a job because he has a sky full of opportunities to explore.
Almost all process and manufacturing industry such as steel, oil, petrochemical, power and defiance production will have a separate instrumentation department, which is manned and managed by instrumentation engineers. “Automation is the buzz word in process industry, and automation is the core job of instrumentation engineers. Hence, the demand for instrumentation will always be there,” says the professor. The growth in the avionics, aeronautical and space science sectors has also increased the scope for instrumentation engineers. Instrumentation engineers can also fit in both software and hardware sectors. i.e The demand is so high that every student finds at least two jobs waiting in the wings, by the time he or she completes her course.
The instruments created by instrumentation and control engineers automate the processes, reducing the involvement of manpower.
Umakant parida HOD from the department of Instrumentation Engineering, College of engineering and management. Elaborates, “Gone are the days when managers used to think about deploying manpower to handle some processes in factories. Things have changed, courtesy the instrumentation and control engineers. Nowadays companies resort to minimal manpower as most of the processes are automated. Automation ensures maximum productivity and accuracy by using minimal manpower resources. It is due to these engineers and this stream of engineering that dependence on manpower has reduced, bringing efficiency in the processes. Instrumentation engineers can find jobs in both hardware and software sectors.”
Nature of Job
Typical work activities Control and instrumentation engineers develop skills in specific control disciplines such as advanced process control (APC), distributed control systems (DCS), programmable logic controllers (PLC), and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA). The use of these disciplines will depend on the exact nature of individual job roles.

In general however, tasks and responsibilities can include:

  • designing and developing new control systems;
  • testing, maintaining and modifying existing systems;
  • analyzing data and presenting findings in written reports;
  • managing operations;
  • working collaboratively with design engineers, operation engineers, purchasers and other internal staff;
  • liaising with clients, suppliers, contractors and relevant authorities (e.g. the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority);
  • project management within cost and time constrained environments;
  • troubleshooting and problem-solving; An instrumentation and control engineer is required to:

Requirement Skills/TRAITS
   Instrumentation engineering that made its way as an exclusive engineering discipline in the early Skills required to work as a control and instrumentation engineer familiar with the operation of basic machinery systems and industry tools used to repair, install, and maintain industry equipment. Additionally, it is important to be. Engineers work in tandem with each other in a team-based work environment, so communication and teamwork is usually an essential skill needed to become a control and instrumentation engineer. Problem solving is also an important ability, as approaching an issue and drafting a solution is one of the core functions of any engineer's work day.
 Devender Mishra prof. from the department of Instrumentation Engineering, College of engineering and management, compile the requirement of shill he says, “Instrumentation and control engineering requires sound knowledge of mathematics, physics, electronics, chemistry and process control ,exceptional logical ability, industrial instrumentation, system dynamics etc.
 Those willing to make a successful career in this domain and find applicability in both software and hardware domains should master subjects like microcontroller-based instrumentation, microprocessor-based instrumentation, VLSI, computer architecture and embedded system design. They should also be thorough with computer languages like FORTRAN and ‘C or Pascal.’ The job requires a lot of precision, so the person should have a close-to-perfection attitude.”
Like any other industry, the instrumentation and control engineers are paid according to their abilities and norms of the company.

Rohit Tickoo, director, Tycon Automation, says, “Instrumentation and control engineers are offered decent pay packages if they are talented enough. But this depends upon the company and nature of job as well. On an average, these engineers are offered money varying from Rs 100,000 per annum to Rs 400,000 per annum. Of course, the payment is comparatively better in private sector.”

Higher study options in this discipline.
There are several higher study options for meritorious B.Tech. Degree holders in instrumentation or instrumentation and control engineering. They are pursuit his career with these eminent university or institution ,they are The Indian Institute  of Astrophysics, offers integrated M.Tech.-Ph.D.(Tech) course in astronomical instrumentation in collaboration with the Department of Applied Optics and Photonics, Calcutta University.
 IITs and NIT’s and other university like Anna University, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, BIT, Mesra, CUSAT Cochin, DCE Delhi, SLIET Longowal, Annamalai University, National Institute of Industrial Engineering Mumbai and much more, they offer M.Tech. Degree in control and instrumentation  programme
Getting there
 Take science with physics, chemistry and maths at the plus two level. Instrumentation engineering is available as BTech or BE programme, entry to which is normally through a written test.
Institutes and URLs
·         IIT Kharagpur
·         Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, New Delhi
·         NIT Tiruchirapalli, Jalandhar,
·         Madras Institute of Technology,
·         College of engineering and management,kapurthala Punjab