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Panel Operator Training Course

Panel Operator Training Course

35 days
This course is not scheduled.
Who should attend?


    • Experienced field operators moving to panel operator positions in refining and petrochemical plants.


  • Foundation
  • This course makes possible a rapid mastery of panelist skills. The facilities are optimized and operated in a pro-active way.
  • Successful participants will be granted the “Panel Operator” Vocational Certificate.
Learning Objectives
  • Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:
  • communicate and work effectively with shift colleagues,
  • explain in detail the processes using various documents (PFDs, P&IDs, control schemes, logic diagrams),
  • identify risks related to equipment operation and process; to enforce adequate preventive actions,
  • adjust the plant process parameters to optimize production rate, product quality and operating costs, minimize losses and releases,
  • analyze the process key parameters to determine disturbance causes, and take appropriate corrective and preventive actions,
  • prepare, start and shutdown a unit in safe conditions.
Course Content


2 days

  • Panel operator role within the operation team; control room staff. Reporting and handover duties.
  • Plant documentation: inventory, content, usage, role and duties of the panel operator.


2 days

  • Notions of industrial chemistry. Fluid mechanics: pressure, flowrates, fluid flow, pressure drops.
  • Heat exchange: exchange mechanisms, resistance to heat transfer.
  • Liquid-vapor equilibrium of pure substances and mixtures.
  • Simulators: impact of operating parameters on the chemical reaction performances, heat exchanges through various types of heat exchangers, separation in a flash drum.


6 days

  • Process control:
  • Constitution of a control loop, symbols used. Sensors and transmitters. Control valves.
  • Controllers operating principles, inputs/outputs, internal parameters and tuning.
  • Complex control loops (cascade, split range, multiple calculation blocks). Advanced control basics.
  • Simulators: Valves characteristic curves. PID parameters tuning. Heat exchanger duty control. Split range configuration. Behavior analysis of complex control loops.
  • Distributed Control System (DCS):
  • Architecture and system components. Man - Machine Interface (MMI). Trends tools. Information flux between site and control room.
  • Automation:
  • Safety instrumented systems: PSS, ESD, HIPPS, EDP; architecture and relationship with DCS. Safety logics and cause & effect matrix.
  • PLCs and automation: grafcet analysis, study of specific sequences.
  • Simulators: furnace safety logics.


8 days

  • For each: working principles, technology, ancillary systems, process control scheme monitoring, operation, alarms, safety devices.
  • Pumps, compressors, drivers:
  • Simulators: filters switch, operation of pumps; changes in operating conditions, capacity control of compressors, troubleshooting of a compressor; start-up of a steam turbine driven centrifugal compressor.
  • Thermal equipment: heat exchangers, air coolers, furnaces, boilers:
  • Simulators: fouling of a heat exchanger; changing fuel supplied to burners, coil fouling, start-up and shutdown of a furnace.
  • Specific equipment for a given assignment unit (gas turbines, solid handling, extruders…).


8 days

  • Composition and physico-chemical properties of feeds and products.
  • Commercial product quality requirements, specification and standard tests. Mixing rules.
  • Process units: role, principles, main equipment, specific hazards. Influence of the main operating parameters on the operation, consequences on process and products. Material balance.
  • Distillation, absorption, stripping.
  • Utilities: flare systems, air production, effluent treatment units, steam, water treatments…:
  • Simulators: start-up and shutdown, operation and control of various process units (for instance: two-product distillation columns, multi draw-off distillation column, amine absorption and regeneration, sulfur recovery unit, hydrotreatment unit).


6 days

  • Panel operator safe behavior:
  • Radio communication, other communication equipment. Teamwork, responsibility sharing. Transmission of know-how.
  • Alertness, forward thinking plant operation. Alarm management.
  • Application: role plays using the simulators (with panel operator views and FODs).
  • HSE in operation:
  • Product, equipment and process-related risks; prevention and protection.
  • Risks related to operation of equipment, to decommissioning-commissioning and start-up of equipment, specific prevention measures.
  • Routine operations. Permit to work, work order, consignations and isolations.
  • Special operations: SIMOPS, black start. Emergency operation and crisis management.
  • Impact of plant operation on gas release into the atmosphere and on the waste water treatment unit; minimization of releases.
  • Integrated plant operation:
  • Steady state runs: routine checks, operating windows, integrated plant behavior (inertia, interferences).
  • Global performances, margin optimization/impact of quality gaps.
  • Identification, analysis and reaction to upsets and equipment failures; stabilization.
  • Simulators: field round on a running process unit; commissioning, start-up and shutdown procedures, justifications of different steps; inhibition management; operations in downgraded situations; practice of emergency operations.


3 days

  • Continuous assessment (including practical exercises on simulators).
  • Final test with real-life situation simulation exercises to validate objectives.
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Ways & Means
  • Case studies and applications on generic dynamic simulators: 80% of the time spent in the training center.
  • Reminding of necessary theoretical and technical fundamentals directly through simulator handlings.
  • Training involves on-site work and supervision from mentors in the plant.
  • Permanent interactive delivery method.
  • An international recognition of your competencies.
  • A Vocational Certificate is obtained.
  • An expertise confirmed in Panel Operator Training Course.
  • Ready-to-use skills.