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Controller Tuning Process Control

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TUNING FEEDBACK CONTROLLERS

Tuning is adjusting the feedback controller parameters to obtain a specified closed-loop response. There are a variety

of feedback controller tuning methods. Probably 80 % of all loops are tuned experimentally by an instrument mechanic

and 75 % of the time the mechanic can guess approximately what settings will be by drawing on experience with

similar loops.

The controller parameters that must be tuned are as follows:

1. Proportional Controllers Kc

2. Proportional Integral Controllers Kc, I

3. Proportional Integral Derivative Controllers Kc, I , D

Cases:

Some process loops do have relatively fast responses, but many processes take even hours before results can be

observed. This makes tuning feedback controllers performed by Trial and Error which is a tedious and time-consuming

task. This is the method most often used by control and instrument engineers. A number of procedures have been

developed but one should bear in mind that no one procedure will give the best results for all process control

situations.

Method of Quarter Decay Ratio Response by Ultimate Gain (Ziegler Nichols Method)

This is a closed-loop or on-line tuning method proposed by Ziegler and Nichols (in 1942). The controller settings given

by this method are easy to find and easy to use and they give reasonable performance on some loops. They are often

used as first guesses, but they tend to be too underdamped for most process control applications. Some on-line

tuning can improve control significantly but the Ziegler-Nichols (ZN) method settings are useful as a place to start.

The ZN method consist of first finding the ultimate gain K u, the value of gain at which the loop is at the limit of stability

with a proportional feedback controller only. The period of the resulting oscillation is called the ultimate period, P u

(minutes per cycle). The ZN settings are then calculated from K u and Pu by the formulas below for the three types of

controllers.

Parameter

Kc, proportional

gain

I , Integral time

D , Derivative time

P Controller

PI Controller

Ku

Ku

2

2.2

Pu

1.2

PID Controller

Ku

1.7

Pu

2

Pu

8

Steps:

1. Determination of the dynamic characteristics or personality of the control loop.

2. Estimate of the controller tuning parameters that produce a desired response for the dynamic characteristics

determined in the 1st step. This is matching the personality of the controller to that of the other elements in the

loop.

The dynamic characteristics of the process are represented by the ultimate gain of the proportional controller and the

ultimate period of oscillation of the loop. These can be determined from the transfer function of all the components of

the loop. Most often, they are experimentally determined.

Experimental Determination of Ku and Pu:

1. Switch off the integral and derivative modes of the feedback controller so as to have a proportional controller

only. Some controllers have Integral mode which cannot be switched off but it can be de-tuned by switching

I to its maximum value or by setting the integral rate to the minimum value.

2. With the controller in automatic (i.e. the loop is closed), increase the proportional gain (or reduce the

proportional band) until the loop oscillates with constant amplitude. Record the values of the gain that

Prepared by: Brenda D. Coloma, ChE

produces sustained oscillation as K u ultimate gain. This step is carried out in discrete gain increments

bumping the system by applying a small change in setpoint at each gain setting.

3. From a time recording of the controlled variable, the period of oscillation is measured and recorded as P u the

ultimate period.

C(t)

Pu

Time

A

For the desired Closed-Loop Response:

Decay Ratio = 1 = B

4

A

C(ts)

; B=A

Time

Quarter decay ratio response is very desirable for disturbance inputs because it prevents a large initial deviation

from the setpoint without being too oscillatory. It is not desirable for step changes in setpoint because the new setpoint

in each deviation is the preceding maximum deviation from the new setpoint in the opposite direction. This difficulty

can easily be corrected by reducing the Kc (proportional gain) from the value predicted by the formula as given in the

table.

The decay ratio is a direct function of the Kc and can be adjusted at anytime by simply changing the gain. If the

quarter decay ratio response is too oscillatory, reduction of the gain will smoothen out the response.

The ZN parameters produce fast response for most industrial loops.

Controller - Tuning Problem:

Given the characteristics equation of the continuous stirred tank, determine the quarter decay ratio tuning parameters

for a PID controller by the ultimate gain method (ZN Method). Also calculate the roots of the characteristic equation for

the controller tuned with these parameters and calculate the actual decay ratio.

Transfer Function:

Feed

C(s)

G1G C

G2

R(s)

F(s)

1 G1G C

1 G1G C

Ku = 10.4% CO

% TO

Ti , F

; Tu = 4.6 min

Steam , T st

Where:

G1

1.984

%TO

.

(0.2s 1)(8.34s 1)(0.502s 1)(0.75s 1) %CO

Prepared by: Brenda D. Coloma, ChE

The Tyreus Luyben method procedure is quite similar to the Ziegler Nichols method but gives more conservative

settings (higher closed-loop damping coefficient) and is more suitable for chemical process control applications. This

method uses the ultimate gain Ku and the ultimate frequency u. The formulas are given in the following table.

Parameter

Kc, proportional

gain

I , Integral time

D , Derivative time

P Controller

PI Controller

Ku

3.2

2.2 Pu

PID Controller

Ku

2.2

2.2 Pu

Pu

6.3

The use of PID controllers in process control is limited, primarily because of problems with noisy signals. The

derivative action amplifies this noise and gives a poor performance in some applications.

Prepared by: Brenda D. Coloma, ChE

CHARACTERIZATION OF PROCESS RESPONSE

The transfer function is a characteristic of the process. The important information about the process response can be

obtained from the roots of the transfer function and it is not necessary to obtain the exact solution to each problem.

Is the process stable? If so, what will be its final steady state value? Is the response monotonic or oscillatory? If

monotonic and stable, how long will it take for the transients to die out? If oscillatory, what is the period of oscillation

and how long will it take for the oscillation to die out?

Output Response:

Y (s)

X(s)

n

n1

ans an1s ....... ao

When the denominator is factored out:

X(s) ; r1 , r2, rn roots of characteristic equation (poles)

an (s r1)(s r2 )...(s rn )

Y (s)

where X(s) depends on the type of input (step, pulse, ramp, sinusoidal, etc)

Expand:

Y(s)

A1

A2

An

.........

[ terms of X(s) ]

s - r1 s r2

s rn

a) Without repeated roots, the inverse is:

b) With repeated roots, m times: its coefficient is replaced by a polynomial in t of degree m-1

All real roots:

If all roots are real, the equivalent response are simple exponential functions of time that low only grow with

time if the roots are positive or decay to zero if the root is negative.

Real roots cannot cause the response to oscillate.

If any roots are (+), the response will grow exponentially without bound, so it will be unstable. If the root is

zero, it is still unstable!

If all the roots are real, then

1. the response is monotonic (non oscillatory)

2. it is stable only if all the roots are negative.

Prepared by: Brenda D. Coloma, ChE

roots w/ negative real part

The response is oscillatory and the oscillation grows with time (unstable) if any of the pairs of complex roots

has a (+) real parts.

Expanded output is:

With s

Y (s)

(A A 2 )(s ) i(A 1 A 2 )

A

A

....... 1

.....

s i s i

(s )2 2

(s )2 2

Y (s)

B(s )

C

2

2

(s )

(s )2 2

= :

The result is:

tan1

B

C

d) Frequency of the sine wave is equal to the imaginary parts of the roots.

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