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17/10/2007

Home » eLearning » Tutorials » Process Control » Tuning Guidelines

Calculating controller tuning values requires knowing considerable information about by the controller.

There are essentially three types of algorithms in use: ideal, parallel and series. Ideal generally found only in textbooks. Parallel control algorithms have three independent calculations for Proportional (Gain), Integral, and Derivative. An advantage of paralle construction is changes in the values to one do not affect the other two. A disadvanta difficult to manually tune. Series control algorithms are constructed so the output of o part of the input to the next calculation, thus "upstream" calculation changes affect "d calculations. This is frequently referred to as controller tuning interaction. Series cont the most common used in analog and digital controllers.

Proportional term definition
Proportional Band % = 100/Propotional Gain
Proportional Band
(Proportional Gain)
Gain
1%
100.0
10%
10.0
50%
2.0
100%
1.0
500%
0.2

FTR

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1,000%
0.1
Comparison of units used for controller integral settings
Seconds per
Repeats per
Minutes per
Repea
repeat
second
repeat
min
1
1.00
0.0167
60.
5
0.20
0.0833
12.
10
0.10
0.1667
6.
60
0.0166
1.0
1.
120
0.0083
2.0
0.
240
0.00417
4.0
0.2
480
0.00208
8.0
0.1
1,000
0.0010
16.6667
0.0

PID controllers operate on an error feedback where the output is normally characteri difference between the PV and SP. However, it is not always advantageous for a con an error signal. It is common practice to allow a controller to respond differently to SP load (PV) changes. It is important to understand which algorithm variables will be affe is changed versus when the PV is changed. Continuous processes normally have PV while batch processes tend to have more SP changes. Depending on how the contro how the algorithm reacts to SP and PV changes, and how tuning constants are deter is possible to have a controller perform better one way than another.

Technical libraries contain volumes on various ways to calculate controller-tuning val
most efficient and consistent ways to collect and analyze process data is to use softw
companies. Also, most control system manufacturers offer a variety of control loop an
software. When software isn?t available, some useful guidelines can be applied.
Ultimate Sensitivity Method
The goal is to achieve a marginally stable controller response
(see marginally stable response chart)
Closed Loop (Loop in Automatic)
1. Choose any GAIN setting. Place INTEGRAL at maximum time
value) and place DERIVATIVE at minimum value or turn it com
2. Make a 10% change in SETPOINT (SP).
Test 1
3. Record the PROCESS VARIABLE (PV) and CONTROLLER O
responses. (If process becomes unstable, place the loop in MA
what is needed to maintain control.)
4. If recorded response produces a stable (lagging) response, pro
2.
5. If recorded response produces an unstable (leading) response,
Test 3.
1. Double the GAIN setting (Leave INTEGRAL and DERIVATIVE
Test 1).
2. Make a 10% change in SP.
Test 2
3. Record the PV and CO responses. (If process becomes unstab
loop in MANUAL and do what is needed to maintain control.)
4. If recorded response produces a stable (lagging) response, rep
5. If recorded response produces an unstable (leading) response,
Test 3.
1. Half the GAIN setting (Leave INTEGRAL and DERIVATIVE the

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1 and 2).
2. Make a 10% change in SP.
Test 3
3. Record the PV and CO responses. (If process becomes unstab
loop in MANUAL and do what is needed to maintain control.)
4. If recorded response produces a stable (lagging) response, pro
2.
5. If recorded response produces an unstable (leading) response,
Repeat testing until a marginally stable response has been recorded.

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Once a marginally stable response is obtained, all the information necessary to calculate usable controller available. The following table provides guidelines useful in determining usable tuning constants for P (prop and integral), and PID (proportional, integral, and derivative) controllers.

Determining ?usable? controller settings
Controller assumptions:
Controller algorithm is series.
Proportional (P) is entered as gain (not proportional band).
Integral (I) is in minutes per repeat (not repeats per minute).
Derivative (D) is in minutes.
Proportional (P)
only controller
Multiply the ultimate gain setting in the controller by
The result will provide automatic control but may cre
SP offset. To eliminate/reduce the offset, introduce I
Proportional and
Integral (PI)
controller
1. Multiply the ultimate gain setting in the controller b
2. Multiply the ultimate period by 0.83.
Proportional,
Integral, and
Derivative (PID)
controller
1. Multiply the ultimate gain setting in the controller b
2. Multiply the ultimate period by 0.50.
3. Multiply the "ultimate period by 0.125.
Repeats
A calculation of (Proportional GAIN * OFFSET).
Repeats per
minute
How many times will the controller perform the (Prop
* OFFSET) calculation in one minute?
Minutes per repeat
How much time, in minutes, does it take the controll
(Proportional GAIN * OFFSET) calculation?
Derivative (D)
Cautions
Derivative action is applied only one time when the P
away from SP.
Derivative works on rate-of-change. If the PV rate-of
caused by "noise," derivative may cause over-correc
use derivative on a process with a noiseband greate

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Control loops likely to have significant noise are pres
flow. Level can also be noisy when stirred/agitated o
can/is occurring.
If a control loop has an inherent gain of one,
and the open-loop gain is four;
Then the proportional gain requ
controller is one divided by four
(Place 0.25 in P constant of the
RULE #1: If loop dead time is less than or
equal to ¼ the loop time constant;
Then open-loop gain times proc
equals one.
COROLLARY #1: If loop dead time is
approximately ½ the loop time constant;
Then open-loop gain times proc
equals 0.5
COROLLARY #2: If loop dead time is
greater than or equal to the loop time
constant;
Then open-loop gain times proc
equals 0.25.
NOTE: Controller scan times should be at least eight times fas
the loop time constant.
RULE #2: Integral time (I T ) should be equal I T = LTC when LTC is in repeats

Reaction curve (open loop) method Many people become very nervous when a controller is placed in automatic with t produce cyclic, on the brink of out-of-control response. For these nervous types, open loop (loop in manual) reaction curve testing may be less stressful.

The philosophy of open loop testing is to begin with a steady-state process, make a s final control element and record the results of the PV. Information produced by the op loop deadtime and the loop time constant. Users must be accurate in determining tim where the PV first begins to move, and T3, the point where the PV attains 63.2% of t Following an open-loop test the recorded information should closely resemble the Op Results diagram below.

A side benefit to conducting and recording the open-loop test is the establishment of a loop signature for f determining if the process has changed. For example, if the loop signature is for a temperature controller o significant change in the loop signature could indicate the heat exchanger is losing efficiency.

Using the results of the open-loop test to calculate controller-tuning constants requires dividing the percen percentage change in CO to obtain an open-loop gain. The open-loop gain (OLG) and control loops inhere the formula (OLG * P(gain) = IG). With terms rearranged, the formula becomes IG divided by OLG = P(gai

Consider the following guidelines when calculating controller-tuning constants:

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to loop time constant (LTC).
RULE#3: Derivative time should be less
than or equal to ¼ of LTC.

Integrating processes Integrating processes are those for which only one CO setting in manual mode (balanced) PV. Level, batch temperature, batch pressure, and pH tanks are exa processes. Expanding on the level example, with the control loop in manual, only o the amount of liquid entering a vessel to exactly equal the amount of liquid leaving t CO setting will cause the level PV to integrate upward or downward.

Gathering data for integrating processes is best accomplished using an open loop test.

1. Find the balance point where vessel/process input is equal to vessel/process

2. Make a 10% to 20% change in the CO setting.

3. After the PV has integrated 3% to 5% change the CO output back the balance

4. Repeat step two in the opposite direction.

5. Repeat step three.

The reason to conduct the test in both directions is that some loops (i.e., heating and produce a different slope for each direction. When this is the case, the less aggressiv used to determine controller-tuning constants to prevent loop instability. When unexp produced, likely causes are stiction or backlash in the control valve. Trying to tune su impossible because the controller is attempting to overcome mechanical defects that worse with time.

Integrating processes usually produce the best overall results with medium response tuning constants tha Use caution when applying derivative to integrating processes. If "excessive" hysteresis is found in a contr tuning constants.

Controller tuning constants for integrating processes should utilize high gain and slow repeats per minute).

Cascade control loops Cascade control loops are effective when trying to maintain tight control over slow m

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example, boiler level can be tightly maintained using a level controller cascaded to a

To have an effective cascade control strategy the dynamics of the secondary loop must be at least five tim primary loop. (Dynamics are defined as loop dead time multiplied by loop time constant.)

To tune a cascade control loop:

1. Place secondary loop in automatic (disconnect the secondary loop from the pr

2. Conduct test and tune secondary loop.

3. Place secondary loop in Remote SP (connect secondary and primary loop).

4. Conduct test and tune primary loop.

Note: Ensure secondary loop does not have setpoint limits or unnecessary assigned

When embarking on a journey to tune all loops in a process, work from the raw material end to the final pr flows, then pressures, followed by levels, then temperatures, and finally what remains.

Contrary to popular belief, control loop tuning is a science. But it begins with analysis in the loop to ensure each piece of equipment in the loop is capable of performing equipment is ready, methods have been developed and repeatedly proven to knowledge and patience. The pay off to having every control loop performing at its b quality and production improvement that could go as high as 25%.

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