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Controller Tuning

Controller Tuning

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Published by: janbin1 on Oct 17, 2010
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Rev 1October 2005
Procidia™ Control SolutionsDigital Controller Tuning
This application data sheet provides guidelines for tuning a modern digitalcontroller, such as theSiemens 353 controller 
. Tuning should beattempted only by a qualified person who isfamiliar with the process to be tuned andunderstands how to prevent the process fromentering an unsafe condition during the tuningprocess.Many process control articles have addressedcontroller tuning. They frequently seem to implythat all control loops should be tuned for thefastest possible response. In fact, a control loopneed only be tuned to meet the requirements of the process rather than to meet a preconceivedidea of how fast a flow, pressure, or temperatureloop should react. Tuning a control loop for thefastest response requires more work, increasesthe danger of oscillation with changing processconditions, and can induce interaction betweenthe loops on a given process.The first step in tuning a controller is determiningthe kind of response required to achieve optimumprocess operation.
Controller Tuning
Controller tuning is the adjusting of theproportional gain, integral time, derivative timeand in some cases, derivative gain to obtain thedesired control loop response. Often, but notalways, the desired response is either the fastestresponse to a setpoint change or the fastestreturn to setpoint after a load change. Controlloop response can always be made slower bydecreasing the proportional gain and increasingthe integral time, but loop response can be madefaster only up to the point where loop instabilityoccurs. The object of most controller tuningmethods is to obtain the fastest responseconsistent with stability requirements.
See Applications Support at the back of thispublication for a list of controllers.
Theoretical Tuning Criteria
Control loop response to a setpoint or loadchange shows both the
of process deviation from the setpoint as criteria for evaluating the effect of controller tuning. Oneobvious criterion is the area of the response curvebetween the measurement and the setpoint linewith the smallest possible area representing thebest tuning. See Figure 1. Four minimum error integral tuning criteria that have been developedare listed below. These criteria are used, together with process simulations, primarily in theacademic world for the purpose of studyingcontroller algorithms.
Figure 1 Idealized Control Loop Response
a) Integral of the Absolute Value of the Error (IAE)IAE =
|e(t)| dtb) Integral of the Square of the Error (ISE)ISE =
(t) dtc) Integral of the Time Weighted Absolutes Valueof the Error (ITAE)ITAE =
t|e(t)| dtd) Integral of the Time Weighted Square of theError (ITSE)ITSE =
(t) dt
The ISE tuning criterion [see b) above] puts moreweight on large errors as compared with the IAE[see a) above]. The ITAE and ITSE are similar except they include a weight for elapsed time.Because of the uncertainties in process controlloops, it is seldom possible or practical to meeteven one of these criteria precisely. However, theideas presented are useful in evaluating thesuitability of a control response for a particular process.
Loop Stability
The effectiveness of controller tuning is also judged by the degree of stability of the loopresponse. For oscillatory responses, the degreeof stability is indicated by the decay ratio (i.e. theratio of successive peaks of the response). SeeFigure 2.
Figure 2 Loop Response, 1/4 Decay Ratio
For non-oscillatory responses, the degree of stability can be expressed as the damping factor.A damping factor of 1 represents the fastestpossible response without overshoot and is calledcritical damping. See Figure 3.
Figure 3 Loop Response, Critical Damping
Quarter decay response is often used in tuning for process control simply because it represents auseful compromise between fast response andstability, and it includes a safety factor to reducethe possibility of continuous oscillation on achange in loop characteristics. A higher decayratio (a ratio of 1 indicates continuous oscillation)would produce a more sustained oscillation andwould increase the danger of continuousoscillation under changed process conditions.With a proportional only controller, quarter decayresponse comes close to meeting minimum areacriterion. Therefore, it is only necessary to adjustthe proportional gain to obtain a quarter decayresponse to be assured that the control responseto an upset will be about as fast as practical.When integral and derivative modes are added, itis possible to obtain quarter decay responses withlonger and shorter periods; quarter decay doesnot assure minimum area. It is necessary to findthe right combination of controller adjustments toobtain optimum response. Fortunately tuning for an area criterion usually results in a responsesimilar to quarter decay, so the desired degree of stability can be maintained.A critical or even a highly damped response isemployed on control loops where oscillation isundesirable, such as level control used for flowsmoothing. Tuning for critical damping is notcovered here.
Ziegler-Nichols Tuning Methods
The following tuning methods were developedthrough considerable experimentation and havebecome industry recognized methods for calculating controller adjustments frommeasurements made on the process. They areintended to yield quarter decay and reasonablyfast response and are based on experience withtypical processes. No specific tuning criterion isused.
A. Ziegler-Nichols Closed Loop Method
1. Bring the process to the desired setpointon manual control.2. Eliminate integral and derivative action byadjustment – maximum integral andminimum derivative times.3. Adjust the proportional gain to the lowestsetting and switch the control system toautomatic.4. Simulate a process upset by making asmall momentary change in the setpoint.Look for a sustained cycle in themeasurement on the controller output. If no cycle results, increase the proportionalgain and try again. Repeat until asustained cycle of continuous amplitudeappears.
5. Note the lowest proportional gain at whichcycling is sustained. This is the ultimateproportional gain PGu.6. Time one complete process cycle, frompositive peak to positive peak, in minutes.This is the ultimate period Tu.7. Determine controller adjustments from thetable below.
Controller Tuning Constants
Proportional Gain(PG)0.5PGu0.45PGu0.71PGu0.6PGuIntegral(TI – minutes)--- 0.83Tu--- 0.5TuDerivative(TD – minutes)--- --- 0.15Tu0.125Tu* Not from the original Ziegler-Nichols Paper 
B. Ziegler-Nichols Open Loop Method
1. Bring the process to the desired setpointon manual control.2. Change the valve position a small amount
V (%). The change should be largeenough to produce a measurableresponse in the process but not largeenough to drive the process beyond thenormal operating range. A 5% valvechange is a good starting point.3. Measure C and L (see Figure 4) on theprocess response curve.4. Calculate:
 5. Determine the controller settings from theprevious table.
Figure 4 Process Response CurveC. Limitations
Tuning constants listed in the table are based onexperience with typical processes. A number of common processes may show non-typicalresponses, including liquid level and liquid flowcontrol, but the tuning constants usually workfairly well. On any process the initial results of Ziegler-Nichols tuning may not produce quarter decay response and it may be necessary toreadjust the proportional gain, integral, or derivative to obtain the desired result. However,Ziegler-Nichols usually results in a response closeto quarter decay so only minor readjustmentsshould be necessary.It is often found that PGu and Tu will change if tuning is repeated at a different setpoint or under different load conditions. This can occur as aresult of non-linearity in valves or transmitters or changing throughput in the process.Consequently, optimum control response can beattained only with a particular set of conditionsand can be expected to change – to becomeslower or more oscillatory – as conditions change.This indicates the need for a safety factor in thecontroller tuning or the use of adaptive gaincontrol.
Low Gain Tuning for Flow Control
Although Ziegler-Nichols tuning may not workparticularly well for flow control, this is not aserious problem. Flow control response,particularly liquid flow, is usually fast enough sothat tuning by trial and error requires little time.One method is to set the proportional gain to alow setting (usually 0.2) and then adjust theintegral time to obtain quarter decay or other desired response. Results should be close to anyfaster response obtained with a differentcombination of proportional gain andintegral, and should be more than fastenough for most process requirements assatisfactory results are usually obtainedwith one setting.
Derivative Gain
For a step change in the processvariable, the derivative mode adds animpulse component to the controller output. The magnitude of the impulse isrelated to the derivative gain. The rate atwhich the impulse decays is related to the ratio of the derivative time and the derivative gain. Thefactory configured value for the derivative gain is10 and does not normally need to be changed.

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