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Sajid Iqbal1, Suhail Aftab Qureshi2, Tahir Husssain Rizvi3, Ghulam Abbas4 and Muhammad Majid Gulzar5

sajid.iqbal@uog.edu.pk

Abstract — In this paper, basic concepts of block diagrams have been discussed. Block diagrams have their own significance in every discipline of engineering. A block diagram is reduced to its canonical form using block diagram algebra. We simulated the same problem in MATLAB and SIMULINK. We applied the step input and observed the behavior of the system.

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, or we can represent a com plete process by using block diagram representation. Canonical form of a diagram contains only one block with single input and single output as shown in fig 1.

Index Terms —Transfer function, block diagram.

I. INTRODUCTION

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n different disciplines of engineering as Electrical, Chemical and Mechanical engineering, there are several ways to represent a system or a process like block diagram, signal-flow graph (SFG), schematic diagram and layout diagram. Block diagrams are used to represent a system or process using blocks. Whereas schematic diagrams are simplified representation of an electrical circuit. They represent the elements of a system using graphic symbols rather than realistic pictures [1-3]. A signal-flow graph is a special type of block diagram that shows the relations among the variables of a set with the help of nodes and arrows. Schematic diagram and layout diagram are used extensively in electrical engineering. Layout diagram shows the width of each wire on the printed circuit board (PCB) [1-4]. Initially key parameters of any physical system are defined for doing mathematical modeling. Then differential equations governing the system are developed. Then a transfer function for the whole system is determined and a block diagram is constructed [1]. II. BASICS OF BLOCK DIAGRAM

Fig. 1 Basic Block Diagram

Block diagram of a linear time-invariant (LTI) system consists of four elements as shown in fig 2 [1]: 1. 2. 3. 4. Signals Systems Summing Junctions Pickoff points

The three fundamental configurations in which blocks can be connected are [1-3]: 1. 2. 3. Series form Parallel form Feedback form

Any finite number of blocks in series may be algebraically combined by multiplication of transfer functions [1-3] as shown in fig 3(a). Any finite number of blocks in parallel may be algebraically combined by either addition or subtraction according to the condition as shown in fig 3(b). Fig 3(c) shows feedback topology, which forms the basis of control systems engineering [1]. Block diagrams can also be simplified using the rules of block diagram algebra. Summing/pickoff point(s) can be easily relocated for the purpose of simplification by simply following the shifting rules [1-3] as shown in fig 4.

A block diagram is a shorthand, pictorial representation of the cause-and-effect relationship between the input and output of a physical system. Block diagrams are equally useful iience

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Dimensionally. Fig. 5. 4 Basic Block Diagram Transformations III. 2. feedback. transfer functions. Generally the number of operations required to carry out a complete block diagram reduction are fewer and more direct than would be necessary to eliminate variables in the original equations. MANUAL SOLUTION We will solve an example of block diagram to find its canonical form. linear differential equations. Thus it effectively portrays the interrelationship of distinct parts of the system. Any input/output relationship is determined from a straightforward rearrangement of the block diagram. The disadvantages of block diagrams are as follows [5-7]: 1. transfer functions can be ratios of interdisciplinary quantities. Figure 5(a) 2 . 3 Basic Topologies of Block Diagrams IV. 4. it does not offer the detailed information required for comprehensive planning and analysis. The block diagram representation readily lends itself to the study of specific problems involving synthesis and system optimization. Each block describes a specific process within the system in terms of a transfer function. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF BLOCK DIAGRAMS Block diagram representation of any system offers the following educational advantages [5-7]: 1.3. The interactive coupling among all processes in the system is clearly shown and provided by the block interconnections. 2. Since a block diagram involves high-level view of the system. These simple graphical manipulations may provide additional insight into the behavior of the system. graphical illustration of a set of coupled. 3. 4. The method is essentially a frequency-domain technique. A block diagram is a direct. the reduction process gives graphical significance to algebraic operations and is less susceptible to error. The step by step solution is given below in fig 5 Fig. Parallel Configuration (c). 2 Elements of Block Diagram (a) Series Configuration (b).g.. Block diagrams rely heavily upon the concepts of linear system theory (e. Also. Feedback Configuration Fig. The differential equations that describe the system must be known. 6.

parallel and feedback configurations. MATLAB Simulation We defined the transfer function by using MATLAB’s command “tf (num. Figure 5(e) 3 .Figure 5(b) Figure 5(f) Figure 5(g) Figure 5(c) V. 6. SYSTEM SIMULATION WITH THE HELP OF MATLAB AND SIMULINK Now for analyzing the behavior of the system shown in fig. we used MATLAB and SIMULINK. we used different commands to solve series. Figure 5(d) Fig 6 A. Then. den)” where num and den are user defined variables.

Fig 7 MATLAB Commands & Their Outputs 4 .

Firstly. pp.Fig. 123–135. Control Systems Engineering. pp. Feedback and Control Systems. Director Faculty of Engineering. 1976. 26th Annu. 1215-1218 Fig 9. [3] Katsuhiko Ogata. 1998. we simulated the same system in MATLAB and SIMULINK. vol. Secondly. [5] Preis D. Nov 1996. vol. [2] Joseph J. ch. No. Allen R. VI. New York. 1985. FIE '98. Frontiers in Education Conf. pp. SIMULINK Simulation The authors wish to thank Dr. This approach makes teaching of block diagrams a much easier task.A. 7. D. 8 MATLAB output B. IEEE Trans. 10 SIMULINK Output 5 . After reducing the block diagram using block diagram algebra to its canonical form. Frontiers in Education Conf. DiStefano. and are educationally beneficial in various engineering and non-engineering disciplines.” in Proc. “Supplementary MATLAB tools for systems and control education. 697-703. pp. 2. L. Springer-Verlag. “On Teaching the Simplification of Block Diagrams”. 2nd ed. vol. 1996. Pearson Education. 70-74 [4] Mei C. Fig.. “Block Diagrams: A Tutorial Alternative to Dynamical Analogies”. 28th Annu. “Block diagram in undergraduate engineering courses other than control systems. we applied the step input to observe the behavior of the given system as shown in fig 8. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Fig. CONCLUSION We have revisited the basic concepts of block diagram as these are being employed for designing new systems or processes and improving present ones. Stubberud & Ivan J. 958.M. The output waveforms showed similar results. 2002. Now we implement the same block diagram in SIMULINK and applied step input as shown in fig. Journal of Engg. It is concluded that block diagrams are a valuable source of concept building. we solved a block diagram manually. 4th ed. ch. Int. Nov. Modern Control Engineering.962. 143-148. 4. FIE '96. 1998. pp. REFERENCES [1] Norman S. 3. Williams. and observed its output as shown in fig 10.” in Proc. 9. 4. E-19. Muhammad Jamil. SIMULINK Implementation [7] Hideg. [6] Pierre. vol. Nise. University of Gujrat for his guidance and encouragement.. 18. pp. 7 shows all the MATLAB commands.

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