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P o o y a n H y d r a u l i c s II Hydraulic Servo Control
Berkeley has available an Enhanced Hydraulic Controller Algorithm option that provides additional servo parameters for improved control of hydraulic actuators. This application note describes some of the basics of operation and guidance for developers to implement the control algorithm on their systems.

Theory of Operation
An electrohydraulic servo device works on the principle of hydraulic amplification with an electromagnetically operated armature. This armature controls the movement of a small spool in the hydraulic amplifier control orifices (ports). This, in turn, controls the power modulation which in turn is then passed to the actuator. Figure 1: Hydraulic Control Block Diagram
Power Supply e.g., Hydraulic Pump



Control Signal


Spool Motor Amplifier


Power Modulator e.g., Valve Solenoid, Spool Motor


Actuator e.g., DoubleActing Cylinder

Position and Velocity Feedback

Non-linear Response
In most cases, the relationship between the control signal applied to the power modulation module and the actual velocity of the fluid is not linear. See Figure 2 below.

In order to prevent fluid pressure loss. In the schematic diagram of a typical electro-hydraulic servo system below in Figure 3. even with small movements of the spool. Thus.Tec h nic al Bu l let in continued Figure 2: Typical Hydraulic System Response Fluid Velocity Bi-directional Control Dead band Compensation The curve exhibits a dead band around a zero velocity due to the mechanical characteristic of the valve. we can see how the geometry of the servo valve creates a dead band: the servo valve can cover the passage of the fluid over a small distance. the fluid may not move. valves are often designed to require a small amount of valve movement before any fluid movement occurs. Figure 3: Hydraulic Valve Cross Section 2 .

Motion of the actuator backdrives the encoder. This table will be generated within the firmware from user-supplied data. the fluid applies force to a reduced crosssectional area when flowing into the rod side of the cylinder. Berkeley will create a series of linear relationships of control signal to fluid flow velocity. The linearization will be performed via an adjustment table that specifies a control signal for a given fluid velocity. The result is that for identical flow rates. velocity will be higher when fluid is flowing to the rod side of the cylinder. When the final target position of the valve is reached.Tec h nic al Bu l let in continued Bi-directional Control A second factor that affects the linearity of flow rate is the cylinder rod diameter. The encoder is then connected to the feedback of the axis of control. Berkeley Implementation of Non-linear Control In order to optimize the control of the valve. Figure 4: Berkeley Linearization Implementation Considerations Feedback It is critical that the controller receive real-time quadrature feedback of actuator position. Fluid Velocity Limits Another non-linear area of control is at very high control signal values. This can occur because maximum fluid velocity is also limited by fluid viscosity and friction. This will allow the user to enter one set of servo gains for the full operation range of the valve. the adjustment table will be ignored to avoid the discontinuity in the inflection points of the table. 3 . The belt is rigidly coupled to the actuator. Because the rod is only on one side of the cylinder. A common method of implementation is to utilize an encoder mounted to a pulley as part of a belt and pulley assembly.

The most effective is to perform several open loop control commands. The user must be aware of the position of the axis and any safety or collision issues at all times. velocity can be calculated at several areas of servo control. Ideally. each inflection point should be entered into the control look-up table. This procedure should be repeated for the reverse direction. When the axis is in the static position. If this is provided. Development of the flow characteristic profile Many valve manufacturers provide valve characteristic tables indicating flow rate as a function of control signal. This axis should not be under closed loop control. If this is not available.Tec h nic al Bu l let in continued Power modulation The control signal must be passed to a device that provides power to the power modulation device. The first points that can be developed are the deadband points. The static friction compensation will be the percentage of the maximum DAC (10 DAC) required to cause the axis to move steadily for the respective direction. a small control signal (DAC) should be issued. the tables should be developed empirically. The device must be selected to ensure a repeatable profile of flow rate with respect to the control signal. This must be performed very carefully. data would be taken at each whole voltage of DAC both positive and negative. typically a solenoid or spool motor. points can be estimated or interpolated from the readings that are available. From this information. A number of methods can be used to develop additional points in the curve. Open loop commands for small intervals in both the positive and negative direction can be issued with axis position and velocity information recorded. 4 . The DAC should be increased very slightly until the DAC is sufficient to produce motion. However. In most cases this device is a panel mounted amplifier card that scales the control signal to an appropriate level of current.

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