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Experiment : Multi-Process Trainer

AIM - To be able to study and understand the complex, linked process control methods
that industries use using the help of simple systems such as level, flow, and cascade


1. Proportional Controller -
Proportional negative-feedback systems are based on the difference between the
required set point (SP) and process value (PV). Power is applied in direct proportion to
the current measured error, in the correct sense so as to tend to reduce the error. The
amount of corrective action that is applied for a given error is set by the gain or
sensitivity of the control system.

2. Proportional Integral Controller -

A PI Controller is a special case of the PID controller in which the derivative (D) of the
error is not used. The lack of derivative action may make the system more steady in the
steady state in the case of noisy data. This is because derivative action is more
sensitive to higher-frequency terms in the inputs. Without derivative action, a PI
controlled system is less responsive to real (non-noise) and relatively fast alterations in
state and so the system will be slower to reach setpoint and slower to respond to
perturbations than a well-tuned PID system may be.

3. Proportional Integral Derivative Controller -

A PID controller is a generic control loop feedback mechanism (controller) widely used
in industrial control systems. A PID controller calculates an "error" value as the
difference between a measured process variable and a desired set point. The PID
controller algorithm involves three separate constant parameters, and is accordingly
called three-term control: the proportional, the integral and derivative values, denoted P,
I, and D.
These values can be interpreted in terms of time: P depends on the present error, I on
the accumulation of past errors, and D is a prediction of future errors, based on current
rate of change. The weighted sum of these three actions is used to adjust the process
via a control element such as the position of a control valve, a damper, or the power
supplied to a heating element. In a cascade control arrangement, there are two (or
more) controllers of which one controller's output drives the set point of another
controller. Here the two controllers used are the Flow controller and the Cascade
Level Control :

PB = 100%

PB = 70%
PB = 20% PB = 20%, Bias = 70%

PB = 50%, IT = 60s PB = 50%, IT = 30s

PB = 20%, DT = 3s PB = 20%, DT = 1s

Observations -

It is observed that the difference between PV and SP is the offset error that is
present at nominal steady state values.
The reason 2 separate SP values are taken is because while the error between
SP1 and PV might look small, it doesnt necessarily mean that error between all
SP and PV is small.
As PB is decreased, the error decreases. It is found that at 20% the error is
The effect of bias is then observed in the Level system. It is found that on
decrease in bias led to the decrease in steady state error. This is experimentally
found to be most precise in Bias = 70%.
After fixing PB, IT is then varied in an PI controller to see what the results are. It
is seen that a decrease in IT leads to a decrease in offset.
It is also seen that the offset becomes almost zero, but the time taken is very
large. This is why PD controllers are important.
After fixing IT = 30s, it is found that the decrease in DT also leads to the
decrease in time taken to reach zero offset. For this, DT = 1s is chosen.
Flow Control :

PB = 100%

PB = 70% PB = 70%, Bias = 50%

Observations -

The entire point of doing the Flow Control experiment is to observe how different
processes have radically different optimum PB rates. While in the case of Level
Control it is close to 20%, in the case of Flow Control it about 70%.
While the image wasnt saved, it was observed that that at PB = 20%, the system
was wildly unstable, oscillating to and fro without any signs of stability being
The offset seen was reduced by decreasing the PB value and decreasing the

Cascade Control :

1. Secondary Loop -

PB0 = 10% PB0 = 50%

PB0 = 80% PB0 = 100%

2. Primary Loop -

PB1 = 10% PB1 = 50%

PB1 = 100%

Observations -

First, the Secondary Loop was tuned as it is directly connected to the control
valve. To see which system should be connected to the control valve, we
observed the sensitivity of each system. After concluding that the Flow system is
more sensitive, it was made the Secondary Loop.
After tuning the Secondary Loop, it was found that PB0 = 80% is the optimum PB
We did not change the values of IT or DT because it added a level of complexity
that we didnt have the means to face. Instead, we assumed that the default
values were accurate enough.
This doesnt affect the tuning much because it is theoretically known that the PB
tuning affects the system much more than the PI or PD tuning. THe latter two are
used for fine-tuning.
Regarding the Primary Loop, the tuning was done in the same fashion as the
Secondary Loop. It is observed that a slight change in the Primary Loop
characteristics changes the Secondary Loop by a lot. This is used to accurately
tune the Primary Loop.
Just like in this case where the Flow Control is making the Level Control have a
slightly faster response, the industry pairs differently paced control systems to
increase or decrease their pace.