You are on page 1of 23

300 Process Control

This section is an introductory reference to process control. It discusses control
theory, control modes and problems and includes guidelines for typical process
control situations. This section also discusses controller tuning and control mode

Contents Page

310 Introduction 300-2

320 Control Loops 300-2
321 Open Loop Control
322 Closed Loop Control
330 Control Modes 300-5
331 Proportional Control
332 Integral Control
333 Proportional-Plus-Integral Control
334 Derivative Control
340 Advanced Control 300-14
341 Cascade Control
342 Feed-forward Control
350 Controller Tuning 300-18
351 Quarter Decay Method
352 Ultimate Sensitivity Method
353 Process Reaction Curve Method
360 References 300-23

Chevron Corporation 300-1 June 1989

300 Process Control Instrumentation and Control Manual

310 Introduction
Process control is fundamental to most industrial processes. Although control tech-
nology has evolved greatly in arriving at todays microprocessor and digital imple-
mentations, all control methods rely on the same basic structure, called a control
loop. Control loops have six basic constituents, as follows:
Controlled variable. The condition that is being controlled
Setpoint. The value at which a controlled variable must be maintained
Manipulated variable. A condition (variable) that can be changed to cause the
controlled variable to change
Controller. A device that keeps the controlled variable at the setpoint
Final control element. The device adjusted by the controller(s) to change the
manipulated variable
Disturbances. Process conditions that tend to change the value of the
controlled variable

320 Control Loops

Control loops can be either manual or automatic. A manual control loop requires a
human being to observe the value of the controlled variable. If this variable is not at
the setpoint, the human observer adjusts a manipulated variable (see
Figure 300-1).
An automatic control loop employs a controller to keep the controlled variable at
the setpoint. In Figure 300-2, the controller receives a signal from a transmitter (the
circled X) representing the condition of the controlled variable, and sends an output
signal to a valve regulating the manipulated variable.

Fig. 300-1 Manual Control Fig. 300-2 Automatic Control

In a refinery furnace, a controller monitors the outlet temperature (controlled vari-

able). If the outlet temperature is not at the desired value (setpoint), the controller

June 1989 300-2 Chevron Corporation

Instrumentation and Control Manual 300 Process Control

changes the fuel flow (manipulated variable) by changing the position of the fuel
valve (final control element). Automatic control may be open loop (feed forward)
or closed loop (feedback).

321 Open Loop Control

In open loop control, the controller adjusts the final control element without
measuring the process. An example of open loop control is a cycle timer that oper-
ates a drain valve, as in the simple gas-liquid separation process shown in
Figure 300-3. At predetermined intervals, the timer causes the drain valve to open
even if there is nothing to drain.

Fig. 300-3 Open Loop Control

A more common example of open loop control would be an automatic lawn sprin-
kler system. Here a clock timer opens a water valve for several minutes each day. It
would not check to see if the lawn needed water and would even turn on the sprin-
klers in the rain. Open loop control like these examples is not widely used. Open
loop control operating in a feed forward mode is frequently used along with closed
loop control. Feed forward control is discussed in Section 342.

322 Closed Loop Control

Closed loop control, also known as feedback control, is the most widely used type
of automatic control. If feedback control were used in Figure 300-3, the controller
would open the drain valve only when the liquid level rose above the controller
setpoint and would continue to adjust the valve as needed to keep the liquid drained
from the vessel.
The gas separation process in Figure 300-4 has a feedback (closed loop) level
control system in which the controller LC receives a signal from the level trans-
mitter LT. The controller compares this measurement with the setpoint and adjusts
the outlet valve as necessary. The difference between the controller measurement
and controller setpoint is the error signal. When the error is not zero, the level
controller opens or closes the outlet valve to return the level to the setpoint.

Chevron Corporation 300-3 June 1989

300 Process Control Instrumentation and Control Manual

Fig. 300-4 Closed Loop Control

On/Off Control
On/off control is the simplest mode of automatic control. It has only two outputs
on (100%) or off (0%)and only responds to the sign of the errorpositive or
negative; i.e., whether it is above or below the setpoint.
Because of an effect known as constant cycling, on/off control is not generally suit-
able for continuous automatic feedback control. If the control valve in Figure 300-4
were to remain completely open when the level is above setpoint, and completely
closed when the level drops below setpoint, a constant cycling of valve position and
level would result (see Figure 300-5). As with open loop control, the varying level
resulting from constant cycling may be acceptable in some noncritical level applica-

Fig. 300-5 On/Off Control

Differential Gap Control

Differential gap control is a refinement of on/off control. Instead of changing
output from on (100%) to off (0%) at a single setpoint, differential gap action
changes output at high and low limits called boundaries. As long as the measure-
ment remains between the boundaries, the controller holds the last output. This

June 1989 300-4 Chevron Corporation

Instrumentation and Control Manual 300 Process Control

extends the period and limits the amplitude of the controlled variable oscillations
(see Figure 300-6). On many controllers the size and position of the differential gap
is adjustable, permitting fine-tuning.

Fig. 300-6 Differential Gap Control

Differential gap control is suitable for some continuous automatic feedback control
loops. It slows the rapid cycling of on/off control, reducing wear on the final
control element while maintaining much of the simplicity of on/off control. A
typical application of differential gap control is the operation of a dump valve or
pump to keep a vessel level within an acceptable range.

330 Control Modes

Controllers can be adjusted to function correctly in many different applications.
Each controller usually has three adjustment modes:
Proportional. Controller output changes by an amount related to the size of
the error
Integral. Controller output changes by an amount related to the size and dura-
tion of the error
Derivative. Controller output changes by an amount related to the rate of
measurement change
With pneumatic controllers and early electronic controllers, each mode added to a
controller made it more expensive. Most electronic controllers available today are
equipped with all three modes at no additional cost. The unneeded modes can be
turned off.
Most control applications use proportional-plus-integral control. Proportional-plus-
integral-plus-derivative is sometimes used for temperature control with delays
(deadtime) of several minutes. Proportional-only control is sometimes used in
noncritical services such as draining vessels.

Chevron Corporation 300-5 June 1989

300 Process Control Instrumentation and Control Manual

Note that the proportional and integral actions depend on the error (defined as
setpoint measurement), but the derivative action only depends on the measurement.
Controllers are constructed this way so there will be no large change in controller
output when the operator enters a new setpoint for the controller.

331 Proportional Control

(Controller output can go directly to a valve or to the setpoint of another controller.
In the following discussions, it is assumed that controllers send their output directly
to a valve.)
Figure 300-7 shows the relationship between valve position and error that is charac-
teristic of proportional control: The valve position changes in exact proportion to
the amount of error, not to its rate or duration. The response is almost instanta-
neous, and the valve returns to its initial value when the error returns to zero.

Fig. 300-7 Proportional Control Response

Control Algorithm
The linear relationship between the setpoint deviation (error) and the valve position
(controller output) for proportional action can be expressed as follows:

O = Kc E
(Eq. 300-1)
O = Controller output
Kc = Controller Gain = Output / Error
E = Error = (Setpoint - Measurement)
This equation is called the control algorithm. The gain, Kc, is also called the
controller sensitivity. It represents the proportionality constant between the control
valve position and controller error.

June 1989 300-6 Chevron Corporation

Instrumentation and Control Manual 300 Process Control

Proportional Band
Another way of characterizing a proportional controller is to describe its propor-
tional band. The proportional band is the percent change in value of the controlled
variable necessary to cause full travel of the final control element. The proportional
band, PB, is related to its gain as follows:

Kc= 100/PB
(Eq. 300-2)
Both proportional band and gain are expressions of proportionality. Manufacturers
may call their adjustments gain, sensitivity, or proportional band. Figure 300-8
shows the relationship between valve opening and proportional bands of different
percentages. High percentage proportional bands (wide bands) have a less sensitive
response than low percentage proportional bands (narrow bands).

Fig. 300-8 Effect of Proportional Band

Bias is the amount of output from a proportional controller when the error is zero.
Equation 300-1 implies that when the error is zero, controller output is zero. The
valve is either fully open or fully closed and provides no throttling action. Adding a
bias provides this throttling action. Equation 300-1 then becomes:

O = Kc E + B
(Eq. 300-3)
B = Bias (percent of full output)
Typically, manufacturers set the bias at 50%. To prevent a process bump, the oper-
ator is sometimes allowed to adjust the bias before putting the controller in auto-
matic. Figure 300-9 shows controller output versus error at different proportional
bands with a 50% bias. At zero error, the controller output is 50% of full range for
any proportional band.

Chevron Corporation 300-7 June 1989

300 Process Control Instrumentation and Control Manual

A controllers error is the difference between its setpoint and measurement. In a
proportional-only controller, a change in setpoint or load introduces a permanent
error called offset (see Figure 300-10). It is impossible for a proportional-only
controller to return the measurement exactly to its setpoint, because proportional
output only changes in response to a change in the error, not to the errors duration.

Fig. 300-9 Effects of Proportional Band with 50% Bias Fig. 300-10 Proportional Control Response to a
Load Change

Assume that a proportional-only controller controls the outlet temperature of a

furnace and that the temperature is at the setpoint. If the feed rate to the furnace
increases, more fuel will be needed. This disturbance represents a load change to
the furnace. To get more fuel, the fuel valve must be opened more. As is suggested
by Equation 300-3, the only way that the valve can be at some value other than its
starting point is for an error to exist. Thus, the proportional controller alone cannot
return the outlet temperature to its setpoint. As mentioned, some controllers allow
the operator to adjust the bias until the value of E (the error, or offset) is zero.
Offset is determined by the proportional band value for the controller and the
change in valve position that occurs when a disturbance takes place:

E = PB (O) / 100
(Eq. 300-4)
E = Change in error
PB = Proportional band
O = Change in valve position
The proportional-only controller is the easiest continuous controller to tune. It
provides rapid response and is relatively stable. If offset can be tolerated (loose
control), proportional-only control can be used.

June 1989 300-8 Chevron Corporation

Instrumentation and Control Manual 300 Process Control

332 Integral Control

Integral (reset) action is the result of an integration of controller error with time.
With integral action, controller output is proportional to both the size and duration
of the error. As long as a deviation from setpoint exists, the controller continues to
drive its output in the direction that reduces the deviation. The rate of change of
controller output is proportional to the magnitude of the error. Figure 300-11 illus-
trates the open loop response of integral action.

Fig. 300-11 Integral Controller Response (Open Loop)

Integral action is normally used in conjunction with proportional action; it is rarely

used by itself. Integral action is quantified as the time (the reset time) required to
change controller output by an amount equal to the change caused by proportional
action. In other words, it is the time required to repeat the contribution of the
proportional action.
On some controllers, integral settings are in repeats, meaning repeats per minute;
on others, settings are in minutes, meaning minutes per repeat. One setting is the
reciprocal of the other; decreasing the integral time increases the amount of integral

Chevron Corporation 300-9 June 1989

300 Process Control Instrumentation and Control Manual

333 Proportional-Plus-Integral Control

Proportional-plus-integral control is the recommended control action for most appli-
cations. Often called PI control, it combines proportional action and integral action
in one controller. The resulting control action has the fast response and stability of
proportional action, but no offset. In eliminating offset, integral action serves as an
automatic bias adjustment.
The output from a proportional-plus-integral controller may be expressed as


m = K c E + ------- ET
(Eq. 300-5)
O = controller output
Kc = controller gain
E = error
TR = reset time, minutes per repeat
= summation from time 0 to time n
T = interval between summations
Figure 300-12 shows the open loop response of proportional-plus-integral control.
Proportional control immediately acts to reverse the error. Integral action then
continues to change controller output until the error equals zero.

Fig. 300-12 Proportional-Plus-Integral Control Response (Open Loop)

June 1989 300-10 Chevron Corporation

Instrumentation and Control Manual 300 Process Control

Figure 300-13 depicts proportional-plus-integral control for a closed loop. In

response to a step change in load (top graph), the controlled variable (middle graph)
falls below the setpoint. The integral action adjusts the bias from 50% initially to
about 75% after the load change and shifts the position of proportional band
(shaded area) on the scale. Notice that the percentage value of the proportional
band is not changed. The lower graph shows the output of the controller.

Fig. 300-13 Proportional-Plus-Integral Control Response (Closed Loop)

A basic problem with integral controllers is that integral action continues as long as
an error exists. Assume a proportional-plus-integral controller is used to maintain
the level in the gas-liquid separator vessel in Figure 300-4. If a valve is closed
upstream of the vessel, the level drops below the setpoint. The controller then
closes the control valve in the outlet line to maintain the level setpoint. With no
inlet flow, the control valve closes completely and the vessel level is still less than
the setpoint.
A pneumatic control valve will typically be fully closed at a controller output of 15
psig. Since the measured vessel level is less than the setpoint, the integral action of
the controller continues to increase the controller output to the air supply pressure
(typically 20-30 psig). The action of the integral controller trying to exceed the
normal range of the controller output is called wind-up.
If the upstream valve is opened and flow is restored, the vessel level will rise above
the setpoint. The response of the controller to this high level will be delayed by the
wind-up. When the controller does respond, the output goes to the opposite limit. In
this case, the control valve will fully open and the vessel level will drop sharply.
The controller may oscillate through several cycles, stroking the control valve from
stop to stop on each cycle, before the oscillations cease and control is restored.

Chevron Corporation 300-11 June 1989

300 Process Control Instrumentation and Control Manual

Such oscillations overwork the control valve and, depending on the fluid and pres-
sures involved, can cause mechanical damage and seriously disrupt the process
downstream on the valve. An anti-wind-up feature may be included on controllers
that are frequently subject to this type of disturbance. This limits the controller
output range and thus prevents wind-up. When the process returns to normal, the
controller lag is eliminated and the oscillations are no worse than those in a propor-
tional controller.

Integral Time
Integral time should be proportional to the time it takes for the process to respond
to control action. When the process responds quickly, the integral time can be
shorter. If the integral time is too short, the control valve reaches its limit before the
measurement has time to respond. When the measurement does respond, it will
overshoot the setpoint, causing the integral to drive the valve to its opposite limit.
The time lag built into the gradual response of integral action lengthens the period
of oscillation of a loop. For a loop with proportional-plus-integral control, the
period of oscillation after a load change is longer than for proportional alone.
For loops where the exact value of the controlled variable is not critical, the shorter
period of the proportional-only controller can be an advantage. For example, a
vessel may operate within a wide range of liquid level without adversely affecting
pressure or gas quality. Therefore, the system level does not have to be accurately
controlled, and proportional control is often sufficient.

334 Derivative Control

With derivative action (also called rate action), the controller output is proportional
to the rate of change of the error. This means the faster the change in level, the
faster the change in controller output and control valve settings. By the same token,
if the level remains constant, even with a large error, the controller output would be
zero. This makes the use of derivative action by itself impractical.
Derivative action is normally combined with proportional action or proportional-
plus-integral action. Derivative action, being proportional to the rate of change of
the measured variable, introduces a lead (anticipation) element into the controller.
This increases the speed of response of the controller and compensates for the lags
introduced by proportional and integral actions. Figure 300-14 illustrates derivative
The output from a proportional-plus-derivative controller may be expressed as

M n Mn 1
O = K c E n + T D -----------------------------
(Eq. 300-6)
O = controller output

June 1989 300-12 Chevron Corporation

Instrumentation and Control Manual 300 Process Control

Kc = controller gain
En = error at time n
TD = derivative time, minutes
Mn = measurement at time n
Mn-1 = measurement at previous sampling time
S = Time between measurements (sampling time)
The derivative action is greatest when integral and proportional action are just
beginning to respond. Derivative action also responds to the change in sign of the
measured variable. This opposes the tendency of integral and proportional action to
overshoot the setpoint and enables the controlled variable to settle out faster than
with either proportional or proportional-plus-integral action.
In Figure 300-14, area A represents the proportional component of controller
output. Note that the proportional response is a function of the difference between
the setpoint and the measured variable. Areas B and C represent the component
added or subtracted by derivative action. As the measured variable stops decreasing
and starts increasing, the sign of the derivative function changes. The integral
action (area D) eliminates offset by not returning to zero when the proportional and
derivative actions return to zero output. Areas E and F represent the corrections that
result from all three actions taken together.

Fig. 300-14 Proportional-Plus-Integral-Plus-Derivative-Control Action (Closed Loop)

Chevron Corporation 300-13 June 1989

300 Process Control Instrumentation and Control Manual

Derivative action, being sensitive to the rate of change of the measured variable,
cannot be used in processes that require fast response, or that have rapid fluctua-
tions or high noise levels. These conditions cause instability through large increases
in the derivative gain, and rapidly change direction (sign). Although derivative
action is difficult to tune because of its extreme sensitivity to measurement noise
and other high frequency disturbances, it does have some applications. Most impor-
tantly, it is used with proportional and integral action in temperature processes that
have large time lags.
Derivative action can be very helpful in controlling processes that have significant
deadtime, but using it can be difficult. Sometimes adding derivative action can
make the control loop appear slow and inactive with some types of process distur-
bances. This sluggishness might lead one to increase the amount of derivative and
perhaps also increase the controller gain. However, these new tunings might make
the controller unstable when a different disturbance occurs in the plant.

340 Advanced Control

Because this section of the Instrumentation and Control Manual is meant to be
introductory in nature, we will define the term advanced control to be anything
more sophisticated than simple, single-loop feedback control. Advanced control
would therefore include cascade control, feed forward control, signal selector
control, adaptive gain control, self-tuning controllers, multivariable control, matrix
control, and many other techniques too numerous to mention.
We will only deal here with cascade. The reader is encouraged to consult the refer-
ences listed in Section 360 for additional information. The Monitoring and Control
Systems Division in the Engineering Technology Department is also available for

341 Cascade Control

Cascade control should also be considered when the primary control variable is
slow to react to disturbances. Like any feedback control loop, a cascade control
loop has a controlled variable, a setpoint and a controller. However, instead of
having a valve as its final control element, a cascade controller sends its output to
the setpoint of another controller, adjusting this setpoint to correct an error in the
controlled variable. This other controller is called the secondary or slave
controller. The cascade controller is called the primary or master controller.
If disturbances in the process can be recognized and quickly corrected, the primary
control loop will not be affected. This suggests that the secondary control loop must
operate faster than the primary loop. In fact, general guidelines suggest that the
secondary loop should respond at least five times faster than the primary loop.
Looking again at the example of the furnace, let us assume that the fuel system
provides fuel to several other furnaces as well. Over the course of hours, the pres-
sure in the system might well vary as the fuel demand in all of the furnaces
changes. A change in the fuel header pressure changes heat transfer in the furnace.

June 1989 300-14 Chevron Corporation

Instrumentation and Control Manual 300 Process Control

Because heat transfer is a slow process, the outlet temperature controller cannot be
tuned well enough to eliminate the effect of changing fuel flow (see Figure 300-15).
(For details on controller tuning, see Section 350.)

Fig. 300-15 Feedback Control Performance

On the other hand, if the fuel flow remains steady while the pressure is changing,
the furnace temperature will be more constant. Fuel flow changes almost immedi-
ately when the control valve is moved. Therefore, the flow controller can be tuned
to eliminate most of the disturbances in fuel flow.
Such circumstances lend themselves to the use of cascade control: a fast process
(fuel flow), a slow process (furnace heat transfer), and a disturbance (fuel pressure)
that affects the fast loop. Figure 300-16 shows the cascade control system for the

Fig. 300-16 Cascade Control

Chevron Corporation 300-15 June 1989

300 Process Control Instrumentation and Control Manual

Compare Figure 300-17 to 300-15. With cascade control the outlet temperature is
much more steady. The fuel gas controller (secondary controller) has eliminated
almost all fuel pressure disturbance from the furnace.

Fig. 300-17 Cascade Control Performance

342 Feed-forward Control

Feed-forward control measures a disturbance before it can affect the controlled vari-
able, and changes the manipulated variable to compensate for the disturbance. Of
course, for feed-forward control to work properly, the magnitude and timing of the
effect on the controlled variable must be known. The process might be worse off if
the manipulated variable is changed too much or too quickly.
In Figure 300-18, a gas-fired furnace process is equipped with a temperature
controller (TC), a feed-forward controller (FFC), and a summer, which adds the
two controller outputs together. The feed-forward controller, also called a flow frac-
tion controller, operates like a simple multiplier: The output of the FFC consists of
its input (from the flow transmitter FT) multiplied by a ratio entered by the operator.

Fig. 300-18 Feed-forward Control

June 1989 300-16 Chevron Corporation

Instrumentation and Control Manual 300 Process Control

Figure 300-19 shows what might happen in a real furnace as the feed rate is
changed. In the top graph, the feed rate to the furnace is raised at time 1. By time 2,
the furnace outlet temperature begins to drop below setpoint. The fuel valve then
begins to open and raises the outlet temperature back to the setpoint by time 3. In
the bottom graph, the fuel valve has begun to open by time B, and by time C the
furnace temperature is back to the original setpoint. With feed-forward and feed-
back control, the process has recovered from the feed rate disturbance much faster
than with feedback control alone. Note that the temperatures period of oscillation
is the same in both cases. This period is a dynamic characteristic of the furnace and
cannot be changed by the control system. However, the feed-forward controller has
been able to reduce the size of the temperature disturbance and has speeded up the

Fig. 300-19 Feedback/Feed-forward Control Performance

Feed-forward control should not be used by itself, but always with feedback
control, because the rate and magnitude of the reaction of a process to a disturbance
is rarely consistent.

Chevron Corporation 300-17 June 1989

300 Process Control Instrumentation and Control Manual

350 Controller Tuning

Several methods are available to tune a controller to function in a specific loop. The
following discussion considers some of the methods commonly used. Several of the
references in Section 360, particularly Reference 5, should be useful when difficult
situations are encountered.

351 Quarter Decay Method

The quarter decay method is a closed loop controller tuning method. This means
that the controller remains in automatic while tuning adjustments are made.
The quarter decay method defines the ultimate limit for tight controller tuning.
Often, the tuning constants it produces are too tight (too sensitive) in processes that
have sticky valves and noisy measurements.
To prevent controllers from going unstable unexpectedly, tuning constants should
be set to values one-half as sensitive as those obtained with the quarter decay
method. After these less sensitive tunings are exposed to actual upsets and irregular-
ities, and the operators gain confidence in the controller tuning, it may be appro-
priate to make the tunings more sensitive.
The general tuning sequence is as follows:
1. With the controller in automatic, adjust all tuning constants to their least sensi-
tive (least effective) setting. Proportional band should be at its highest value
(proportional gain should be at its lowest value). Integral time should be at its
highest value (most minutes per repeat or least repeats per minute). Derivative
time should be at its highest value.
2. Make a small step change in controller setpoint and record the controller
measurement until it settles out.
3. Change the setpoint back to its original value. Record the measurement as
4. Increase the proportional gain (reduce the proportional band) in small steps
and repeat steps 1-3 until the recording of the output resembles Figure 300-20,
curve B; that is, until the amplitude of the first positive excursion of curve B is
approximately four times that of the second (thus the name, quarter decay
5. Measure the period of oscillation. Set the reset and derivative:

TR = P/1.5 minutes
(Eq. 300-7)

TD = P/6 minutes
(Eq. 300-8)

June 1989 300-18 Chevron Corporation

Instrumentation and Control Manual 300 Process Control

Fig. 300-20 Quarter Decay Method Tuning

6. With TR and TD set at above values, reestablish controller gain for quarter
Figures 300-21, 300-22, and 300-23 show how the three tuning parameters affect
the response of a controller. With proportional-only control, settling time is fairly
long and there is a permanent offset from the setpoint. Adding integral control
reduces settling time and eliminates offset. Adding derivative control to propor-
tional control reduces settling time but not offset. Only integral control eliminates
the offset.

Fig. 300-21 Proportional-only Controller Response Fig. 300-22 Proportional-Plus-Integral Controller


Chevron Corporation 300-19 June 1989

300 Process Control Instrumentation and Control Manual

Fig. 300-23 Proportional-Plus-Derivative Controller Response

352 Ultimate Sensitivity Method

The ultimate sensitivity method ( Figure 300-24) is also a closed loop test. Adjust
the integral time and/or the derivative time to their minimum values. Then narrow
the proportional band (increase gain) in small steps, each time changing the
setpoint as described in Section 351, until the controller measurement just begins to
cycle continuously. This proportional band setting is called the ultimate propor-
tional band, denoted PBu. The period of oscillation at the ultimate proportional
band is called the ultimate period, measured in minutes and denoted Pu. The
amplitude of the oscillations in Figure 300-24 has been exaggerated for clarity.
The ultimate proportional band, PBu, and the ultimate period, Pu, are then used to
calculate tuning constants as shown in Figure 300-25. These constants give the
quarter damping response already discussed.
Note that Figures 300-25 and 300-26 show two sets of equations for a proportional-
plus-integral-plus-derivative controller. The set identified as Commercial should
be used for controllers encountered in industry. The set identified as Ideal is
based on an ideal control algorithm equation commonly used in universities. They
are included here for completeness.

353 Process Reaction Curve Method

This is an open loop tuning method. The controller remains in manual while
response tests are made. The tuning method measures two parameters to describe
the response characteristic of the process: process deadtime and process time
The deadtime is the delay between a change in valve position and the resulting
change in the controlled variable. The process time constant is the time required for
the controlled variable to reach approximately 60% of its final value.

June 1989 300-20 Chevron Corporation

Instrumentation and Control Manual 300 Process Control

Fig. 300-24 Ultimate Sensitivity Method

Fig. 300-25 Ultimate Sensitivity Method Tuning Constants

Proportional Band Reset Time Derivative Time
(%) (minutes) (minutes)
Proportional Controller 0.5 PBu
Proportional + Integral Controller 0.45 PBu Pu / 1.2
Proportional + Integral + Derivative 0.6 PBu Pu / 2.0 Pu / 8.0
Proportional + Integral + Derivative 0.3 PBu Pu / 4.0 Pu / 4.0
Notes PBu = Ultimate Proportional Band, %
Pu = Ultimate Period, minutes

To perform this test, change the controller valve position by a small amount and
record the controlled variable. The deadtime, TD, and time constant, TC, are
measured and their values used to calculate the controller tuning constants.
Figure 300-26 shows how the measurements are made and used.

Chevron Corporation 300-21 June 1989

300 Process Control Instrumentation and Control Manual

Fig. 300-26 Open Loop Reaction Curve Method Tuning Constants

Note that the process reaction curve method cannot be used to integrate processes
such as level control; when a valve controlling a level is changed the level
continues to change until the vessel overflows or empties. Level controllers can be
tuned using the ultimate sensitivity method or more advanced methods discussed in
Reference 5.
Figure 300-27 gives typical ranges of controller tuning constants for various
processes. Use these values with caution; your process might not be typical. The

June 1989 300-22 Chevron Corporation

Instrumentation and Control Manual 300 Process Control

exact values must be determined by one of the above methods. For future reference,
always record the control loop ID number (e.g., FRC-123), the date, and the tuning
constant when you have finished tuning a control loop.

Fig. 300-27 Tuning Constants for Typical Process

Flow 100 - 500 0.02 - 0.1 none
Liquid Pressure 100 - 500 0.02 - 0.1 none
Gas Pressure 1- 50 0.1 - 0.5 none
Level 1- 50 0.05 - 0.25 none
Temperature 10 - 100 1 - 10 0.5 - 20

360 References
1. Fundamentals of Process Control Theory. Instrument Society of America,
2. Process Control Systems. McGraw-Hill, 1979.
3. Process Instruments and Controls Handbook. McGraw-Hill, 1974.
4. Controllers & Control Theory. Production Facility Bookware Series, Interna-
tional Human Resources Development Corp., 1987.
5. Tuning and Control Loop Performance. Instrument Society of America, 1983.

Chevron Corporation 300-23 June 1989