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Proceedingsof the American Control Conference

Arlington, VA June 25-27, 2001

Design of Decoupled PID Controllers

for MIMO Systems
Karl Johan Astroml, Karl Henrik Johansson2, and Qing-Guo Wang3

Abstract tems [7]. The results can be extended t o systems with

more inputs and outputs.
The design of PID controllers for systems with interact-
ing loops is discussed. It is important to deal with the The approach we take is to investigate standard PID
interaction at the lower-level loops, since supervisory tuning [2] and see what can be achieved by adding sim-
control based on for instance MPC seldom has sufficient ple interactions between the feedback loops. In many
bandwidth. A new scheme based on modified scalar cases the performance of the system can be consider-
PID design and static decoupling is developed, where ably improved, particularly if the coupling in the pro-
the frequency characteristics of the coupling between cess is not severe. The proposed scheme is based on
the lower-level loops is taken into account. This leads a simple decoupling, which implies that it can be eas-
to a design method emphasizing the trade-off between ily implemented at the loop level. The advantage by
the individual loop performances and the so called in- doing this is that it gives performance enhancement in
teraction indices. The controller is easily implemented, a frequency range that is normally not dealt with by
due to its simple configuration based on standard com- MPC.
ponents. The method is applied to a couple of exam- The outline of the paper is as follows. The design
ples. method is described in detail in Section 2, where first
the implications of decoupling is discussed in the fre-
quency domain, followed by the introduction of a new
1 Introduction set of interaction indices, and the design of decentral-
ized PID controllers. In Section 3, the method is il-
Model predictive control (MPC) is becoming the stan- lustrated on two examples from the literature. A brief
dard technique to solve multivariable control problems discussion is finally given in Section 4.
in the process industry [12, 5, 81. Practically all MPC
systems are however operating in a supervisory mode
with PID controllers at the lower level. A substantial 2 The Method
portion of the performance improvement credited to
MPC is actually due to improvements in the lower-level Consider a multivariable control problem consisting of
PID loops. Interaction among the loops causes difficul- the design of a linear controller C for a linear stable
ties when the lower-level loops are closed. There are process G. For simplicity assume the process has two
some difficulties in dealing with the interaction at the inputs and two outputs, so that G is a transfer function
MPC level because the bandwidths of the MPC loops of the form
are limited: they operate in supervisory mode with
sampling intervals that are longer than the PID loops.
It is consequently of interest to investigate ways of deal-
ing with interaction at the loop level [SI.A preliminary The controller to be designed is a static decoupler com-
study of this problem is given in the paper. The pre- bined with a decentralized PID controller with set-
sentation is restricted to systems with two inputs and point weighting. The control law can be written as
two outputs, because such systems are common. Typ-
ical examples are boilers, machine direction moisture
and basis weight control in paper machines, distilla-
tion columns, heat exchangers, and air-conditional sys-
(U2(.)) = (2 2) ( Zl(S)Yl(S) - Cl(S)K(S)
Zz(s)Yz(s) - cz(s)Yz(s) )
where U is the control signal, Y the process output,

and Y, the reference. The decoupler

'Department of Automatic Control, Lund University, SE-
221 00 Lund, Sweden,
2Department of Signals, Sensors and Systems, Royal
Institute of Technology, SEC-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden,
kallejQs3.kth. se. Corresponding author.
= (2 2)
3Department of Electrical Engineering, National University is a constant matrix. The PID controller 4 is differ-
of Singapore, Singapore, .sg. ent from ci to allow for set-point weighting [2]. The

0-7803-6495-3/01/$10.00 02001 AACC 2015

controllers are of the form where

where bi is.the set-point weight, which in practice often

is equal t o zero. Here, for simplicity we assume bi = 0
and PI control, i.e., kD; = 0. It will be shown that
setting bi = 0 is essential to get good performance in
decentralized PID control. The elements in H can be simplified by the following
argument. The closed-loop bandwidth Ut, is limited by
Decoupling the right half-plane zeros of G. If there is a single zero
The static decoupler is given by in z > 0, which is approximately equally distributed
between the two loops, then the bandwidth must be
less than H rad/s. It is seldom possible t o achieve this
high bandwidth with decoupled PID control, due to
the restricted freedom in the implementation. There-
fore, we pay our attention to less demanding control
where we have assumed that G(0) is non-singular. The problems, where we do not want to push the perfor-
transfer function of the decoupled system is &(s) = mance to the limit. It is then natural t o assume that
G(s)D where the multivariable zeros of G is not within the band-
width of the closed-loop system. Recall that the zeros
of G is given by the solutions t o the equation

If we assume that IdetG(s)l >> 0 for all 1st < W b ,

then it. follows from det Q(s) = det G(s)det D that
I Q ~ I ( S ) Q ~ ~>>( SIq12(~)~21(s)I,
)I since detQ(s) is amero-
morphic function and det Q(0) = 1. The denomina-
tor of the elements hij can then be approximated by
It follows from the construction that Q(0) is the iden-
tity matrix. _A Taylor series expansion of the transfer
+ +
(1 q11c1)(1 422~2). The numerator of 611 is ap-
proximated by qllE1 +_ ~ 1 1 ~ ~ = +
2 ~qllEl(1
1 ~ 2 422~2)
function Q(s) for small s gives and the numerator of h22 is approximated by 422~~2 +
qllq22clE~= 422E2(1 q11c1). The matrix H is then
approximated by

for some constants ~ 1 and 2 n21. Hence, for low fre-

quencies w , the diagonal elements are equal to one and
the off-diagonal elements are proportional t o iw. If the
bandwidth of the decentralized PID controller are suf-
ficiently low, the off-diagonal terms will thus be small The structure of the diagonal elements of H is the same
and the system will be approximately decoupled. as for SISO control design. Therefore, existing tech-
niques [2] can be used for initial suggestions of how t o
It is straightforward to see that the closed-loop system design the decentralized controllers. Sometimes they
can be described by have to be modified due t o the interaction. The off-
diagonal elements of H tell us what interaction two
SISO designs will lead to. Next, we exploit H to come
up with a systematic design procedure for decoupled
PI control.
where we suppressed the dependency on s in the nota-
tion. This equation can be written as Interaction Indices
Before we discuss the actual design of the PI controllers
Y = HYr c; and &, let us elaborate further on the off-diagonal

elements of H: for small s
hl2 =
(1 + 411c1)(1+ q22c2)
421 4
h2l = For large s, the assumption (qll(s)q22(s)( >>
(1+ 411c1)(1 + 422c2)
Iql2(s)q2l(s)Jused to derive H is still reasonable, be-
Due to the integral action in the controllers, the in- cause this means that the diagonal elements of G is
teraction is small at low frequencies. To estimate the dominating at high frequencies. Hence, the transfer
maximum of the interaction, we observe that function H describes the relation between Y, and Y
also for large s. This leads to that
hi2 = Q I ~ & & Sh21=
~ , ~ ~ I E I S I S ~(1)
where SI = ( l + q l l q ) - l and S2 = ( l + q 2 2 c ~ ) - I are the
sensitivity for loop one and two, respectively, if the in-
teraction is neglected. Upper bounds of the interaction for large s, where d1 is the pole excess of q12(s) and
terms are thus given by d2 is the pole excess of 421(s).. Note that dl and d2
are uniquely defined by G, and do not depend on the
Ih12(iw)l 5 lq12~2l~slMs2 controllers. It follows from (3) and (4) that Ihl~(iw)I
Ih2l(iW)I I 1q21%IMs1Ms2 and Ihzl(iw)) will have maxima. The location of the
where Msl and Ms2 are the maximum sensitivity for maximum of Ihlz(2w)l can, by using (3) and (4), be
the individual loops. For low frequencies, we have approximated by the solution of the equation

Ql2(S) = .I231 42l(S) K2lS

E1 x kll/s, E2 x k12/~ The peaks of the diagonal terms Ihlz(iw)l and (h21(iw)I
For low frequencies, we thus find that 41222 and 421E1 are thus approximately located at
are constant. It is therefore natural to introduce the
interaction indices

61= I~12k12IMslMs2, ~2 = I~~lk11lMslMs2(2)

If the pole excesses of 412 and q21 are equal to one, then
The indices 61 and 1c2 describe the interaction of the dl = d2 = 1, so that
second loop on the first and vice versa. Note that the
indices are products of two terms: one depends on the
system and the other is simply the integral gain of the
corresponding PI controller. Interaction can thus be
reduced by reducing the controller gains. We can en-
sure that the interaction is small by imposing a bound The interaction indices (2) are derived for PI controllers
on the controller gains. This is natural because a small with set-point weighting bl = b2 = 0. The interactions
k12 gives less coupling from the responses in the sec- increase significantly if the controller do not have set-
ond loop and a large k ~ attenuate
l disturbances coming point weighting. If bl = bz = 1 then the interaction
from the second loop. Note that Msl and Ms2 depend measures become
l k12, respectively. There is thus a trade-off
on k ~ and
between 6 1 and KZ: if 1.121 and 1 ~ 2 1 1are of similar size, I. + lkrzI)Ms1Ms2
= I~12l(/kP21~
then both I E ~and ~2 cannot be made small by choosing ~2 =I R x I ( ~ ~ P ~ ( ~+ Ik~ll.)MslMsz
appropriate integral gains. Either one of them can be
made small while keeping the other larger, or both of
them have to be kept at a medium level. Which ap- Finally, it should be remarked that the estimate (2) can
proach to choose, follows from practical considerations be too conservative if there is a significant difference in
of the importance of the individual control loops. the bandwidths of the loops.

Another convenient measure to be used in the con- Design of Decentralized Controllers

trol design is the frequencies at which the interactions To find the decentralized PID controller, we consider
lhl2(iw)l and Ihlz(iw)l attain their maxima. These fre- the diagonal terms of the transfer function Q ( s ) . By
quencies will determine the bandwidth of the closed- construction we know that the static gain of all di-
loop system. It is possible to make the following sim- agonal elements are unity. Standard methods can be
plifications in order to derive estimates of the frequen- used for the design of PI or PID controller for each
cies. Since the controllers have integral action, we have transfer function q k k ( s ) . One possibility is to use an

I -0.5
0 10 20 M 40 50 60 70 80 0 10 20 30 40 SO 60 70 80
t t

4 5
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 IO

Figure 1: Simulation of the design method applied to Figure 2: Simulation of controllers without set-point
Rosenbrock's system. The figure shows the weighting. The simulation is identical to Fig-
response of the outputs to steps in the com- ure 1 but the controllers have bl = bp = 1.
mand signals. The PI controllers have set-point
weighting bl = bz = 0.
a zero s = 1 in the right half-plane. If we introduce
static decoupling, the compensated transfer function
optimization technique which minimizes integral gain becomes
subject to a robustness constraint. This is discussed
for PI controllers in [3] and for PID controllers in [lo].
Such a method will give controllers which are optimized
with respect to rejection of load disturbances. The de-
sign methods will give integral gains kyk > 0, which
= i o "1
3(1 - S)
(s + 1)(: +3) (s +sl)(s
+ 3)

could be used if there were no interactions. The ratios The interaction is given by 1 ~ 1 2= 4/3 and ~ 2 1= 0.
Ak = k I k / k y k are thus measures of performance losses Since l ~ z l= 0, interaction gives no performance limi-
due to the interaction. If A k 2 1 there are no perfor- tations for the second loop. There are however limi-
mance losses and the limitations on performance are tations because of the right half-plane zero at s = 1.
essentially given by the loop dynamics. If 0 5 X k < 1 Designing a PI controller that maximizes integral gain
it is necessary to detune the controllers. In this case we subject to the constraints that the maximum sensitivity
need methods to design PID controllers with specifica- Msl and the maximum complementary sensitivity Mpl
tions on the closed-loop bandwidth. There are many are less than fi,gives k p l = 0.245 and k I l = 0.248,
methods which can be used for this purpose. Two sim- see [3]. Since 1 ~ 1 2= 4/3 there are constraints on the de-
ple techniques for design of PID controllers are the sign of the first loop because of the coupling. Requiring
direct pole-placement design based on reduced-order that the coupling ICI is less than 0.1 and the maximum
models and the dominant pole design, see [2] and [ll]. sensitivity M,z is less than fi9 we find that the in-
tegral gain of the second loop IC12 must be less than
~ l / ( n l 2 M , 1 M , z )= 0.0750. To design a PI controller,
we use direct pole placement [2] based on the model
3 ExampIes +
qz2(s) = (s 1)-l. This gives kp2 = 2f,uo - 1 and
IC12 = WO". Requiring that the integral gain is equal to
The control design method is in this section illustrated 0.0750, we find that WO = 0.274. With C = 1 the con-
on two examples from the literature. troller gains become kp2 = -0.452 and k ~ = z 0.075.
Figure 1 shows simulations of set-point responses for
Rosenbrock's System the closed-loop system. The plots show the proposed
The process design with set-point weighting (bl = b2 = 0). A unit
step in the set point of the first controller is applied at
time t = 0 and a step in the set point of the second con-
G(s)= Isll I troller is then applied at time t = 40. Figure 2 shows
\s+l s+lj the step responses for a controller without set-point
weighting. The figure clearly indicates the advantage
was originally proposed by Rosenbrock [13]. It is an of set-point weighting for multivariable systems. The
example of a system that looks very easy to control, reason why there is such a large difference is that the
but which has fundamental limitations because it has control signal is much smoother with set-point weight-


10 4 100

lop 10"
A series

~ 2 =
y:i 1 - 17.39
-0.5138s giy:2.31s

The interaction is thus given by KLZ = -12.31 and

1 -0.5138. The time constants of the reduced-
order models are TI = 11.7 and T2 = 17.3. Let the de-
sired maximum sensitivity for the individual loops be
equal to M,1 = M , 2 = fi.Requiring that the interac-
tion indices ~1 and ~2 should both be less than 0.20, the
integral gains should be k11 < 0.19 and k12 < 0.0081.
This gives the corresponding crossover frequencies

10' 10- 10"
w WO2 < Jm= do- = 0.022
Figure 3: The frequency response of the closed-loop sys- We have wolL = 0.36 and wozL = 0.066. The band-
tem with set-point weighting (solid) and with- widths are thus well below the limitations w L < 0.7
Out (dashed). Note without set-point imposed by the the largest time delay of the system
weighting the interaction Ihlz(iw)l is larger and ( L = 3), see [I].
extends to higher frequencies.
With these frequencies and the time delays present in
ing. the system, it is quite reasonable to approximate the
time delays with first order lags. The model reduction
The effect of set-point weighting
is illustrated also in should thus work reasonably well in this case. Choosing
Figure 3, which shows the frequency response of the (1 = (2 = C = 0.707 we find that the proportional gains
closed-loop system with (solid) and without (dashed) are
set-point weighting. The interaction increases consid-
erably when no set-point weighting is applied. This kpi = 2Cwol - 1 = 1.1338
agrees with the conclusion in previous section, com- lcp2 = ~ ( W O Z- 1 =z -0.4699
pare the interaction indices with and without set-point
weighting in Equations (2) and (6). In Figure 4 we show the step responses from set point
t o process output for the system. Analyzing the figure
The maximum of the interaction 1&2(iw)( in Figure 3 we find that the response in y1 caused by a step in the
is equal to 0.3. This should be compared t o the inter- set point yr2 is quite small. It thus seems possible t o
action index 6 1 = 0.2. The maximum is attained at increase the bandwidth in the second loop. After some
w = 0.52, while the estimate in (5) predicts 0.41. experimentation we found that a reasonable value is
w02 = 0.1, which gives that the controller parameters
It is interesting to note that the bandwidth of the for the second loop become k p 2 = 0.7 and klz = 0.123.
closed-loop system (as measured by the maximal sin- The time responses are shown in Figure 5. A compari-
gular value) is equal to wb = 0.49 rad/s, which is fairly son with Figure 4 shows that the response speed of the
close to the limitation imposed by the right half-plane second loop has been increased considerably without
zero at +l. increasing the interaction too much. This also shows
that the method lends itself very well to tuning. The
Wood-Berry's Binary Distillation Column step responses in Figure 5 compare favorably with de-
The Wood-Berry binary distillation column plant [14] signs obtained by other methods.
is a multivariable system that has been studied exten-
sively. The process has the transfer function
/ 12.8e-S -18.9e-3"\ 4 Conclusions

The suggested control scheme is a quite simple multi-

variable controller. However, it handles a large number
The transfer function of the statically compensated sys- of practical control problems, although it can be im-
tem is plemented with regular PID controllers together with
a proportional controller D. It is desirable to have effi-
cient design methods for decoupled PID control. Such
a method has been developed in the paper, under the

I 1

Y2 Y2

-0.5l I -0.d J
50 100 150 200 250 3W 50 100 150 200 250 300

t t

Figure 4: Simulation of the design method applied to Figure 5: Simulation of the design method applied to the
the Wood-Berry distillation column. The figure Wood-Berry distillation column. The band-
shows the response of the outputs to steps in width of the second loop has been increased
the command signals. to WO2 = 0.1.

assumption that the interaction is not too severe. Pos- [7] W. L. Luyben. Process modeling, simulation,
sible detuning of the PID controllers was quantified via and control for chemical engineers. McGraw-Hill, New
the interaction indices I E ~and 62. An important remark York, 1990.
made in the paper was that set-point weighting is neces-
[8] J. M. Maciejowski. Predictive Control with Con-
sary for PID controllers in multivariable systems. The straints. Pearson Education, 2000.
interaction between the control loops can be reduced
considerably if set-point weighting bl = bz = 0 is used. [9] A. Niederlinski. A heuristic approach to the de-
sign of h e a r multivariable interacting control systems.
Other methods for doing detuning for multivariable Automatica, 7:691-701, 1971.
PID control includes Niederlinski’s heuristic design [9]. [lo] H. Panagopoulos. PID-Control. Design, Ezten-
Note that the interaction indices tc1 and IEZ depend on sion, Application. PhD thesis, Dept. of Automatic Con-
the controller, which is for instance not the case for the trol, Lund University, Sweden, 2000.
widely used interaction measure RGA by Bristol [4].
[ll] P. Persson and K. J. Astrom. Dominant pole
design - a unified view of PID controller tuning. In
Preprints 4th IFAC Symposium on Adaptive Systems in
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