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AUTOMATIKA, 2017

VOL. 58, NO. 2, 168–181


https://doi.org/10.1080/00051144.2017.1383581

REGULAR PAPER

A quasi-universal practical IMC algorithm


Vasile Cirtoaje
Department of Automatic Control and Computers, University of Ploiesti, Ploiesti, Romania

ABSTRACT ARTICLE HISTORY


The control algorithm incorporates a process feedback path of pure proportional type (only for Received 20 February 2017
integral-type or unstable processes), a process model of second order plus time delay and a Accepted 12 September 2017
realizable second-order internal controller which has not a tuning filter time constant as usual KEYWORDS
in the classical IMC design, but a tuning gain with standard value 1, that can be used by the Control algorithm; quasi-
human operator to get a strong or weak control action. The model parameters (steady-state universal practical algorithm;
gain, time delay and transient time) can be easily experimentally determined and can be online compensated process model;
verified and corrected. The algorithm is practical and quasi-universal because it is easily IMC structure; tuning gain;
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tunable, has a unique form and can be applied to almost all process types: stable proportional online tuning; time delay;
processes (with or without time delay, with or without overshoot, of minimum or nonminimum transient time
phase), integral processes and even some unstable processes. The proposed algorithm is better
than the proportional-integral-derivative (PID) algorithm (which is also quasi-universal and
practical) due to its robustness, high control performance (especially for processes with time
delay) and simple experimental procedure for determining the controller parameters. Some
applications are presented to highlight the main features of the algorithm and the tuning
procedure for all process types.

1. Introduction IMC-based PID algorithm leads to weaker control per-


formance than a genuine IMC algorithm. This is the
The internal model control (IMC) approach involves a
first starting point of our paper.
process model embedded in the controller structure. In
The configuration of a standard IMC system is
its standard and advanced variants, the IMC was intro-
shown in Figure 1 [1–5], where GP(s) is the process
duced and thoroughly studied in 1982 by Garcia and
transfer function, GM(s) – process model transfer func-
Morari [1] and in 1986 by Rivera et al. [2], but similar
tion, Gi(s) – internal controller transfer function, Y(s) –
concepts have been used previously by other researchers
controlled variable, U(s) – control variable, R(s) – ref-
[3,4]. The classical IMC method offers advanced control
erence (setpoint) variable, E(s) – error variable and V
procedures that can be applied with very good perfor-
(s) – disturbance variable. For both equivalent dia-
mance to any process with known model, but the found
grams A and B, the transfer function between the con-
particular control algorithm cannot be used for other
trolled variable Y and the reference variable R has the
processes. Thus, the controller complexity depends
expression
mainly on the complexity of the process model and the
control system performance stated by the designer [5– GP Gi
GYR ¼ ; (1)
10]. For these reasons, the control algorithms of IMC 1 þ ðGP  GM ÞGi
type are not widely used in current industrial practice.
while the transfer function between the controlled vari-
On the other hand, hundreds of significant papers
able Y and the disturbance variable V is
have been written in the last decades on the propor-
tional-integral-derivative (PID) control algorithm, 1  GM Gi
GYV ¼ 1  GYR ¼ : (2)
which is the most widely used in practice. It is well 1 þ ðGP  GM ÞGi
known that the IMC design can provide robustness
Under the assumption that the internal controller gain
and control performance better than the PID design,
is the inverse of the model gain, that is
especially for processes with large time delay. For some
particular processes of low order, without time delay 1
Gi ð0Þ ¼ ; (3)
or with time delay approximated by a low-order series GM ð0Þ
expansion, the IMC design can lead to a PID controller
it follows that
structure (or an ideal PID controller cascaded with a
first- or second-order filter) and an intuitive procedure GYR ð0Þ ¼ 1; GYV ð0Þ ¼ 0: (4)
for tuning the PID controller [11–16]. Certainly, an

CONTACT Vasile Cirtoaje vcirtoaje@upg-ploiesti.ro


© 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted
use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
AUTOMATIKA 169

a unique structure (of second order plus time delay)


irrespective of the controlled process type. This is pos-
sible because the model addresses the compensated
process, which is always stable and of proportional
type (with the steady-state gain finite and nonzero or,
equivalently, with no pole and zero at the origin). Such
a control technique based on process compensation
has been introduced in [17] for unstable processes
(under the name of “modified IMC”), in [18] for inte-
gral-type processes, and in [19] for unstable integral
processes.
The proposed algorithm is quasi-universal because
it has a unique form and can be used to control almost
all process types: stable processes of proportional type
(with or without time delay, with or without overshoot,
Figure 1. IMC system structure. of minimum or nonminimum phase), integral pro-
cesses and unstable processes. The model parameters
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(steady-state gain, time delay and transient time) can


According to this result, even if the process model is
be experimentally determined from the compensated
imperfect, the steady-state value of the controlled vari-
process response to a step input, and can be verified
able y is equal to the steady-state value of the reference
and adjusted online; in addition, by setting a suitable
r whatever the steady-state value of the disturbance v.
tuning gain K, the control performance can be good or
In addition, it is possible to design an overall IMC con-
very good even if the model parameters have no accu-
troller without concern for the closed-loop system sta-
rate values. The use of the tuning gain K (with stan-
bility, but only for the control performance [1,4,5].
dard value 1) instead of a filter time constant (as usual)
An ideal control system suppresses completely the dis-
is also a practical feature of the presented algorithm.
turbance effect on the controlled variable and forces it to
Using MATLAB/SIMULINK environment, six
track instantaneously the reference. This is possible if and
numerical applications for different process types are
only if the transfer function of the internal controller Gi(s)
presented to show the performance and the tuning
is the inverse of the model transfer function GM(s), i.e.
procedure of the control algorithm.
1
Gi ðsÞ ¼ : (5)
GM ðsÞ 2. Primary form of the control algorithm
Indeed, if this condition is satisfied, then A model of second order with two lag time constants
plus time delay has the transfer function
GYR ðsÞ ¼ 1; GYV ðsÞ ¼ 0; (6)
KM etM s
GM ðsÞ ¼ ; (9)
therefore, y(t) = r(t) for any reference r(t) and disturbance ðT1 s þ 1ÞðT2 s þ 1Þ
v(t). Thus, to design an ideal control system, it is not nec-
essary to have a perfect model. Unfortunately, no control- where KM is the model steady-state gain, t M is the
ler can perfectly invert the process dynamic model. model time delay, and T1 and T2 are the model time
Therefore, the classical IMC design methodology seeks to constants satisfying
find a more accurate process model and an approximate
proper inverse of the process model. As a consequence, T1 ¼ gT2 ; 0  g  1:
the control algorithms designed by this methodology
have a form which depends on the process model. For g = 1, the two lag time constants are equal to each
On the other hand, for a perfect model, it follows other [20], whereas for g = 0, the model becomes of
from Equation (1) that first order. In this paper, we will consider the middle
case with g = 1/2.
GYR ðsÞ ¼ GP ðsÞGi ðsÞ; (7) For a stable proportional-type process with the step
response y(t) monotonic and finite (called P1-type),
hence, the model parameters KM, tM, T1 and T2 can be easily
experimentally determined as follows:
GUR ðsÞ ¼ Gi ðsÞ: (8)
KM  KP ; tM  tP ; (10)
The paper presents a quasi-universal and practical TtrM TtrP
approach of the IMC method, in which the model has T1 ¼  ; T2 ¼ 2T1 : (11)
8:4 8:4
170 V. CIRTOAJE

where KP is the process steady-state gain, tP – the pro- Also, since the steady-state error is zero, the final value
cess time delay, and TtrP – the transient time of the of u(t) is equal to the inverse of the process steady-state
response y(t) (which does not include the time delay); gain:
more precisely, 1
uð 1 Þ ¼ : (19)
KP
TtrP ¼ t1  tP ; (12)
Therefore, the magnitude coefficient M of the closed-
where t1 is the settling time (when the response is
loop control system response u(t) to a unit step refer-
approximately 98% of its steady-state value):
ence, defined as the ratio between the initial value u
(0+) and the final value u(1), has the expression
yðt1 Þ  0:98yð 1 Þ: (13)
uð0þ Þ KP
Note that a first-order plus time delay model is too M¼ ¼ ¢K: (20)
simple to describe with sufficient accuracy the process uð 1 Þ KM
sluggishness, whereas a third-order plus time delay
When the human operator increases/decreases the
model is too complicated to be used to increase the
tuning gain K, the control action becomes stronger/
model accuracy. For the internal controller, we have
weaker.
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chosen the inverse of the model transfer function


According to (10) and (11), one may consider that
ðT1 s þ 1ÞðT2 s þ 1Þ the model parameters are the gain KM, the time delay
Gi ðsÞ ¼ ; (14) tM and the transient time TtrM.
KM ðT3 s þ 1ÞðT4 s þ 1Þ
In the particular case K = 1, the internal controller
where the filter time constants T3 and T4 are introduced (16) is purely proportional:
to make the internal controller realizable (with a num-
1
ber of poles equal to the number of zeros). These time Gi ðsÞ ¼ : (21)
KM
constants need to be lower bounded to avoid excessive
noise amplification and to accommodate to the model- In this case, according to (18) and (19), the initial and
ling error. In the classical IMC design, these filter time final values of the control response u(t) to a unit step
constants are equal to each other and considered as tun- reference are u(0+) = 1/KM and u(1) = 1/KP. If KM
ing parameter (used by the process human operator to and KP are equal to each other, then u(0+) = u(1). In
modify the intensity of the control action). addition, for a perfect model with GM(s) = GP(s), it fol-
Using the substitution lows from (8) and (21) that
T1 T2
T3 ¼ pffiffiffiffi ; T4 ¼ pffiffiffiffi ¼ 2T3 ; (15) GUR ðsÞ ¼ 1=KM ¼ 1=KP ;
K K
therefore, the ideal control response uid(t) to a unit
a new practical tuning parameter (the gain K with the step reference is a step function of magnitude 1/KP.
standard value 1) is introduced. Thus, the internal con- For a perfect model and K > 0, having in view (8)
troller (14) becomes and (16), the ideal control response uid(t) to a unit step
reference has the expression
ðT s þ 1ÞðT2 s þ 1Þ
Gi ðsÞ ¼ 1  : (16) pffiffiffi pffiffiffi
KM pTffiffiK1 ffi s þ 1 pTffiffiK2ffi s þ 1 1 þ A1 e K t=T1
þ B 1 eK t=T2
uid ðt Þ ¼ ; (22)
KM
Because
where
1 1 pffiffiffiffi  pffiffiffiffi 
Gi ð0Þ ¼ ¼ ; (17)
KM GM ð0Þ A1 ¼ K 1 2 K 1 ; (23)
pffiffiffiffi  pffiffiffiffi 
the relation (3) is satisfied, therefore the steady-state B1 ¼ K 1 2 K : (24)
error is zero for a step reference or disturbance. On the
other hand, since GM(s) and GP(s) are strictly proper, it Figure 2 shows this ideal response for KM = 1 and
follows from Figure 1 that the initial value u(0+) of the TtrM = 84, when
closed-loop control system response u(t) to a unit step
pffiffiffi pffiffiffi
reference is uid ðt Þ ¼ 1 þ A1 e K t=10
þ B1 e K t=20
: (25)
K
uð0þ Þ ¼ Gi ð 1 Þ ¼ : (18) The response uid(t) is increasing on (0, 1) for 0 <
KM K  1, is decreasing on (0, 1) for 1  K  4, and is
AUTOMATIKA 171

T is the sampling period, and lM is the integer value of


the ratio between the model time delay and the sam-
pling period; that is,
ht i
M
lM ¼ : (30)
T

The discrete-time equivalent of the continuous internal


controller (16) has the discrete transfer function
pffiffiffiffi pffiffiffiffi 
1 K þ Az 1 K þ Bz 1
G0i ðz Þ  ¢ ; (31)
KM ð1  p3 z 1 Þð1  p4 z 1 Þ
Figure 2. Control response uid(t) to a unit step reference for
KM = 1, TtrM = 84 and K = 0.5, 1, 4, 8, 12.
where
decreasing on (0, t0] and increasing on [t0, 1) for K > pffiffiffi
p3 ¼ eT=T3 ¼ p1 K; (32)
4, where pffiffiffi pffiffiffiffiffi
pffiffiffiffi p4 ¼ eT=T4 ¼ p2 K ¼ p3 ; (33)
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pffiffiffiffi
TtrM 4 K 2 A ¼ 1  p3  K ; (34)
t0 ¼ pffiffiffiffi ln pffiffiffiffi : (26) pffiffiffiffi
4:2 K K 2
B ¼ 1  p4  K : (35)
For K = 1, the response uid(t) given by (22) is a step
The discrete-time primary form of the control algo-
function of magnitude 1/KM. Actually, due to the
rithm has the equations
model inaccuracy, the form of the closed-loop system
response u(t) to a step reference is not a perfect step 8
> ek ¼ rk  yk
function. By comparing the response u(t) with the >
>
>
>
>
ideal response in step form, the human operator can < xk ¼ ðp1 þ p2 Þxk1  p1 p2 xk2 þ KM PuklM 1
>
verify online if the model parameters have appropriate
fk ¼ ek þ xk ;
>
>
values, and can adjust these parameters to improve the >
>
>
>
model accuracy. So, if the initial value u(0+) is larger/ >
: uk ¼ ðp3 þ p4 Þuk1  p3 p4 uk2 þ 1 f
smaller than its final value u(1), then the model gain KM
KM needs to be proportionally increased/decreased to (36)
have KM  KP. Then, for KM  KP, analyzing the new
response u(t) to a step reference, if u(t) is larger/ where
smaller than u(0+) in a time range t > t M, then the
pffiffiffiffiffi
model parameter TtrM needs to be increased/decreased. p1 ¼ e8:4T=TtrM ; p2 ¼ p1 ; (37)
pffiffiffi pffiffiffiffiffi
In its primary (standard) form, used to control sta-
p3 ¼ p1 K ; p4 ¼ p3 ; (38)
ble proportional-type processes (with or without time
delay, with or without overshoot, of minimum or non- P ¼ ð1  p1 Þð1  p2 Þ; (39)
pffiffiffiffi
minimum phase), the algorithm has four parameters: f ¼ Kfk þ K ðA þ BÞfk1 þ ABfk2 : (40)

– tuning gain K (with standard value 1);


– model steady-state gain KM; Example 2.1: Consider the proportional process with
– model time delay tM; the transfer function
– transient time of the model step response TtrM.
2ðs þ 1Þe5s
The discrete-time equivalent of the continuous GP ðsÞ ¼ :
ð4s þ 1Þð8s þ 1Þð10s þ 1Þ
model (9) with T2 = 2T1 has the discrete transfer func-
tion From the process unit step response in Figure 3, it fol-
lows the process model parameters
KM ð1  p1 Þð1  p2 Þz lM 1
G0M ðz Þ  ; (27)
ð1  p1 z 1 Þð1  p2 z1 Þ KM ¼ 2; tM ¼ 6; TtrM ¼ t1  t P ¼ 60  6 ¼ 54:

where
Figures 4 and 5 show the closed-loop system
responses y(t) and u(t) to a unit step reference for K =
p1 ¼ eT=T1 ¼ e8:4T=TtrM ; (28)
pffiffiffiffiffi 0.5, 1, 2.5, 8. A good control performance is achieved
p2 ¼ eT=T2 ¼ p1 ; (29) for K = 2.5. The control response u(t) is too strong for
172 V. CIRTOAJE

Figure 3. Process response to a unit step input. Figure 6. Control system responses y(t) to a unit step reference
for KM = 1.5, 2, 2.5.
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Figure 4. Closed-loop system responses y(t) to a unit step ref-


erence for K = 0.5, 1, 2.5, 8.
Figure 7. Control system responses y(t) to a unit step reference
for t M = 3, 6, 9.

Figure 5. Control responses u(t) to a unit step reference for K =


0.5, 1, 2.5, 8.
Figure 8. Control system responses y(t) to a unit step reference
for TtrM = 40, 54, 70.

K = 8, when

uð0þ Þ ¼ K=KM ¼ 4; uð 1 Þ ¼ 1=KP ¼ 0:5; values of the model gain KM, model time delay tM and
model transient time TtrM, respectively. All these
and too weak for K = 0.5, when responses show that the control performance is robust
with respect to the model parameters KM, tM and TtrM.
uð0þ Þ ¼ 0:25; uð 1 Þ ¼ 0:5: The closed-loop control system is respectively stable
for KM > 0.54, for all t M > 0, and for TtrM > 6.
For K = 1, the response u(t) is close to a step function; Figures 9–11 show the closed-loop system responses
this confirms that the model parameters have been y(t) to a unit step reference for the best values of the
suitably chosen. Note that the closed-loop system is tuning parameter K and various values of the model
stable for all positive K < 3600. parameters KM, tM and TtrM, respectively. The control
Figures 6–8 show the closed-loop system responses performance remains good even for wrong values of the
y(t) to a unit step reference for K = 2.5 and different model parameters. Moreover, we claim that the control
AUTOMATIKA 173

Figure 12. Control loop-system responses y(t) to a unit step


Figure 9. Control system responses y(t) to a unit step reference
reference for a PI controller with A: KR = 0.1, Ti = 6.2; B: KR =
for A: KM = 2.5, K = 11; B: KM = 2, K = 2.5; C: KM = 1.5, K = 0.4.
0.2, Ti = 10; C: KR = 0.3, Ti = 16.

then the control system performance is comparable


with the one obtained for TtrM = 54 and K = 2.5
(response B). The closed-loop system with TtrM = 70 is
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stable for K < 3400.


Using the designed controller, the control perfor-
mance is better than the one achieved using a PI con-
troller with the transfer function
 
1
GPI ðsÞ ¼ KR 1 þ :
Ti s

Figure 10. System responses y(t) to a unit step reference for A: This follows immediately from Figure 12, where are
t M = 9, K = 25; B: t M = 6, K = 2.5; C: t M = 3, K = 0.75. depicted the responses y(t) to a unit step reference for
KR = 0.1, 0.2, 0.3 and the best values of the integral
performance is better for KM > KP than for KM < KP, time constant Ti, namely Ti = 6.2, 10, 16, respectively.
for tM > tP than for tM < tP, and for TtrM > TtrP than
for TtrM < TtrP. Remark 2.1: The proposed algorithm can be also used
The response A in Figure 9 shows that for the to control stable proportional-type processes with
wrong value KM = 2.5, if the process-operator selects overshoot. Let P be a such process, whose input step
K = 11, then the control system performance is even response has the maximum value at the time t0. In
better than the one obtained for KM = 2 and K = 2.5 order to choose the model parameters, this process
(response B). The closed-loop system with KM = 2.5 is (with or without oscillations) is approximated by a
process P ~ of P1 type (with the unit step response
stable for K < 4600.
Figure 10 shows that for the wrong value t M = 9, by monotonic and finite), whose step response ~yðt Þ
choosing K = 25 (response A), the control system per- remains constant (at its maximum value) for t  t0
formance is better than the one obtained for t M = 6 (Figures 13 and 16). From the step response ~yðt Þ, we
~ P , the time
can easily choose the steady-state gain K
and K = 2.5 (response B). Note that the closed-loop
system with t M = 9 is stable for K < 240. delay t P and the transient time
Figure 11 shows that for the wrong value TtrM = 70,
~ trP ¼ t0  t P :
T (41)
if the process-operator chooses K = 7 (response A),
Thus, the model parameters are

~ P;
KM ¼ K tM ¼ tP ; ~ trP :
TtrM ¼ T (42)

Since K~ P > KP , the closed-loop system response u(t) to


a step reference has a smaller initial value, namely

~ P < K=KP ;
uð0þÞ ¼ K=KM ¼ K=K (43)

which reduces the overshoot of the closed-loop system


response y(t).
By suitably modifying the tuning gain K, a good con-
Figure 11. System responses y(t) to a unit step reference for A: trol system response to a step reference can be obtained.
TtrM = 70, K = 7; B: TtrM = 54, K = 2.5; C: TtrM = 40, K = 0.16.
174 V. CIRTOAJE

Example 2.2: Consider the following non-oscillatory The closed-loop system responses y(t) and u(t) to a
process with overshoot unit step reference are shown in Figures 14 and 15 for
K = 0.25, 1, 4. The control variable u(t) is too strong
1:5ð24s þ 1Þe5s for K = 4 – when u(0+) = K/KM  2, and too weak for
GP ðsÞ ¼ :
ð4s þ 1Þð8s þ 1Þð9s þ 1Þ K = 0.25 – when u(0+) = K/KM  0.125. Note that the
system is stable for all K > 0.
From the process unit step response ~yðt Þ in Figure 13,
it follows that Example 2.3: Consider the oscillatory process with
overshoot
~ P ¼ 1:98;
K tP ¼ 5;
~ trP ¼ t0  t P ¼ 24  5 ¼ 19; 1:5ð2s þ 1Þe5s
T GP ðsÞ ¼ :
ð3s þ 1Þð4s þ 1Þð6s2 þ 3s þ 1Þ
therefore,
From the process unit step response in Figure 16, it fol-
~ P ¼ 1:98; t M ¼ t P ¼ 5;
KM ¼ K lows that
~ trP ¼ 19:
TtrM ¼ T ~ P ¼ 1:98;
K t P ¼ 7;
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~
T trP ¼ t0  tP ¼ 29  7 ¼ 22;

therefore,

~ P ¼ 1:98; tM ¼ tP ¼ 7;
KM ¼ K
~ trP ¼ 22:
TtrM ¼ T

The closed-loop system responses y(t) and u(t) to a


unit step reference for three different values of the tun-
ing gain K are shown in Figures 17 and 18. The control
response u(t) is too strong for K = 0.4 – when u(0+) 
0.2, and too weak for K = 0.1 – when u(0+)  0.05. The
Figure 13. Process response to a unit step input. control system is stable for K < 2.5.

Figure 14. Control system responses y(t) to a unit step refer-


ence for K = 0.25, 1, 4. Figure 16. Process response to a unit step input.

Figure 15. Control system responses u(t) to a unit step refer- Figure 17. Control system responses y(t) to a unit step refer-
ence for K = 0.25, 1, 4. ence for K = 0.4, 0.2, 0.1.
AUTOMATIKA 175

Figure 18. Control system responses u(t) to a unit step refer- Figure 20. Control system responses y(t) to a unit step refer-
ence for K = 0.4, 0.2, 0.1. ence for K = 10, 5, 1.

Remark 2.2: The proposed algorithm can be also used


to control stable proportional-type processes of non-
minimum phase. To control a stable nonminimum-
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phase process, we will consider that the process time


delay includes the interval where the sign of the pro-
cess step response is opposite to the sign of the final
value.
Example 2.4: Consider the nonminimum-phase process

2ð1  4sÞe2s
GP ðsÞ ¼ :
ð4s þ 1Þð8s þ 1Þð10s þ 1Þ
Figure 21. Control system responses u(t) to a unit step refer-
From the process unit step response shown in Figure 19, ence for K = 10, 5, 1.
it follows the model parameters
proportional type (called the compensated process) by
KM ¼ 2; tM ¼ 11; means of a feedback path of pure proportional type, as
TtrM ¼ t1  tP ¼ 65  11 ¼ 54: shown in Figure 22.
As a rule, for an integral-type process, the step
Figures 20 and 21 show the closed-loop system response of the compensated process has zero over-
responses y(t) and u(t) to a unit step reference for three shoot for small values of the feedback gain Kf, and non-
values of the tuning gain K. The best response is zero overshoot for large values of Kf. A suitable variant
achieved for K = 10. The closed-loop system is stable is to choose the gain Kf as large as possible such that
for K < 36.6. the overshoot of the step response of the compensated
process remains zero. Then, for selected Kf, the model
parameters KM, tM and TtrM are determined from the
3. Extended form of the control algorithm compensated process response y(t) to a step change of
the input c. If K = 1 and the model parameters have
The algorithm can be extended to control integral-type appropriate values, then the closed-loop control system
processes and unstable processes. The main idea is to response c(t) to a step reference is close to a step
turn the original process into a stable process of function.
Note that the steady-state error is zero for a step and
even for a ramp disturbance added to the process
output.

Figure 19. Process response to a unit step input. Figure 22. Closed-loop system with compensated process.
176 V. CIRTOAJE

According to Equations (36)–(40) and the con- input c is monotonic and bounded (Figure 23). Choos-
troller structure in Figure 22, the discrete-time con- ing Kf = 0.6, it follows that
trol algorithm has the following equations:
KM ¼ 1:67; tM ¼ 7;
8
> ek ¼ rk  yk TtrM ¼ t1  t P ¼ 82  7 ¼ 75:
>
>
>
> xk ¼ ðp1 þ p2 Þxk1  p1 p2 xk2 þ KM PcklM 1
>
>
>
< For Kf = 0.6 and K = 1, 3, 8, the closed-loop control
f k ¼ ek þ x k
; system responses y(t), c(t) and u(t) to a unit step refer-
>
> 1
>
> ck ¼ ðp3 þ p4 Þck1  p3 p4 ck2 þ ence are shown in Figures 24–26. The control variables
>
>
f
>
> KM c(t) and u(t) are too strong for K = 8, when
:
uk ¼ ck  Kf ðyk  y0 Þ
(44) uð0þ Þ ¼ cð0þ Þ ¼ K=KM  4:79;

where y0 is the value of y just before switching to


automatic mode. Notice that for Kf = 0, the extended
control algorithm (44) reduces to the primary form
(36).
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Let u0 and e0 be the values of u and e before switch-


ing to automatic mode, and

x0 ¼ KM u0 : (45)

To have a bumpless transfer only for e0 = 0, the fol-


lowing settings are needed to be made before switching
to automatic mode:

ck1 ¼ ck2 ¼    ¼ cklM 1 ¼ u0 (46) Figure 23. Compensated process responses y(t) to a unit step
xk1 ¼ xk2 ¼ x0 ; fk1 ¼ fk2 ¼ x0 : (47) input c = 1(t) for Kf = 0.5, 0.6, 0.8.

To have a bumpless transfer for any e0 6¼ 0, it needs


in addition to replace the equation fk = ek + xk in (44)
with

fk ¼ ðek  e0 Þ þ xk :

In automatic mode, a bumpless transfer should be


achieved whenever the human operator changes a
parameter of the control algorithm.
A practical controller needs to have three operating
modes: AUTOMATIC, MANUAL and COMPENSA-
TORY. In COMPENSATORY and MANUAL modes,
Figure 24. Control system responses y(t) to a unit step refer-
the human operator can directly set any value for the ence for Kf = 0.6 and K = 1, 3, 8.
compensated process input c and the controlled process
input u, respectively. Before switching to COMPENSA-
TORY mode (from MANUAL or AUTOMATIC
mode), the variable c should be set to the value of u. For
Kf = 0, the MANUAL and COMPENSATORY modes
are the same.
Example 3.1: Consider the integral-type process

ðs þ 1Þe5s
GP ðsÞ ¼ :
10sð2s þ 1Þð5s þ 1Þ

Using a negative feedback path with 0 < Kf < 0.65, the


integral-type process turns into a compensated process Figure 25. Control system responses c(t) to a unit step refer-
of proportional type whose response y to a unit step ence for Kf = 0.6 and K = 1, 3, 8.
AUTOMATIKA 177

Figure 26. Control system responses u(t) to a unit step refer- Figure 28. Control system responses y(t) to a unit step refer-
ence for Kf = 0.6 and K = 1, 3, 8. ence for Kf = 0.5 and K = 1, 8, 25.

and too weak for K = 1, when response y to a unit step input c is monotonic and
bounded (Figure 29). From this compensated process
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uð0þ Þ ¼ cð0þ Þ ¼ K=KM  0:599: response, it follows that

For K = 1, the control response c(t) is close to a step KM ¼ 7:7; tM ¼ 3;


function. The closed-loop system is stable for K < TtrM ¼ t1  t P ¼ 83  3 ¼ 80:
1140.
For Kf = 0.6 and K = 3, the closed-loop system The closed-loop system responses to a unit step refer-
response y(t) to the ramp disturbance v(t) = t/10 is ence are shown in Figures 30–32 for K = 1, 4, 8. The
shown in Figure 27. control responses c(t) and u(t) are too strong for K = 8,
For Kf = 0.5, from the compensated process when
response to a unit step input in Figure 23, it follows
that uð0þ Þ ¼ K=KM  1:04;

KM ¼ 1:925; tM ¼ 7; TtrM ¼ 100  7 ¼ 93: and too weak for K = 1, when

Setting K = 25, the system response y(t) to a unit step uð0þ Þ ¼ K=KM  0:13:
reference (Figure 28) is even better than the response
obtained for Kf = 0.6 and K = 3 (Figure 24). The If K = 1, then the control response c(t) is close to a
closed-loop system is stable for K < 4500. step function. The closed-loop system is stable for
K < 460.
Example 3.2: Consider the unstable process
Remark 3.1: A similar but simpler control algorithm
ðs þ 1Þe2s can be obtained by replacing the second-order internal
GP ðsÞ ¼ :
2ð1 þ 3sÞð1  6sÞ controller (16) with the first-order controller

Using a feedback path with Kf = ¡2.13, the unstable TM1 s þ 1


Gi1 ðsÞ ¼  ; (48)
process turns into a stable compensated process whose KM TKM1 s þ 1

Figure 27. Control system responses y(t) to the ramp distur- Figure 29. Compensated process responses y(t) to input c = 1
bance v(t) = t/10 for K = 3. (t) for Kf = ¡2.08, ¡ 2.13, ¡ 2.5.
178 V. CIRTOAJE

Figure 30. Control system responses y(t) to a unit step reference for Kf = ¡2.13 and K = 1, 4, 8.
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The response uid1(t) is monotonic for all K > 0


(increasing for K < 1, decreasing for K > 1, in step
form for K = 1).
The discrete-time equivalent of the internal control-
ler has the transfer function

1 K þ ð1  r1  K Þz 1
G0i1 ðzÞ ¼ ¢ ; (51)
KM 1  r1 z1

where

Figure 31. Control system responses c(t) to a unit step refer-


r1 ¼ eKT=TM1 ¼ e4KT=TtrM : (52)
ence for Kf = ¡2.13 and K = 1, 4, 8.
The discrete-time control algorithm has the following
equations:
8
> ek ¼ rk  yk
>
>
>
>
>
> xk ¼ ðp1 þ p2 Þxk1  p1 p2 xk2 þ KM PcklM 1
>
>
>
<
f k ¼ ek þ x k
:
>
>
>
> K 1  r 1  K
>
> ck ¼ r1 ck1 þ fk þ fk1
>
> KM KM
>
>
:
uk ¼ ck  Kf ðyk  y0 Þ
Figure 32. Control system responses u(t) to a unit step refer- (53)
ence for Kf = ¡2.13 and K = 1, 4, 8.
Based on many real-time control simulations on
software and physical processes (in laboratory and two
where refineries), we may state that the robustness and con-
trol performance of this algorithm are comparable
TtrM TtrP with the ones of the control algorithm with second-
TM1 ¼  : (49) order internal controller.
4 4

For a perfect model, the ideal control response


uid1(t) to a unit step reference has the expression 4. Summary of rules for choosing the
controller parameters
1 þ ðK  1Þe4Kt=TtrM For a proportional process of P1 type (with the step
uid1 ðt Þ ¼ : (50)
KM response monotonic and finite), the model parameters
AUTOMATIKA 179

(steady-state gain KM, time delay tM and transient time


TtrM) can be easily determined from the process step
response (always starting from an initial steady-state
behaviour). These parameters can be verified and cor-
rected online by analyzing the deviation of the control-
ler response u(t) to a reference step for K = 1 from the
step shape. So, if the initial value u(0+) is greater/smaller Figure 33. General structure of the closed-loop system with
than its final value u(1), then KM needs to be propor- compensated process.
tionally augmented/diminished. Then, for KM  KP,
analyzing the new response u(t) to a step reference, if u those from the presented control algorithm (where a =
(t) is greater/smaller than u(0+) in a time range t > t M, 0), namely
then TtrM needs to be augmented/diminished.
For a proportional process with overshoot (with or cð0þ Þ ¼ K=KM ; cð 1 Þ ¼ 1=KP : (56)
without oscillations) or of nonminimum phase, the
model parameters are determined by approximating Note that for a = 1, the internal controller has the trans-
the process with one of P1 type. For a process with fer function Gi(1, s) = 1/KM.
overshoot, if the step response has the maximum value We claim that for any fixed K, K > 1, the control
action is stronger for larger a. Therefore, in the case
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at time t0, then the response is assumed to remain con-


stant at its maximum value for t  t0. For a nonmini- a 6¼ 0, the best performance of the control system will
mum-phase process, we assume that the time delay be achieved for a smaller value of the tuning gain K
includes the time interval where the sign of the process than for a = 0. In our opinion, a = 0.2 is a suitable
step response is opposite to the sign of the final value. value to get robust and high control performance.
For an integral or unstable process, the model
parameters are determined by turning the process into
6. Conclusions
a compensated process of P1 type, using a suitable
feedback process gain Kf. For an integral-type process, The proposed quasi-universal practical algorithm
it is recommended to choose the gain Kf as large as incorporates a process feedback block of pure propor-
possible such that the step response of the compen- tional type, a process model of second order plus time
sated process has zero overshoot. Then, for selected Kf, delay, and a realizable internal controller of second
the model parameters KM, t M and TtrM are determined order. By means of the process feedback path, if the
from the compensated process response y(t) to a step original process is of integral-type or unstable, then it
change of the input c. If K = 1 and the model parame- is turned into a stable compensated process of propor-
ters have appropriate values, then the form of the tional type.
closed-loop system response c(t) to a step reference is In its extended form, the proposed algorithm has
close to a step shape. five parameters: three model parameters (the model
To have a stronger/weaker control action, the pro- steady-state gain KM, the model time delay tM and the
cess operator increases/decreases the tuning gain K transient time TtrM of the model response to a step
(with the standard value 1). input), a tuning gain K with standard value 1 (which
can be easily used by the human process operator to
increase or decrease the magnitude of the control
5. Future research action) and a process feedback gain Kf (which is zero
For many practical applications, it is not recommended for stable processes of proportional type). The indus-
to use high values (larger than 10) of the tuning gain K, trial use of the proposed algorithm will have an
which lead to a very sharp form of the controller output instructive effect on the process operators, who need to
to a step reference. Such situations can appear, for know the main dynamic parameters of the processes
instance, by using an inaccurate process model with KM or compensated processes: the steady-state gain, the
> KP (Figures 9) or tM > tP (Figure 10). To avoid such time delay and the transient time of the step response.
cases, we propose as future research a more general con- If the model steady-state gain KM is equal to the
trol algorithm whose structure is illustrated in Figure 33, compensated process steady-state gain KP, then the
where a 2 [0, 1] and internal controller response c(t) to a step reference has
ðT1 s þ 1ÞðT2 s þ 1Þ the initial value K times larger than its final value. Fur-
Gi ða; sÞ ¼   ; (54) thermore, if the dynamic model of the compensated
KM KT11 s þ 1 KT21 s þ 1
process has a high accuracy, then the internal control-
1a
K1 ¼ K 2 : (55) ler response c(t) for K = 1 is close to a step form. By
analyzing the deviation of this response from the ideal
The initial and final values of the closed-loop system step form, the model parameters can be easily adjusted
response c(t) to a unit step reference are the same as online to improve the model accuracy.
180 V. CIRTOAJE

The practical feature of the control algorithm fol- algorithm is better than the popular PID algorithm. In
lows from the following considerations: addition, for integral-type processes, the proposed
algorithm achieves zero steady-state error for a ramp
– whatever the process to be controlled, the control disturbance added to the process output.
algorithm has the unique form (44);
– the algorithm has a tuning gain K (with stan-
dard value 1) instead of a tuning filter time Disclosure statement
constant (as usual in the IMC design), which
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the
achieves a natural trade-off between closed-
author.
loop performance and robustness to model
uncertainties;
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