• Process elements of this description are common and are

• generally referred to as first-order lags. The response of a firstorder
• system is characterized by two constants: a time constant
• T and a gain K. The gain is related to the amplification associated
• with the process and has no effect on the time characteristics
• of the response. The time characteristics are related
• entirely to the time constant. The time constant is a measure
• of the time necessary for the component or system to adjust
• to an input, and it may be characterized in terms of the capacitance
• and resistance (or conductance) of the process.

• two characteristics distinguish
• first-order systems:
• 1. The maximum rate of change of the output occurs
• immediately following the step input. (Note also that if
• the initial rate were unchanged the system would reach
• the final value in a period of time equal to the time
• constant of the system.)
• 2. The actual response obtained, when the time lapse is
• equal to the time constant of the system, is 63.2% of
• the total response.
• Characteristic Equations of First-Order
Systems A first-order
• system is one in which the system response to
a constant
• change in the input is an exponential
approach to a new constant
• value. Such a system can be described by a
• differential equation:
• where u(t) and y(t) are the deviations of the
inputs and outputs,
• respectively, and a and b are constants. The
response of such a system with a = 1 and b = 2
to a unit step change
• (value 1 for t ≥ 0 and 0 for t < 0) in the input is
shown in
• the top panel of Figure

• The solution of any linear differential equation can be
• broken into the sum of two parts: the homogeneous
and the
• particular solution. The homogeneous solution is that
• that when substituted for y(t) in the left-hand side of
• Equation 2.1(4) produces the value zero. The particular
• steady-state solution is that part of the total solution
that is
• strictly due to the forcing input, u(t).
• Systems in which the homogeneous solutions
grow without
• bound are said to be unstable. The
homogeneous solution
• does not depend on the form of the forcing
input and hence
• it is a characteristic of the system.
• The speed of response of a first-order system
is determined
• by the time constant, tc. The time constant is
the time
• at which the exponent in the homogenous
solution is −1.
• If tc is small, then the particular solution
decays rapidly
• and the steady-state solution is quickly
reached. Such a system
• is said to be “fast.” On the other hand, if tc is
large, then
• the system reaches the steady state very
slowly and is said
• to be “slow” or “sluggish.”
First-Order System with Dead Time
• A first-order system coupled
• with dead time, or process delay, makes an
excellent model
• for many process systems. The bottom panelA
first-order system coupled
• with dead time, or process delay, makes an
excellent model
• for many process systems.
• A simple step
• test in which the input to the system is changed from one value
• to another while the system is at some steady-state output gives
• sufficient information to determine the model.
• Suppose the input is changed by an amount Δ. Let the
• output reach its new steady-state value, and divide the difference
• between the new and old steady-state outputs by Δ.
• This computed response is called the step response. The dead
• time is the time at which the output first starts to respond to
• the change in the input. If the exponent in the solution is
• evaluated at the time constant, the exponent of the particular
• part would be −1.
• Experience shows that first-order plus
• dead time systems can be controlled by
proportional plus
• integral (PI) controllers.
Multiple Time-Constant Processes
• Figure 2.1j illustrates a
• process where two tanks are connected in series and therefore
• the system has two time constants operating in series. The
• response curve of such a process (r = 2 in Figure 2.1k) is slower than
that of the single time-constant process (r = 1 in
• Figure 2.1k) because the initial response is retarded by the
• second time-constant. Figure 2.1k illustrates the responses of
• processes having up to six time constants in series. As the
• number of time constants increases, the response curves
• become slower (the process gain is reduced), and the overall
• response gradually changes into an S-shaped reaction curve.

Characteristic Equations of Second-
Order Systems
• Secondorder
• systems are characterized by second-order
• equations. These systems are more complex
than first-order
• ones. A second-order system might be viewed
as the solution
• of the following differential equation:
• y(t) is the process output (controlled variable) and
• u(t) is the input, which is usually the reference input
• The parameters and in this equation dictate the nature
• of the solution. The quantity ξ is called the damping ratio
• And ωn is the natural frequency. If ξ is zero, then the
• is a sinusoid that oscillates at ωn radians per second
• (Figure 2.1l). Thus, the system is an oscillator producing a
• sinusoidal response at the natural frequency of the

• The damping ratio is the ratio of the damping
• to the natural frequency. The damping
constant determines
• the rate at which the oscillations decay away.
As the damping
• constant increases, the speed of response
increases and the
• oscillations decay more rapidly.

• the case of the damping ratio
• being zero. Note that the oscillations will continue forever
• and the steady-state solution is embedded in the response.
• This is an undamped response.
• The top right panel corresponds to 0 < ξ < 1 and produces
• an underdamped output. The speed of the response has
• slightly in that the output y(t) is a little slower in
• getting to the desired output 1. Note that the response
• but the oscillation decays leaving only the steady-state
• solution
• The bottom left panel corresponds to being critically
• damped (ξ = 1). The response does not exceed the
• value of 1, but the speed of the system is noticeably
• slower than either the undamped or underdamped
cases. The
• bottom right panel is the overdamped case (ξ > 1).
Again, the
• response system is much slower.
• From a control perspective, if the response is allowed to
• exceed the target value the system response is faster due to
• the underdamped nature of the system behavior. In fact, many
• heuristic tuning methods seek parameters that produce an
• underdamped response provided that the overshoot, or the
• amount that the output exceeds its steady-state response, is
• not too large.
• If the second-order system also has dead time associated
• with it, then its response is not unlike that of the first-order
• system. That is, the response is delayed by the dead time, but
• the overall approach to steady state for different values of
• the damping ratio remains the same. A first-order system
• controlled with a PI controller may produce underdamped
• second-order system behavior.
Dead-Time Processes
• A contributing factor to the dynamics
• of many processes involving the movement of
mass from
• one point to another is the transportation lag
or dead time
• Consider the effect of piping on the hot water to reach a
• location some distance away from the heater (Figure 2.1n).
• The effect of a change in steam rate on the water temperature
• at the end of the pipe will not depend only on the
• resistance and capacitance effects in the tank. It will also be
• influenced by the length of time necessary for the water to
• be transported through the pipe. All lags associated with the
• heater system will be seen at the end of the pipe, but they
• will be delayed. The length of this delay is called the transportation
• lag (L) or dead time. The magnitude is determined
• as the distance over which the material is transported (l)
• divided by the velocity at which the material travels (v). In
• the heater example L = v/l

• Dead time is the worst enemy of good control, and the process
• control engineer should therefore make a concentrated effort
• to minimize it. The effect of dead time can be compared to
• driving a car (the process) with closed eyes or with the
• steering wheel disconnected during that period. The goal of
• good control system design should be both to minimize the
• amount of dead time and to minimize the ratio of dead time
• to time constant (L/ T).
• The higher this ratio, the less likely it is that the control
• system will work properly, and once the L/T ratio reaches
• 1.0 (L = T ), control by traditional PID (proportional–
• integral–derivative) strategies is unlikely to work at all. The
• various means of reducing dead time are usually related to
• reducing transportation lags. This can be achieved by increasing
• the rates of pumping or agitation, reducing the distance
• between the measuring instrument and the process, eliminating
• sampling systems, and the like.
• When the nature of the process is such that the
L/T ratio
• must exceed unity, or if the controlled process is
inherently a
• dead-time process (a belt feeder for example),
the traditional
• PID control must be replaced by control based on
• adjustments, called sample-and-hold type control
Process Variables
• Many external and internal conditions
• affect the performance of a processing unit. These conditions
• may be detected in terms of process variables such as temperature,
• pressure, flow, concentration, weight, level, etc. Most
• processes are controlled by measuring one of the variables that
• represent the state of the process and then by automatically
• adjusting another variable(s) that determine that state. Typically,
• the variable chosen to represent the state of the system
• is termed the “controlled variable” and the variable chosen to
• control the system’s state is termed the “manipulated variable.”

• The manipulated variable can be any process variable that
• causes a reasonably fast response and is fairly easy to manipulate.
• The controlled variable should be the variable that best
• represents the desired state of the system. Consider the water
• cooler shown in Figure 2.1o. The purpose of the cooler is to
• maintain a supply of water at a constant temperature. The
• variable that best represents this objective is the temperature
• of the exit water, Two, and it should be selected as the controlled
• variable
• In other cases, direct control of the variable
that best
• represents the desired condition is not
possible. Consider the
• chemical reactor shown in Figure 2.1p. The
variable that is

• directly related to the desired state of the product is the
• composition of the product inside the reactor. However, in
• this case a direct measurement of product composition is
• always possible.
• If product composition cannot be measured, some other
• process variable is used that is related to composition. A
• logical choice for this chemical reactor might be to hold the
• pressure constant and use reactor temperature as an
• of composition. Such a scheme is often used in the indirect
• control of composition
Degrees of Freedom
• To fully understand the “personality”
• of a process, one must also know the number of variables
• that can be independently controlled in a process. The maximum
• number of independently acting automatic controllers
• that can be placed on a process is the degrees of freedom
• (df ) of that process. Mathematically, the number of degrees
• of freedom is defined as
• df = v − e
• where df = number of degrees of freedom of a system;
• v = number of variables that describe the system; and e =
• number of independent relationships that exist among the
• various variables.
• It is easy to see intuitively that a train has only
one degree
• of freedom because only its speed can be
varied, while boats
• have two and airplanes have three
• The degrees of freedom of industrial processes are more
• complex and cannot always be determined intuitively. In the case
• of a liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger, for example (Figure 2.1r),
• the total number of variables is six, while the number of defining
• equations is only one—the first law of thermodynamics, which
• states the conservation of energy.
• Therefore, the degrees of freedom of this process are 6 −
• 1 = 5. This means that if five variables are held constant, this
• will result in a constant state for the sixth variable, the outlet
• temperature (c). Therefore, the maximum number of automatic
• controllers that can be placed on this process is five.
• Usually one would not exercise this option of using five
• controllers, and in the case of a heat exchanger of this type,
• one might use only one control loop.

• One would select the controlled variable (c) to be the
• process property that is the most important, because it has
• the most impact on plant productivity, safety, or product
• quality. One would select the manipulated variable (m) to
• that process input variable that has the most direct
• on the controlled variable (c), which in this case is the flow
• rate of the heating fluid. The other load variables (u1 to u4)
• are uncontrolled independent variables, which, when they
• change, will upset the control system, and their effects can
• only be corrected in a “feedback” manner.
• This means that a change in load variables is not
• responded to until it has upset the controlled variable (c).
• order to fully describe this process, one would also
• such system parameters as the mass or the specific heat of
• the liquids, but such parameters are not considered to be
• variables.
• When the process involves a phase change, the calculation
• of the degrees of freedom follows Gibbs’s phase rule,
• stated in Equation 2.1(10):

• where n = number of chemical degrees of
freedom; nc =
• number of components; and np = number of
• For example, if the process is a boiler producing saturated
• steam (Figure 2.1s), the number of components is one
• (H2O), the number of phases is two (water and steam),
• therefore, the number of degrees of freedom is n = 1 − 2 +
2 = 1. Consequently, only one variable can be controlled:
• temperature or pressure, but not both. If a boiler produces
superheated steam, the number of degrees of freedom is
• and therefore both temperature and pressure can be
• controlled

• When the process is more complex, such as is the case
• of binary distillation, the calculation of the degrees of freedom
• also becomes more involved. Figure 2.1t lists 14 variables
• of this process, not all are independent. Since there are
• two components and two phases at the bottom, feed and
• overhead, Gibbs’s law states that only two of the three variables
• (pressure, temperature, and composition) are independent.
• Therefore, the number of independent variables is only 11. The
• number of defining equations is two (the conservation of
• mass and energy), and therefore, the number of degrees of
• freedom for this process is 11 − 2 = 9. Consequently, not
• more than nine automatic controllers can be placed on this
• process.