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Didacta Italia

MPCT
Modular Process Control Trainer

Users Manual
and Exercise Guide

Didacta Italia

MPCT
Modular Process Control Trainer

Users Manual
and Exercise Guide

This manual illustrates the technical characteristics and operating instructions of


the system Didacta MPCT Modular Process Control Trainer, giving the instructor
or the student a specific knowledge of the unit and its applications. Besides the
manual contains a choice of exercises ready to be performed in the laboratory.

Didacta Italia Srl - Strada del Cascinotto, 139/30 - 10156 Torino


Tel. +39 011 273.17.08 273.18.23 - Fax +39 011 273.30.88
http://www.didacta.it - e-mail: info@didacta.it

The information contained in this manual has been selected and verified with the
greatest care. However, no responsibility stemming from its use can be ascribed to the
Authors or to Didacta Italia or any person or company involved in its preparation.
The information contained in this manual can be modified at any time and without
warning on account of technical or educational needs.
Copyright Didacta Italia 2012
Reproduction by any means, including photocopying of this test or parts thereof, or the
figures contained therein, is strictly prohibited.
Printed in Italy 30/03/12

Code 01426E0312 Edition 01 - Revision 02

table of contents

Table of Contents
1.

General ..................................................................................... 1

2.

System composition and description .................................... 3

2.1 Composition............................................................................................... 3
2.2 Description ................................................................................................. 5
2.2.1 Electrical equipment .................................................................................................... 5
2.2.2 Process simulator ........................................................................................................10

3.

Description of the control processes and techniques ....... 17

3.1 Level control ............................................................................................ 17


3.1.1 Process description.....................................................................................................17
3.1.2 Control techniques .....................................................................................................17

3.2 Flow control.............................................................................................. 25


3.2.1 Process description.....................................................................................................25
3.2.2 Control techniques .....................................................................................................25

3.3 Pressure control ....................................................................................... 26


3.3.1 Process description.....................................................................................................26
3.3.2 Control techniques .....................................................................................................26

3.4 Temperature control ............................................................................... 27


3.4.1 Process description.....................................................................................................27
3.4.2 Control techniques .....................................................................................................27

3.5 pH and conductivity control ................................................................. 28


3.5.1 Process description.....................................................................................................28
3.5.2 Control techniques .....................................................................................................30

4.

Installation and preliminary operations .............................. 31

4.1 Level control ............................................................................................ 31


4.2 Flow control.............................................................................................. 33
4.3 Pressure control ....................................................................................... 35
4.4 Temperature control ............................................................................... 38
4.5 pH and conductivity control ................................................................. 40

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table of contents

5.

Exercises ................................................................................. 45

5.1 Exercise 1 On-Off level control via software...................................... 45


5.2 Exercise 2 PID level control via software ............................................ 48
5.3 Exercise 3 PID level control with MiniReg controller ......................... 53
5.4 Exercise 4 PID flow control via software ............................................. 57
5.5 Exercise 5 PID pressure control via software ...................................... 61
5.6 Exercise 6 PID temperature control via software ............................. 65
5.7 Exercise 7 On-Off pH/conductivity control via software ................. 69
5.8 Exercise 8 PID pH/conductivity control via software ........................ 72
5.9 Exercise 9 PID pH/Conductivity control with the MiniReg ............... 76

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Chapter 1.

1.

General

The MPCT system is a tool for the study of closed loop physical quantity control
techniques.
In an industrial setting, this quantity will often be the level of liquid in tank, the
pressure of a gas in a container, the temperature of a fluid, the flow of a liquid in a pipe.
The MPCT modular system makes it possible to test the control processes used for
these four quantities.
The basic module is comprised of the electrical equipment, general purpose
components and specific level control components.
Options include kids of additional components to control each of the following
quantities: flow, pressure, temperature, pH, conductivity.
The transition from one process to another is quick an easy: it only requires making a
few connections with silicone tubelets.
In general, the control action can be defined as follows:
to keep constant a physical quantity, referred to as controlled quantity (Y), being
affected by an independent variable, referred to as noise (n).
The reference signal that we want to obtain for the controlled quantity is called setpoint (SP) signal.
An automatic solution to the problem suggests the construction of a controller that
is able to affect the controlled quantity through a control signal (x).
For instance, in level control, the issue to be addressed is to keep the level of a liquid
in a tank constant when some of the liquid is drawn from the tank by a device that
works independently.
The controlled quantity is the level of the liquid in the tank; the independent variable
(noise) is the liquid leaving the tank (the volume of water used up in unit time).
The controller works by adjusting liquid inflow (the water volume generated in
unit time).
The MPCT system uses a first pump to adjust the inflow and another pump to change
the outflow.
The first pump is controlled by the control signal and the other by the noise signal.
The pressure exercised by the liquid onto the bottom of the tank being proportional
to the liquid level in the tank, the controlled quantity is supplied to the controller by a
pressure transducer.

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General

The same scheme applies to the other cases (flow, pressure, temperature), but
needless to say a different transducer is used.
The MPCT system makes it possible to set up and study digital and analog electronic
control systems.
The control action, in fact, can be accomplished in the following ways:

through the CRS (Control Regulation Software) software and a Personal


Computer;

through an electronic controller (e.g., the MiniReg electronic controller available


as an option).

In the former case, the CRS accomplishes a digital control action, enabling the user
to define the relative parameters and to observe the evolution of the various quantities
involved in the process.
In the latter case, the software running on a Personal Computer (CRS) makes it
possible to monitor the control action accomplished by the electronic controller and to
transmit the set-point signal to said controller.
In either case, the software also makes it possible to control the action of the
peristaltic pump (2) and hence to introduce noises of various types into the process.
The signal corresponding to the controlled quantity is acquired through the A/D
(analog/digital) conversion of the signal supplied by the transducers. The control signal
is acquired in the same manner when an external electronic controller is used.
The generation of the control signal (in the former case), that of the remote Set-Point
signal (in the latter case), and that of the noise signal (in either case) is through a
digital/analog (D/A) conversion of the digital signal processed by the software.
The aforementioned A/D and D/A conversion processes are performed by a single
AD/DA card supplied as standard with the basic module of the MPCT system.
In the former case, the control action by the CRS software is either On-Off or PID
(Proportional Integral Derivative). Controller parameters may be changed and their
effects may be determined quickly and easily, enabling the students to become
thoroughly familiar with these control techniques.
Moreover, since the system is made up of components as are normally used in
industrial applications, its use leads to extensive knowledge of real and widespread
problems.
We recommend reading the Control Theory Basics manual to learn the
indispensable basic notions, and the CRS software manual before starting the tests with
the unit.

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Chapter 2.

2.

System composition and description

2.1

Composition

The MPCT system (see fig. 2.1) is made up of the following elements:

Basic system including the electrical equipment, the AD/DA card and level
control components (MPCT/Base - code 916960);

optional flow control kit (MPCT/F - code 916961);

optional pressure control kit (MPCT/P - code 916962);

optional temperature control kit (MPCT/T - code 916963);

optional pH control kit (MPCT/PH - code 916964);

optional conductivity control kit (MPCT/C - code 916965);

control software for teaching purposes (MPCT/CRS - code 917024);

optional electronic controller (MiniReg - code 916940).

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System composition and description

Fig. 2.1 System composition

Figure 2.2 shows an overview of the MPCT system with the optional kits.
In this figure we may recognise the following elements:
A. Control unit-Electrical equipment (Basic/Pressure);
B. Control unit-Electrical equipment (Conductivity/pH);
C. Control unit-Electrical equipment (Temperature/Flow);
D. Process simulator (Temperature, Level, Flow, Pressure);
E. Process simulator (pH, Conductivity).

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Chapter 2.

Fig. 2.2 Overview

2.2

Description

2.2.1 Electrical equipment


The electrical equipment performs the following functions:

Power all the electrical components of the process simulator;

Select process type (level, flow, pressure, temperature, pH and conductivity);

Adapt the electrical signal supplied by the transducers equipping the process
simulator to the A/D conversion card;

Adapt the signals generated by the D/A to the process simulator actuators;

Enable the two peristaltic pumps equipping the process simulator to be manually
operated;

Enable the electrical signals involved in the process to be viewed and tested;

Enable the process simulator transducer to be calibrated;

Provide a suitable electrical interface for the use of the MinReg electronic
controller available as an option.

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System composition and description

Fig. 2.3 Front view of the control unit/electrical equipment of the basic/pressure module

1. Main switch
2. PC selector - External controller (MiniReg).
3. Process selector (Level/Pressure)
4. Control signal/noise indicator (0 100% - 0 5 V).
5. Signal to be displayed selector (4).
6. Level/pressure controlled variable indicator (0 100% - 0 5 V).
7. Pressure transducer gain potentiometer.
8. Pressure transducer zero potentiometer.
9. Manual/automatic mode selector
10. Pump 2 manual speed adjustment potentiometer (0 100%).
11. Manual mode telltale
12. Pump 2/solenoid valve ON/OFF selector (works in both MAN and AUTO modes).
13. Pump 1 ON telltale.
14. Pumps 1-3 manual speed adjustment potentiometer (0 100%).
15. Automatic mode telltale.
16. Pumps 1-3 ON/OFF selector (works in both MAN and AUTO modes)
17. Pump 3 ON telltale.

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Chapter 2.

18. Pump 2 ON telltale.


19. EV1 solenoid valve ON telltale.
20. Level/pressure module ON telltale
21. Pumps 1-3 ON telltale.
22. Pump 2/ EV1 solenoid valve ON telltale.

Fig. 2.4 Rear view of control unit-electrical equipment of basic/pressure module

23. Flow/temperature control module power connection


24. pH/conductivity control module power connection
25. Power supply socket (220 V 50 Hz)
26. Fuses
27. Connection for signal transmission cable, from pH/conductivity control module
28. Connection for signal transmission cable, from flow/temperature control module
29. Connector for MINIREG optional electronic controller
30. USB port for connection to a PC
31. 220 Vac service socket
32. Pump P1 rpm transducer connection
33. Pump P2 rpm transducer connection

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System composition and description

34. Connection for pressure transducer

Fig. 2.5 Front view of control unit-electrical equipment of temperature/flow module

35. Power ON telltale


36. Heater ON telltale
37. Thermostat activated thermostat
38. Heater switch
39. Temperature control module telltale
40. Temperature control process selector
41. Instrument for controlled variable Temperature (0 , 100C 0 , 5 V)
42. Flow control module telltale
43. Flow control module selector
44. Instrument for controlled variable Flow (0 , 100% - 0 , 5 V)

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Chapter 2.

Fig. 2.6 Rear view of control unit-electrical equipment of temperature/flow module

45. Temperature probe (PT100) connection


46. Flow transducer connection
47. Connection for signal transmission cable, to basic module (connect to 28)
48. Basic module power supply connection (connect to 23)
49. Fuses
50. ILME connector for heater

Fig. 2.7 Front view of control unit-electrical equipment of pH/conductivity module

51. Power ON telltale


52. Mixer On telltale

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System composition and description

53. Mixer switch


54. Conductivity control module telltale
55. Conductivity control process selector
56. Controlled variable indicator instrument for Conductivity (0 to 2000 nS/cm 0 to
5 V)
57. pH control module telltale
58. pH control process selector
59. Controlled variable indicator instrument for pH (0 to 14 0 to 5 V)

Fig. 2.8 Rear view of control unit-electrical equipment of pH/conductivity module


60. Connection for mixer speed transducer
61. Connection for pump P3 speed transducer
62. Connection for solenoid valve EV1
63. Connection for pH probe
64. Connection for conductivity probe
65. Connection for signal transmission cable, to basic module (connect to 27)
66. Basic module power supply connection (connect to 24)
2.2.2 Process simulator
In the basic version of the system, the process simulator makes it possible to carry
out a process in which the controlled quantity is the level of the water in a graduated
tank.

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Chapter 2.

Optional kits make it possible to carry out processes in which the controlled quantity
is flow, pressure, temperature, pH or conductivity.
Figure 2.9 shows the layout and the main components of the simulator for controlled
variables temperature-flow-level-pressure.
70

71

72

73

74
75

69

76

68
77
67

80

78
79

Fig. 2.9 Temperature-flow-level-pressure control module

Figure 2.10 shows the layout and the main components of the simulator for
controlled variables pH and conductivity.

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System composition and description

91

93

88

87

90

94
89
92
86
81

85

82
83

84

Fig. 2.10 pH and conductivity module

In the photos we may recognise the following components:


67.

Peristaltic pump 1.

68.

Air tank (capacity) to stabilise pump 1 output flow.

69.

Hot water tank (MPCT/T).

70.

Thermometer (MPCT/T).

71.

Hot and cold water mixer (MPCT/T).

72.

Flowmeter (MPCT/F).

73.

Turbine protection filter (MPCT/F).

74.

Graduated level tank.

75.

U-tube manometer (MPCT/P).

76.

Air tank (capacity) to stabilise pump 2 output flow.

77.

Peristaltic pump 2.

78.

Flowmeter turbine (MPCT/F).

79.

Pressure transducer.

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Chapter 2.

80.

Cold water tank.

81.

Corrective substance tank

82.

Corrective agent for pump P3

83.

Process tank discharge outlet

84.

Process tank

85.

pH / conductivity probe

86.

Noise: solenoid valve/process tank connection

87.

Valve for manual adjustment of noise

88.

Noise tank

89.

Noise: tank/solenoid valve connection

90.

Valve for manual adjustment of process

91.

Solenoid valve

92.

Feed tank/process connection

93.

Process feed tank

94.

Mixer

2.2.2.1 Temperature, level, pressure and flow control simulator

All four processes are simulated by means of peristaltic pumps 67 and 77, which are
controlled by control signal, x, and noise signal, n, respectively.
During automatic control by either the PC or the MiniReg controller, pump 67 is
controlled by control signal x and varies the flow so as to enable the controlled quantity
to reach the Set-Point.
Pump 77 is controlled by the noise signal, n, and produces an independent flow that
tends to disturb the process.
Both pumps have a maximum capacity of ca 7 l/h, and are controlled directly by a
permanent magnet dc motor. Their action is controlled by the Personal Computer, or it
may be controlled manually by means of the potentiometers fitted to the front panel of
the electric module.
In all cases, these pumps affect the flow. To obtain the effect on the controlled
quantity the system uses the following elements:

graduated tank 74 for level;

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System composition and description

graduated tank 74, closed at the upper end with Hoffmann clamps so as to form
an air chamber between the fluid and the section in which we want to control the
pressure;

hot water tank 69, with a 200 W heating resistor, for hot water production, and
mixer 71, to mix the hot water with the cold water flow;

No actuator is required for flow control, since the controlled quantity is the flow
produced by the two pumps.
As is known, for closed loop control, the controller must receive an electric signal
corresponding to the controlled quantity. The system is equipped with the necessary
transducers, and namely:

pressure transducer 79 (0, 50 mbar - 4, 20 mA) used for both level and pressure
control ;

small-sized turbine 78 whereby the electrical equipment receives a square-wave


signal with frequency proportional to the flow, subsequently converted into a
direct voltage signal;

PT100 resistance temperature sensor (included in mixer 71) used for temperature
control.

Finally, the system provides the tools needed to get direct readings of the values
assumed by the controlled quantity, that is to say:

flowmeter 72 (0, 12 l/h);

U-tube manometer 75 (0, 30 mBar);

thermometer 70 (0, 100 C).

When the controlled quantity is the level of a liquid, visual control is via graduated
tank 74.
NOTE:
The four processes that may be observed and the issues to do with proper control are
described below in chapter 3.
A description of the connections required to carry out the various processes is given in
chapter 4.
For a description and the utilisation modalities of the software, which is comprised of four
individual programs for level, pressure, temperature and flow, see CRS Users Manual.
For a description and the utilisation modalities of the MiniReg optional controller, see the
relative manual.

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Chapter 2.

2.2.2.2 pH and conductivity control simulator

Tank 93 feeds process tank 84 continuously. The solution contained in it has a


known pH, e.g., pH = 3. We want to change the pH of the solution to make it
correspond to the set-point, which we assume to be 8. To this end, we start feeding the
process tank with a basic substance (7<pH< 14) until we get a solution with a pH
corresponding to the set-point, pH = 8. Pump P3 is responsible for the integrative action
x. We can simulate an antagonist noise, n: to this end, we open a solenoid valve
whereby an acid substance (0<pH<7) is released into the process tank from tank 88. The
control action is through the PID system. For the control modalities of the pumps and
the solenoid valve, see paragraph 2.2.2.3 below.
NOTE: For proper unit operation, set solenoid valve opening value to 0 % or 100%. (Valve
fully closed or fully open).

The same module may be used for the control of the pH and the conductivity of the
solution contained in process tank 84. The operating principle is the same in both
processes. The only provision to be kept in mind when changing from one process to
the other is to wash accurately the tanks and to change the probe, selecting the
appropriate one and submerging it in the process tank. Washing the tanks and the probes
is also required when, in using the module to control the pH of a solution, we go from a
substance with basic pH to be acidified to a substance with acid pH to be basified. To
ensure that they are emptied out completely, the tanks are fitted with discharge valves to
be connected to the respective collection tanks. The tanks are also fitted with
appropriate covers to facilitate the filling process.
NOTE: During pH control process, four different situations, which any other condition may
be referred to, may occur:
1. set-point = 8 (BASIC); pH of initial solution = 5 : a BASIC substance must be added
to increase the pH value of the controlled solution.
2. set-point = 8 (BASIC); pH of initial solution = 9 : an ACID substance must be added
to reduce the pH value of the controlled solution.
3. set-point = 6 (ACID); pH of initial solution = 5 : a BASIC substance must be added to
increase the pH value of the controlled solution.
4. set-point = 6 (ACID); pH of initial solution = 9 : an ACID substance must be added to
reduce the pH value of the controlled solution.
2.2.2.3 Control unit and parameters viewing

Turn on the control unit by means of main switch 1: the selector lights up and the
digital display units show the values of the associated quantities.
Selector 2 lets you decide whether you want the process to be controlled by means of
the MINIREG external controller and the control unit or directly from the PC. If we set
Selector 2 to MINIREG, selector 9 must be set to MAN: in this manner, the process
is controlled manually through the MINIREG and telltale 11 lights up. At this point, we
select the process control module that we want to use and activate it by means of
switches 3, 40, 43, 55, 58, respectively. Now we start pumps P1 and P2 or pump P3 and
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System composition and description

activate the EV1 solenoid valve by means of switches 16 or 12, depending on which
process control we want to observe. If we are working in manual mode, pump speed is
adjusted by means of potentiometers 10 and 14. The PC may no longer be used as a
process control tool and is only used to view and save the test data. Conversely, if we
set Selector 2 to PC, we must then set selector 9 to AUTOM: in this manner, the
process is controlled through the PC. The parameters governing the system are set by
means of the soft keys that appear in the various windows.
Display 4 makes it possible to view the value of the corrective action or the noise as
a percentage of the corresponding maximum value. In the case of pumps P1, P2 and P3
we see the pumps rotation speed as a percentage of the maximum value, i.e., since
these are volumetric pumps, as a percentage of the maximum liquid flow that each
pump is able to deliver to the system. In the case of the solenoid valve we see its
opening as a percentage of corresponding maximum value.
NOTE: For proper unit operation, set solenoid valve opening value to 0 % or 100%. (Valve
fully closed or fully open).

Selector 5 lets you decide which of the 4 parameters (speed P1, speed P2, speed P3,
and solenoid valve opening) will be viewed on display 4. For example, if pumps P1 and
P2 are running (pressure, level, temperature and flow control modules), then, on display
4, we shall read in alternation the speed of P1 /P2 % as a percentage of their max.
rotation speed.
Display 6 proves useful when we work with the pressure module as well as with the
level control module (even in level control, a pressure is measured, pressure being
directly proportional to level). This display shows the level/pressure value as a
percentage of the maximum value. The instrument must be calibrated as follows: with
tank 41 full, adjust GAIN with potentiometer 7 so that the value shown on the display
is 100. Then, empty out the tank and adjust OFFSET with potentiometer 8 so that
the value shown on the display is 0. These two operations may have to be performed
several times to complete the calibration process and have the two required values (0
and 100) appear on the display with the tank empty and full, respectively.
The control units are also equipped with a display to view the various processes:
flow 44, temperature 41, pH 59, and conductivity 56. Additional elements include:
mixer switch 53 to homogenize the solution whose pH we want to control (the switch
has a telltale, 52, that lights up to indicate that the mixer is powered), and a heater, 38,
for the temperature control module. The temperature control module also requires a
safety thermostat, with telltale 36, that steps in when a temperature of 70C is reached.

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Chapter 3.

3.

Description of the control processes and


techniques

3.1

Level control

3.1.1 Process description


The level control process that may be simulated with the MPCT system is as
described in fig. 3.1.
Control signal x is transmitted to peristaltic pump 1 which adjusts the inflow to the
graduated tank accordingly.
Noise signal n is transmitted to peristaltic pump 2 which adjusts the outflow from the
graduated tank accordingly.
The signal corresponding to the controlled quantity, y, is supplied by the pressure
transducer fitted to the bottom of the tank. It can be readily demonstrated, in fact, that
pressure and level are correlated according to a linear relationship.

Fig. 3.1 Level control diagram

3.1.2 Control techniques


3.1.2.1 On-Off control

The simplest method is On-Off control; in this case, let us assume we have an
actuator that admits only two states, i.e., On and Off.
In the case of level control with the MPCT system, we shall consider that peristaltic
pump 1, which controls the flow entering the tank, generates either a constant inflow, F,
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Description of the control processes and techniques

or no flow at all (flow 0), and we shall overlook the possibilities afforded by this type of
pump.
In this manner, we simulate the behaviour of an On-Off valve which can only either
open or closed.
In these conditions, we may decide to open the valve when the level of the liquid
contained in the tank fall below the desired level (set-point), and, conversely, to close
the valve when it exceeds the set-point.
In this manner we get a level threshold corresponding to the set-point, which, upon
been passed in either direction (decrement or increment) changes the state of the inlet
valve.
This configuration may give rise to a great number of state changes around said
threshold, indeed, this is extremely likely when the system is on stream: if the level is
slightly below the set-point, the valve will open and will soon result in the set-point
being exceeded, so the valve will close again and the level will decrease, reproducing
the initial situation, and so on and so forth.
To obviate this phenomenon, with special regard to actuator wear, normally two
threshold are defined (instead of one), situated symmetrically above and below the setpoint.
In this case, the significant events are as follows:

As the level increases, the upper threshold is exceeded, and the valve is closed

As the level decreases, the lower threshold is exceeded, and the valve opens.

The width of the interval between the desired level and either threshold is referred to
as hysteresis.
The greater is the hysteresis, the smaller will be the stresses affecting the actuator
but, at the same time, the greater will be the oscillations in the level of the liquid
contained in the tank. On the other hand, if the hysteresis were zero, we would go back
to the single threshold configuration (the two thresholds would coincide), and hence the
value selected for the hysteresis should reflect a savvy compromise resulting in a
good control action without the service life of system components being undermined
too badly.
Needless to say, to obtain any level in the tank, the outflow must be other than zero,
otherwise the controller will only be able to cause the level to increase, and will not be
able to reduce it.
With the MPCT system it is easy to simulate the amount of water consumed through
peristaltic pump 2 (whether controlled manually or from a PC) which can draw water
from the tank in a manner fully independent of the control action.
By simulating the behaviour of the On-Off valve by means of the MPCT system (and
the CRS software), it is also possible to select the level corresponding to the On state

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Chapter 3.

(not necessarily corresponding to 100 % of maximum opening) and the valve switchover time from one state to the other (normally, a motorised valve requires a certain
time interval, other than zero).
3.1.2.2

PID control

General

In the previous case we simulated a system equipped with an On-Off valve.


However, we may consider adopting a valve whose opening will vary continuously
from 0 to a maximum value. A valve possessing such characteristics is referred to as
Proportional, in that its degree of opening is proportional to the electric control signal.
Needless to say, in the MPCT system, the peristaltic pumps are able to simulate the
behaviour of a proportional valve.
In a wide range of applications, the control system is obtained through the
contribution of three components:

proportional

integral

derivative

The control signal, determined on the basis of the error observed (i.e., the difference
between the desired value (the set-point) for the controlled quantity and the value
actually detected), is given by sum of three terms, of which the first is proportional to
said error, the second is proportional to its integral over time, and the third is
proportional to its derivative (which supplies the trend of the error).
In the following paragraphs, the various terms are discussed in greater detail.
Proportional components

As mentioned before, this component is proportional to the error, i.e., the difference
between the set-point and the measured value.
Hence, it may be characterised by the value of the proportionality constant.
When the control signal reaches 100% of its possible value, in our case when pump 1
delivers maximum flow, the error reaches a saturation level.
Any error increment will not longer give rise to an increment in the control signal.
To impose a given saturation level means to establish an error interval within which
the control signal will assume an intermediate value between 0% and 100%, and outside
which the value of the control signal will be 0% and 100%, respectively.
The error variation band is referred to as Proportional Band (P-Band).
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Description of the control processes and techniques

Given an error e, i.e., an error comprised between 0 and the P-Band, the percentage
value of the control signal, x, is given by:
x = e

100
P Band

The error being the same, the greater is the P-Band, the smaller will be the controller
output signal, x; i.e., the smaller will be the proportional gain of the controller.
Let us assume we are working with a proportional controller and we want to change
the level of the liquid contained in the tank from its current value of 30% to 50%; let us
also assume there is no possibility of the liquid leaving the tank.
Initially, the proportional valve will open by a quantity proportional to the error,
which is 20% (50-30). The liquid that has entered the tank will raise the level in the tank
and will reduce the error, thereby giving rise to a partial closing of the valve, and this
will go on until the error becomes nil and the complete closure of the valve ensures that
the desired level is maintained.
However, in a situation closer to reality some of the liquid will leave the tank;
consider, for instance, a situation simulating the water consumption by a certain user.
To this end, with the MPCT system, pump 2 must draw water from the tank.
In this case, a balance will be reached with the valve partly open; it were closed, in
fact, the level would decrease because of the water consumption that is taking place.
We may therefore state that equilibrium conditions will be reached when in unit time
the quantity of liquid entering the tank is the same as the quantity flowing out.
Obviously, this situation will not occur if the error is nil, since, in this case, the valve
is fully closed and no liquid may flow into the tank.
Hence, equilibrium conditions are obtained in the presence of a residual and constant
error which is referred to as OFFSET.
This behaviour is typical of proportional only controllers.
Let us assume that, in the example described above, with a 100% Proportional Band,
equilibrium was reached when the level in the tank was at 30% (hence, the OFFSET, is
20).
In these conditions, the opening of the valve (control signal) will be:
x = 50 30

100
= 20
100

It must be inferred that, by opening the valve to 20% of its maximum opening, we
allow the introduction, in unit time of a quantity of liquid corresponding to the quantity
consumed.

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Chapter 3.

Consumption being the same (let us say N litres/minute), what would happen with a
Proportional Band of 150% instead of 100%?
Since, as we have seen, equilibrium is achieved when the valve is open 20%, the new
stability level L is obtained when the following relationship is satisfied:

50 L

100
= 20
150

i.e., when L = 20%, showing now a bigger OFFSET than the one obtained with PBand = 100%.
Conversely, with a 50% Proportional Band we would get an equilibrium level L
given by:
= 20
50 L 100
50
'

i.e., L = 40%, with a smaller OFFSET than in the original example.


Summing up, we can say that:

a proportional only controller does not make it possible to eliminate the error and
reach the desired level;

the residual error (the OFFSET) increases with increasing Proportional Band.

In the exercise section, we shall see a number of experiments illustrating the


behaviour of a proportional controller and how this behaviour is affected by the
Proportional Band selected.
Integral component

As we have seen in the previous paragraph, the proportional action alone is not
sufficient to ensure an efficient behaviour on the part of the controller.
It is not possible to eliminate the residual OFFSET; we may try to reduce it to an
acceptable level by reducing the value of the Proportional Band (or, in other words, by
increasing the proportional gain).
Yet, an excessive increase in proportional gain will generally cause undesired
fluctuations in system behaviour due to excessive reactions to modest errors, resulting
in the generation of opposite sign errors.
Assuming that this phenomenon does not occur and again with reference to the
previous paragraph, the behaviour obtained with a 50% Proportional Band which
made it possible to obtain a stability level of 40% (instead of the ideal 50%) could be
accepted.
Now let us assume that consumption by the user suddenly increases to three times
the original value and remains at this level for a certain period of time.
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Description of the control processes and techniques

This situation may correspond to a situation that occurs in actual practice in a water
distribution system during some hourly bands.
In the stability conditions in which the phenomenon occurs, the valve is open 20% of
its maximum opening value which enables it to offset exactly the original
consumption.
But now this compensation is no longer sufficient and the level in the tank will
inevitably decrease.
As the error increases, the valve opens to an increasing degree and a new equilibrium
will be obtained as soon as the opening is sufficient to compensate for the new
consumption rate.
Under the foregoing assumptions, this will happen when valve opening is 60% (three
times the starting value); in these new conditions, however, the stability level of the
tank, L, will be given by the habitual formula:
= 60
50 L 100
50
"

i.e., L = 20%.
The only chance to establish a level closer to the starting level is to change the setpoint in a clearly arbitrary manner, by increasing it, for instance, to 80%!
By adding an integral component to the proportional component, the problem can be
remedied without any unnatural intervention by the system manager.
The behaviour described above, in fact, shows that the system is insensitive to
small residual errors: this is the reason why, in this case, it is not possible to make
appropriate corrections.
A proportional and integral controller (sometimes called delay compensator)
evaluates the control quantity as the (algebraic) sum of the proportional component as
described above and a term proportional to the integral of the error over time:
t

x (t) = K p e t K i e d
0

The integral component of the control action eliminates the residual error associated
with proportional only control.
Let us assume we start from conditions of perfect stability, where the level of the
liquid contained in the tank is 50%, i.e., corresponds to the desired set-point, and
consumption is zero.
In these conditions the valve is fully closed there being no liquid outflow to be
compensated for and the desired level has been reached.

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Chapter 3.

If at a certain time, t = 0, a sudden increase in demand occurred, which (as we have


seen in one of the previous examples) can be compensated for by a 20% delivery, the
level would decrease initially and then would start increasing thanks to the action of the
controller.
But this time, this action is not determined solely by the value assumed by the error
over time, but also by its history: in other works, the fact that during the initial stage
of the phenomenon, the error increased and then decreased at a later stage, entails a non
nil integral component that contributes to the formation of the control signal and that
remains such (non nil) even when the set-point has been reached.
It is therefore possible to eliminate the error altogether even when, as in this case, the
new stability situation requires the addition of liquid to the tank: this is done thanks to
the second of the terms specified above, i.e., the integral one, whereas the first, the
proportional term, makes no contribution in this situation.
In general, a proportional-integral controller is widely used when one expects wide
but slow variations in the controlled quantity, requiring decisive changes in the control
signal. The case of level control therefore lends itself well to the use of this type of
device.
Derivative component

The control action is often improved by supplementing the two proportional and
integral components discussed above with a component that is proportional to the
derivative of the error (as it varies over time).
t

x (t) = K p e t K i e d K d
0

d
e( t )
dt

The derivative component, whose action is associated with the trend of the error ,
has an anticipatory effect on the global action of the controller.
This component, in fact, determines a contribution based on the rate of change of the
error: the higher the rate at which the error is increasing, for instance, the greater will be
the contribution of the derivative component that, in this manner, carries out in advance
an action that otherwise would have to be performed later on.
If the error remains constant, its derivative over time is nil and the contribution due
to the presence of a derivative component is also nil.
If the error is not constant, but varies slowly, the situation is similar to the one
described above and hence the contribution arising from the presence of a derivative
component should be sought in all those situations in which variations are expected to
take place rapidly and within small load limits.
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, level control is characterised by load
variations that are quite slow (the process manifests a certain inertia due to the fact that
the controlled quantity, i.e., level, increases with the integral of the control signal,
which in actual fact acts on the flow).

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Description of the control processes and techniques

Accordingly, the derivative of the error assumes small values and the action of a
derivative component (proportional to said derivative) is of little significance.

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Chapter 3.

3.2

Flow control

3.2.1 Process description


In the case of flow control with the MPCT system it is possible to simulate the
process described in fig. 3.2.
The controlled quantity is the flow after the point where the streams generated by the
two pumps come together (i.e., the flow at the turbine or the flowmeter).
The control signal, x, acts on the peristaltic pump 1, which therefore may vary the
flow reaching the connection point accordingly.
The noise signal, n, acts on peristaltic pump 2 which therefore may vary the flow
leaving the connection point accordingly.
The controlled quantity signal, y, is obtained by means of a small turbine (that
generates a square wave signal whose signal is proportional to the rotation speed and
hence to the flow) and a frequency/voltage converter (located in the electric module).

Fig. 3.2 Flow control diagram

3.2.2 Control techniques


In this case, On-Off control is meaningless, in that the control signal acts directly on
the controlled quantity and hence level Off would result in no flow and level On would
immediately give rise to maximum flow.
The considerations expressed in the paragraph on level control substantially apply to
PID control too, but it should be noted that in this case the process is appreciably faster,
due to the absence of inertia phenomena in the system. In this case, the derivative
component plays a significant role in stabilising the control action.
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Description of the control processes and techniques

3.3

Pressure control

3.3.1 Process description


In pressure control, the MPCT system makes it possible to simulate the process
described in fig. 3.3.
The controlled quantity is the pressure inside the air chamber created between the
liquid contained in the graduated tank and the tank cover.
Control signal x acts on peristaltic pump 1, which may vary the inflow to the tank
accordingly and in this manner increase the air pressure.
Noise signal n acts on peristaltic pump 2, which may vary the outflow from the
graduated tank accordingly and in this manner reduce the air pressure. .
The controlled quantity signal, y, is supplied by a pressure transducer that, in this
case, is fitted to the top of the tank.

Fig. 3.3 Pressure control diagram

3.3.2 Control techniques


In this case, both On-Off and PID control techniques are possible.
The considerations expressed above in the paragraph on level control substantially
apply to PID control too, but it should be noted that in this case the process is
appreciably faster (even faster than in flow control), due to the absence of inertia
phenomena in the system. In this case, the derivative component plays a significant role
in stabilising the control action.

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Chapter 3.

3.4

Temperature control

3.4.1 Process description


In the case of temperature control, with the MPCT system it is possible to simulate
the process described in fig. 3.4.
The controlled quantity is the temperature of the water in the mixer.
Control signal x acts on peristaltic pump 1, which therefore may vary of inflow of
hot water to the mixer accordingly.
Noise signal n acts on peristaltic pump 2, which therefore may vary of inflow of cold
water to the mixer accordingly.
The corresponding control quantity signal, y, is supplied by a temperature transducer
(a PT100 temperature resistance sensor) fitted to the mixer.

Fig. 3.4 Temperature control diagram

3.4.2 Control techniques


Both On-Off and PID control modalities are possible in this case.
The considerations expressed above in the paragraph on level control substantially
apply to temperature control too, but it should be noted that in this case the time
constants at play are greater and hence the control action is slower. In this case, the
integral component plays a significant role to achieve the control action in advance.

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Description of the control processes and techniques

3.5

pH and conductivity control

3.5.1 Process description


In the case of pH and conductivity control, with the MPCT system it is possible to
simulate the process described in fig. 3.6.
The controlled quantity is the conductivity/pH of the solution in the process tank.
This tank is fed continuously by the feed tank.CB
Control signal x acts on peristaltic pump P3 through ON/OFF or PID control,
enabling the pump to vary the inflow of corrective agent to the process tank
accordingly.
Noise signal n acts on the solenoid valve, which therefore may vary accordingly the
flow of the substance that has the opposite effect to the corrective agent.
NOTE: For proper unit operation, set solenoid valve opening value to 0 % or 100%. (Valve
fully closed or fully open).

The signal corresponding to the controlled quantity, y, is supplied by the


conductivity/pH sensor fitted to the process tank.

Feed tank

Noise
tank

P3
Solenoid
valve

C/PH
probes

Corrective
agent tank

Process tank

Fig. 3.5 pH Conductivity control module

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Chapter 3.

Fig. 3.6 pH Conductivity control diagram

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Description of the control processes and techniques

3.5.2 Control techniques


Both On-Off and PID control modalities are possible in this case.
The considerations expressed above in the paragraph on level control substantially
apply to pH and conductivity control too, but it should be noted that in this case the time
constants at play are greater and hence the control action is slower. In this case, the
integral component plays a significant role to achieve the control action in advance.

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Chapter 4.

4.

Installation and preliminary operations

4.1

Level control

1.

Make all the electrical connections with the connectors situated on the back of
the unit (see fig. 2.4 and the relative legend).

Fig. 4.1 Electrical connections for level control

2.

Make the hydraulic connections with the silicone tubelets according to the
diagram shown in fig. 4.2.

3.

Power the unit by means of the switch (1).

4.

Turn on the PRESSURE/LEVEL process selector (3): telltale (20) lights up to


indicate that the module is powered.

5.

Set to zero the pump 1 and pump 2 speed potentiometers (14) and (10).

6.

Set the automatic/manual selector to MAN (9).

7.

Set selector (2) to MINIREG.

8.

Set the ON/OFF selectors of the two pumps (16) and (12) to ON.

9.

By means of speed potentiometers (14) and (10), make sure that pump rpm
variations range from zero to 100% (values appear on display (4)). Select the
quantity to be viewed on display (4) by means of the ad hoc selector (5).

10.

Fill with water the tubelet connecting the tank to the pressure transducer.

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11.

Fill the cold water tank about half full, using, if possible a small quantity (2 ,
3%) of an anti-corrosion fluid (e.g., Paraflu).

12.

Empty out the tank using pump 2 through potentiometer (10).

13.

If necessary, adjust the OFFSET potentiometer (8) so that on any empty tank it
reads 000.

14.

Adjust the speed potentiometer (14) in order to fill the tank (100%).

15.

Calibrate the level transducer gain potentiometer (7) so that the instrument (6)
reads 100%.

16.

Repeat the above steps from 11 to 14 adjusting the 2 ZERO and GAIN
potentiometers (7) and (8) ) until the transducer is perfectly calibrated.

17.

Empty out the tank using pump 2.

18.

Set pump selectors (16) and (12) to OFF.

19.

Set selector ( 9) to AUTO.

20.

Set selector (2) to PC (or to MINIREG if you plan to sue the MiniReg external
controller.

21.

Launch the MPCT/L program.

22.

Start the pumps by setting selectors (16) and (12) to ON.

Fig. 4.2 Hydraulic connections for level control

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Chapter 4.

4.2
1.

Flow control
Make all the electrical connections by means of the connectors on the back of the
unit (see also figs. 2.4 and 2.6 and the relative legends).

Fig. 4.3 Electrical connections for flow control

2.

Make the hydraulic connections with the silicone tubelet according to the diagram
shown in fig. 4.4.

3.

Fill the cold water tank about half full, using, if possible a small quantity (2 , 3%)
of an anti-corrosion fluid (e.g., Paraflu). Use clean water in order not to clog the
flowmeter (72) and the relative filter (73).

4.

Power the unit by means of the switch (1).

5.

Press process selector (43): telltale (42) lights up to indicate that the module is
ON.

6.

Set to zero the pump 1 and pump 2 speed potentiometers (14) and (10).

7.

Set the automatic/manual selector (9) to MAN.

8.

Set selector (2) to MINIREG.

9.

Set to ON the ON/OFF selectors of pumps (16) and (12).

10.

By means of speed potentiometers (14) and (10) make sure that pump rpm
variations range from zero to 100% (values appear on display (4)). Select the
quantity to be viewed on display (4) by means of the ad hoc selector (5).

11.

Gradually increase the speed of pump 1, starting from zero, by means of


potentiometer (14). The flowmeter reading must increase with increasing speed. If

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Installation and preliminary operations

the flowmeter float gets blocked, release it by nudging it gently with a screwdriver
after removing the plug at the base of the flowmeter.
12.

Set the flow back to zero by means of potentiometer (14). Read the value of flow,
in l/h, on display (44).

13.

Set the selectors for pumps (16) and (12) to OFF.

14.

Set selector (9) to AUTO.

15.

Set selector (2) to PC (or to MINIREG if you plan to use the MiniReg external
controller).

16.

Launch the MPCT/F program.

17.

Start the pumps by setting selectors (16) and (12) to ON.

Fig. 4.4 Hydraulic connections flow control

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Chapter 4.

4.3

Pressure control

1. Make all the electrical connections by means of the connectors on the back of the
unit (see also fig. 2.4 and the relative legend).

Fig. 4.5 Electrical connections for pressure control

2. Make the hydraulic connections with the silicone tubelet according to the
diagram shown in fig. 4.6.
3. If the U-tube manometer is not predisposed for the measurement, it must be
charged with water with the aid of a syringe. To remove all the air from the
tubelets, empty out the plug of the check valve and blow delicately with a small
tubelet until zero is reached.
4. Fill the cold water tank about half full, using, if possible a small quantity (2 , 3%)
of an anti-corrosion fluid (e.g., Paraflu).
5. Power the unit by means of the switch (1).
6. Press process selector "PRESSURE/LEVEL" (3):
indicate that the module is ON.

telltale (20) lights up to

7. Set to zero the pump 1 and pump 2 speed potentiometers (14) and (10).
8. Set the automatic/manual selector to MAN ( 9 )
9. Set selector (2) to MINIREG.
10. Set to ON the ON/OFF selectors of pumps (16) and (12).

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11. By means of speed potentiometers (14) and (10), make sure that pump rpm
variations range from zero to 100% (values appear on display (4)). Select the
quantity to be viewed on display (4) by means of the ad hoc selector (5).
9.

In manual mode set the pressure back to zero by means of pump P1 and
potentiometer (14).

10.

Make sure that for zero pressure the transducer sends a zero V signal; if this is not
the case, adjust by means of the OFFSET potentiometer (8).

11.

Working manually on pump 1, starting from zero rpm increase speed until a
pressure of 300 mm water column (max. pressure) is reached. Keeping mind that
exceedingly high pressures may damage the transducer: make sure pressure never
exceeds 200 mBar.

12.

Make sure that instrument (6) reads 100%. If necessary, adjust the gain
potentiometer (7).

13.

Repeat the above steps from 11 to 14 using the 2 OFFSET and GAIN
potentiometers (7) and (8) until the transducer is perfectly calibrated.

14.

Set the pressure back to zero by means of potentiometer (14).

15.

Set the selectors for pumps (16) and (12) to OFF.

16.

Set selector (9) to AUTOM.

17.

Set selector (2) to PC (or to MINIREG if you plan to use the MiniReg external
controller).

18.

Launch the MPCT/P program.

19.

Start the pumps by setting selectors (16) and (12) to ON

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Fig. 4.6 Hydraulic connections for pressure control

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Installation and preliminary operations

4.4

Temperature control

1. Make all the electrical connections by means of the connectors on the back of the
unit (see also figs. 2.4 and 2.6 and the relative legends).

Fig. 4.7 Electrical connections for temperature control


2. Make the hydraulic connections with the silicone tubelets according to the
diagram shown in fig. 4.8.
3. Fill the cold water tank about half full, using, if possible a small quantity (2 , 3%)
of an anti-corrosion fluid (e.g., Paraflu).
4. Fill the hot water tank in a similar manner.
5. Power the unit by means of switch (1).
6. Press process selector (40): telltale (39) lights up to indicate that the module is
ON.
7. Set to zero the pump 1 and pump 2 speed potentiometers (14) and (10).
8. Set the automatic/manual selector to MAN (9).
9. Set selector (2) to MINIREG.
10. Set to ON the ON/OFF selectors of pumps (16) and (12).
11. By means of speed potentiometers (14) and (10), make sure that pump rpm
variations range from zero to 100% (values appear on display (4)). Select the
quantity to be viewed on display (4) by means of the ad hoc selector (5).
8.
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Chapter 4.

9.

Wait until the temperature of the hot water is ca 80 C watching the display (41)
connected to the thermometer (70).

10.

Reset the hot and cold water flow by means of potentiometers (14) and (10).

11.

Set the selectors for pumps (16) and (12) to OFF.

12.

Set selector (9) to AUTOM.

13.

Set selector (2) to PC (or to MINIREG if you plan to use the MiniReg external
controller).

14.

Launch the MPCT/T program.

15.

Start the pumps by setting selectors (16) and (12) to ON

Fig. 4.8 Hydraulic connections for temperature control

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Installation and preliminary operations

4.5
1.

pH and conductivity control


Make all the electrical connections by means of the connectors on the back of
the unit (see also figs. 2.4 and 2.8 and the relative legends).

Fig. 4.9 Electrical connections for pH and conductivity control


2.

Make the hydraulic connections with the silicone tubelet according to the
diagram shown in fig. 4.10.

3.

Close manual feed valves (87) and (90). Tank (93) feeds the process tank with a
solution whose pH/conductivity will be tested in a continuous manner once
valve (90) opens.

4.

Fill process tank (84) with a solution having known pH/conductivity values.

5.

Fill the corrective agent feed tank (81) with an appropriate substance to obtain
the set-point of the process variable for the solution contained in tank (84).
NOTE: During the pH control process, four different situations, which any other
condition may be referred to, may occur:

6.
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1.

set-point = 8 (BASIC); pH of initial solution = 5 : a BASIC substance must be


added to increase the pH value of the controlled solution.

2.

set-point = 8 (BASIC); pH of initial solution = 9 : an ACID substance must be


added to reduce the pH value of the controlled solution.

3.

set-point = 6 (ACID); pH of initial solution = 5 : a BASIC substance must be


added to increase the pH value of the controlled solution.

4.

set-point = 6 (ACID); pH of initial solution = 9 : an ACID substance must be


added to reduce the pH value of the controlled solution.

Fill tank (88) with a substance having an opposite effect to the corrective action.
Didacta Italia

Chapter 4.

7.

Place the pH/conductivity probe in its seat located in the cover of the process
tank (84).

8.

The same module can be used to control both the pH and the conductivity of the
solution contained in process tank 84. The operating principle is the same in
both processes. The only provision to be kept in mind when changing from one
process to the other is to wash accurately the tanks and to change the probe,
selecting the appropriate one and submerging it in the process tank. Washing the
tanks and the probes is also required when, in using the module to control the pH
of a solution, we go from a substance with basic pH to be acidified to a
substance with acid pH to be basified. To ensure that they are emptied out
completely, the tanks are fitted with discharge valves to be connected to the
respective collection tanks. The tanks are also fitted with appropriate covers to
facilitate the filling process.

9.

Power the unit by means of the switch (1).

10. Press process selector (56) or (55): telltales (57) or (54) will light up to indicate
that the module is ON.
11. Set to zero the speed potentiometers for pump P3 speed and solenoid valve 60
(14) and (10).
12. Set automatic/manual selector (9) to MAN.
13. Set selector (2) to MINIREG.
14. Set to ON the ON/OFF selectors for pump 3 and the solenoid valve (16) and
(12).
15. By means of speed potentiometers (14) and (10) make sure that speed variations
produced by the pump and the solenoid valve range from zero to 100% (values
shown on display (4)9. Select the quantity to be viewed on display (4) by means
of selector (5).
16. Set to OFF the ON/OFF selectors of pump 3 and the solenoid valve (16) and
(12).
17. Conductivity and pH values can be read on instruments (18) and (19),
respectively.
18. Set selector (9) to AUTOM.
19. Set selector (2) to PC (or to MINIREG if you plan to use the MiniReg external
controller).
20. Set to ON the ON/OFF selectors of pump 3 and the solenoid valve (16) and (12).
21. Open valves 90 and 87.
22. Launch program MPCT/pH or MPCT/C and carry out process control using the
soft keys that appear on the various screens.
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23. If you want to obtain a solution with a more homogeneous pH start the mixer by
pressing switch (53): telltale (52) lights up to indicate that the module is ON.
NOTE: For proper unit operation, set solenoid valve opening value to 0 % or 100%. (Valve
fully closed or fully open).

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Chapter 4.

Fig. 4.10 Hydraulic connections for conductivity/pH control

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Chapter 5.

5.

Exercises

5.1

Exercise 1 On-Off level control via software

Test execution modalities


1.

Perform the initial operations listed in 4.1 and in particular make sure that:

process selector (3) is pressed (telltale (20) lights up)

control mode selector (2) is set to PC;

graduated tank (74) is empty;

the mode selector for the two pumps (9) is set to AUTOM;

the start selectors for the two pumps (12) and (16) set to ON.

2.

Launch the MPCT/L program.

3.

Select File-New.

4.

Select On-Off Regulator in the Select Exercise Type window and click OK.

5.

Enter the operators name and your comments, if any, in the Test Description
window and click OK.

6.

In the Set Up set-point window, set:

7.

Function = DC

Amplitude = 50%

Offset = 50%

Period= /

In the On-Off Parameters window, set:

Hysteresis = 5%

Open Time: 2 s

Gain: 0.5

and click OK.


8.

In the Noise Setup window, set:

Function: DC (continuous noise)

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Exercises

Amplitude = 30 %

Offset = 0 %

Period= /

and click OK.


9.

In the Real Time Diagram window make sure that noise is enabled, through
the enable field contained in the Noise box.

10.

Click the Start button to start the test.

11.

Monitor system behaviour for a few minutes paying special attention to the
effects of controller parameters.

12.

Notice how the system reacts to different kinds of noise, e.g., z, square-wave or
sinusoidal type noise, by changing its characteristics through the Noise Setup
window that is recalled with the Noise button.

13.

Evaluate separately the effects of the various parameters of the controller by


changing them through the On-Off Parameters window opened with the
Param button. Evaluate system reactions to changes in set-point values.

14.

At the end of the test click Stop and Cancel.

15.

Monitor samples of the signals involved in the test and their evolution over time
through the File-Browse-Data and File-Browse-Diagram functions.

16.

If desired, print the data and/or the diagrams.

17.

If desired, save the data to the disc through File-Save

18.

End the exercise with File-Close.

19.

Empty out the tank using pump 2 in manual mode.

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Chapter 5.

Test results

Fig. 5.1 On-Off level control via software - In the course of the test, gain was raised from
0.5 to 1 (file LONOFF1.CRS)

Observations
Obviously, when gain is increased, the system reacts faster, and hence the slope of
the signal corresponding to the level is steeper.
The possibility to adjust gain makes it possible to consider the situation in which,
noise being high and gain being low, the system is unable to react because the inflow is
less than the outflow.
Suggestions
Notice how with decreasing hysteresis, the amplitude of the oscillations around the
set-point decreases but at the same time there is an increase in control signal level On to
Off and vice versa transitions.
With the Open Time parameter we can simulate the effect of a motorised valve,
which takes a few seconds to open or close. Notice how, as this time span increases it
takes longer for the system to react to noise level or set-point variations.

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Exercises

5.2

Exercise 2 PID level control via software

Test execution modalities


1.

Perform the initial operations listed in 4.1 and in particular make sure that:

process selector (3) is pressed (telltale (20) lights up)

control mode selector (2) is set to PC;

graduated tank (74) is empty;

the mode selector for the two pumps (9) is set to AUTOM;

the start selectors for the two pumps (12) and (16) are set to ON.

2.

Launch program MPCT/L.

3.

Select File-New.

4.

Select PID Regulator in the Select Exercise Type window and click OK.

5.

Enter the operators name and your comments, if any, in the Test Description
window and click OK.

6.

In the Set up set-point window, set:

7.

Function = DC

Amplitude = 50%

Offset = 50%

Period= /

In the PID Parameters window, set:

Proportional Band = 286%

Integrative Time = 0.5 min

Derivative Time = 0 min

and click OK.


8.

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In the Noise Setup window, set:

Function: DC (continuous noise)

Amplitude = 30 %

Offset = 0 %
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Chapter 5.

Period= /

and click OK.


9.

Do not make any manual alignment, i.e., leave the control signal field in the
Manual Alignment window set to 0 and click OK.

10.

In the Real Time Diagram window, make sure that noise is enabled, through
the enable field contained in the Noise box.

11.

Click the Start button to start the test.

12.

Monitor system behaviour for a few minutes paying special attention to the
effects of controller parameters.

13.

Notice how the system reacts to different kinds of noise, e.g., z, square-wave or
sinusoidal type noise, by changing its characteristics through the Noise Setup
window that is recalled with the Noise button.

14.

Evaluate separately the effects of the various parameters of the controller by


changing them through the PID Parameters window opened with the Param
button. Evaluate system reactions to changes in set-point values.

15.

At the end of the test click Stop and Cancel.

16.

Monitor samples of the signals involved in the test and their evolution over time
through the File-Browse-Data and File-Browse-Diagram functions.

17.

If desired, print the data and/or the diagrams.

18.

If desired, save the data to the disc through File-Save.

19.

End the exercise with File-Close.

20.

Empty out the graduated tank using pump 2 in manual mode.

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Test results

Fig. 5.2 PID level control via software with continuous noise starting from an empty tank
(File LPID1.CRS)

Fig. 5.3 PID level control via software with sinusoidal noise and square-wave noise (File
LPID2.CRS)
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Chapter 5.

Fig. 5.4 PID level control via software with continuous noise starting with the tank 60% full
(File LPID3.CRS)

Observations
Notice the initial over-oscillation due to the prevalence of the proportional
component over the integral component.
This oscillation tends to disappear with a smaller Proportional Band and a bigger
integral component.
In the case of periodic noise, notice how the controlled quantity varies with the same
frequency as the noise signal, albeit with a smaller amplitude.
Suggestions
Notice the effect of the residual Offset when only the proportional component is
present.
To this end, eliminate the derivative and integral components through the PID
parameters window and set a continuous noise.
As can be seen, a few minutes after the start of the test, the controlled quantity
stabilises over a value lower than the set-point. That is to say, a rather conspicuous
residual Offset remains.
The control signal stabilises over a value close to the noise level to compensate for
the liquid leaving the tank.
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Exercises

Proportional Band being the same, it is interesting to repeat the test with different
set-point values.
As you will see, residual Offset remains the same, in that, as we have seen, its value
depends on the flow of liquid leaving the tank (which remains constant in all the tests
performed), as well as on the Proportional Band selected.
It is also interesting to repeat the test with different Proportional Band values while
maintaining the same set-point.
You will notice that, every other condition being the same, the Offset increases with
increasing Proportional Band.
If, besides the proportional component, an integral component is also present (e.g.,
1 min, with no derivative component), you will see how the residual Offset disappears.
Notice how, in this case, stability (with nil Offset) is reached after a transient
characterised by an overoscillation of rather long duration.
Repeat the test with different Integral constants: you will notice that a considerable
increase in the Integral constant, e.g., 2 minutes, eliminates the overoscillation effect,
the drawback being a longer recovery period after a load change.
By simulating the effect of a load change (e.g., noise changes from 30% to 50%), we
can also clearly see the error recovery action accomplished by the integral component:
following the load change, the controlled quantity decreases and then increases again
until it reaches the set-point again (eliminating the error).
The control signal increases to adapt to the new consumption rate.

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Chapter 5.

5.3

Exercise 3 PID level control with MiniReg controller

Introductory considerations
This exercise is performed with the MINIREG electronic controller available as an
option; in this case too, the CRS software is used to observe the behaviour of the system
and to transmit the set-point signal to the external controller.
For details on the operation of the MiniReg, the reader is referred to the relative
documentation; keep in mind that before it can be used selector (2) must be set to
MiniReg.
The MiniReg is able to perform PID or On-Off control, enabling the operator to
define the values to be assigned to the fundamental parameters; a special functional
feature of the MiniReg is the automatic determination of the optimal values for the PID
parameters.
The exercise consists of using the MiniReg in this operating mode and to analyse
system behaviour through the CRS software. Moreover, it is interesting to have the
MiniReg determine the optimal values of the PID parameters and compare them with
the values set with the CRS software during the previous exercises.
Test execution modalities
1.

Check the electrical connections relating to the power supply and the signals of
the MiniReg and turn on the MiniReg.

2.

Perform the initial operations listed in 4.1 and in particular make sure that:

process selector (3) is pressed (telltale (20) lights up)

control mode selector (2) is set to PC;

graduated tank (74) is empty;

the mode selector for the two pumps (9) is set to AUTOM;

the start selectors for the two pumps (12) and (16) are set to ON.

3.

Launch program MPCT/L.

4.

Select File-New.

5.

Select Ext. Regulator in the Select Exercise Type window and click OK.

6.

Enter the operators name and your comments, if any, in the Test Description
window and click OK.

7.

In the Ext. Regulator Parameters window, set:

set-point = 50%

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Exercises

and click OK.


8.

By pressing the REM key, program the MiniReg in Remote mode to accept
the set-point from the PC.

9.

In the Noise Setup window, set:

Function: DC (continuous noise)

Amplitude = 30 %

Offset = 0 %

and click OK.


10.

In the Real Time Diagram window make sure that noise is enabled, through
the enable field contained in the Noise box.

11.

Click the Start button to start the test.

12.

Set selector (2) to MiniReg.

13.

Activate the Self Tuning function of the MiniReg according to the instructions
provided in the MiniReg Manual.

14.

Wait a few minutes so that the controller may interact with the process making it
possible to determine the most appropriate control parameters.

15.

Monitor system behaviour for a few minutes and wait until it stabilises.

16.

Notice how the system reacts to different kinds of noise, e.g., z, square-wave or
sinusoidal type noise, by changing its characteristics through the Noise Setup
window that is recalled with the Noise button.

17.

Notice how the system reacts to changes in set-point level by adjusting the setpoint values in the PID Parameters window opened with the Param button.

18.

Determine PID control parameters from the MiniReg.

19.

At the end of the test click Stop and Cancel.

20.

Monitor samples of the signals involved in the test and their evolution over time
through functions File-Browse-Data and File-Browse-Diagram.

21.

If desired, print the data and/or the diagrams.

22.

If desired, save the data to the disc through File-Save.

23.

End the exercise with File-Close.

24.

Empty out the graduated tank using pump 2 in manual mode.

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Chapter 5.

Test results

Fig. 5.5 PID control with the MiniReg external controller (File LEXT1.CRS)

Observations
From the MiniReg panel we have determined the optimal values of the PID control
parameters:

Proportional Band = 42.8%

Integral constant = 0.8 minutes

Derivative constant = 0 minutes

The latter value confirms the inefficacy of the derivative component in the case on
hand.
From the diagram it can be seen that the desired value is obtained through an
oscillation of the control signal which is reflected in a small oscillation of the controlled
quantity in the proximity of the set-point.
System behaviour vis--vis a load change is very good: the transient is very small.
Suggestions
Repeat the test using the CRS, instead of the MiniReg, as the controller, and
assigning the parameters the values suggested by the MiniReg, and namely:
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Exercises

Proportional Band = 43%

Integral constant = 0.8 minutes

Derivative constant = 0 minutes

Following the instructions provided in Exercise 2, you will notice that the control
action behaves much same way as with the MiniReg, but control signal oscillations are
much smaller.
Though the PID parameters are the same, in fact, the two control techniques in
question are completely different: one is analog and the other is digital. The digital
simulation of an analog system, which, as is known, is obtained through the z transform,
in fact, has inherent limits due to system discretisation.

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Chapter 5.

5.4

Exercise 4 PID flow control via software

Test execution modalities


1.

Perform the initial operations listed in 4.2 and in particular make sure that:

process selector (43) is pressed ( telltale (42) lights up)

control mode selector (2) is set to PC;

the mode selector for the two pumps (9) is set to AUTOM;

the start selectors for the two pumps (12) and (16) are set to ON.

2.

Launch program MPCT/F.

3.

Select File-New.

4.

Select PID Regulator in the Select Exercise Type and click OK.

5.

Enter the operators name and your comments, if any, in the Test Description
window and click OK.

6.

In the Set Up set-point window, set:

7.

Function = DC

Amplitude = 50%

Offset = 50%

Period= /

In the PID Parameters window, set:

Proportional Band = 150%

Integrative Time = 0.5 min

Derivative Time = 0 min

and click OK.


8.

In the Noise Setup window, set:

Function: DC (continuous noise)

Amplitude = 15 %

Offset = 0 %

Period= /

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and click OK.


9.

Do not make any manual alignment, i.e., leave the control signal field in the
Manual Alignment window set to 0 and click OK.

10.

In the Real Time Diagram window make sure that noise is enabled, through
the enable field contained in the Noise box.

11.

Click the Start button to start the test.

12.

Monitor system behaviour for a few minutes paying special attention to the
effects of controller parameters.

13.

Notice how the system reacts to different kinds of noise, e.g., z, square-wave or
sinusoidal type noise, by changing its characteristics through the Noise Setup
window that is recalled with the Noise button.

14.

Evaluate separately the effects of the various parameters of the controller by


changing them through the PID Parameters window opened with the Param
button. Evaluate system reactions to changes in set-point values.

15.

At the end of the test click Stop and Cancel.

16.

Monitor samples of the signals involved in the test and their evolution over time
through the File-Browse-Data and File-Browse-Diagram functions.

17.

If desired, print the data and/or the diagrams.

18.

If desired, save the data to the disc through File-Save.

19.

End the exercise with File-Close.

20.

Empty out the tank using pump 2 in manual mode.

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Chapter 5.

Test results

Fig. 5.6 PID flow control - During the test, noise has been raised from 15% to 10% and
25% and the set-point from 35% to 50% (file FPID1.CRS)

Fig. 5.7 PID flow control with P-Band=50% and sinusoidal noise - During the test, the setpoint has been raised from 35% to 30% (file FPID2.CRS)
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Exercises

Fig. 5.8 PID flow control with P-Band=50% and with sinusoidal noise and square wave
noise - During the test, the set-point is raised from 35% to 50% (file FPID3.CRS)

Observations
Notice how the system reacts much faster than in level control.
Suggestions
See exercise 2.

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Chapter 5.

5.5

Exercise 5 PID pressure control via software

Test execution modalities

1.

Perform the initial operations listed in 4.3 and in particular make sure that:

process selector (3) is pressed (telltale (20) lights up)

control mode selector (2) is set to PC;

graduated tank (74) is empty;

the mode selector for the two pumps (9) is set to AUTOM;

the start selectors for the two pumps (12) and (16) are set to ON.

2.

Launch program MPCT/P.

3.

Select File-New.

4.

Select PID Regulator in the Select Exercise Type window and click OK.

5.

Enter the operators name and your comments, if any, in the Test Description
window and click OK.

6.

In the Set Up set-point window, set:

7.

Function = DC

Amplitude = 50%

Offset = 50%

Period= /

In the PID Parameters window, set:

Proportional Band = 286%

Integrative Time = 0.5 min

Derivative Time = 0 min

and click OK.


8.

In the Noise Setup window, set:

Function: DC (continuous noise)

Amplitude = 10 %

Offset = 0 %

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Exercises

Period= /

and click OK.


9.

Do not make any manual alignment, i.e., leave the control signal field in the
Manual Alignment window set to 0 and click OK.

10.

In the Real Time Diagram window make sure that noise is enabled, through
the enable field contained in the Noise box.

11.

Click the Start button to start the test.

12.

Monitor system behaviour for a few minutes paying special attention to the
effects of controller parameters.

13.

Notice how the system reacts to different kinds of noise, e.g., z, square-wave or
sinusoidal type noise, by changing its characteristics through the Noise Setup
window that is recalled with the Noise button.

14.

Evaluate separately the effects of the various parameters of the controller by


changing them through the PID Parameters window opened with the Param
button. Evaluate system reactions to changes in set-point values.

15.

At the end of the test click Stop and Cancel.

16.

Monitor samples of the signals involved in the test and their evolution over time
through the File-Browse-Data and File-Browse-Diagram functions.

17.

If desired, print the data and/or the diagrams.

18.

If desired, save the data to the disc through File-Save.

19.

End the exercise with File-Close.

20.

Empty out the graduated tank using pump 2 in manual mode.

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Chapter 5.

Test results

Fig. 5.9 PID pressure control via software. During the test, noise is increased from 10% to
25%, and the set-point is raised from 35% to 40% and then to 50% (file PPID1.CRS)

Fig. 5.10 PID pressure control via software with sinusoidal noise. During the test, the setpoint is raised from 35% to 50% (file PPID2.CRS)

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Exercises

Observations

Notice how the system reacts much faster than in level control and flow control.
Suggestions

See exercise 2.

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Chapter 5.

5.6

Exercise 6 PID temperature control via software

Test execution modalities

1.

Perform the initial operations listed in 4.4 and in particular make sure that:

process selector (40) is pressed (telltale (39) lights up)

control mode selector (2) is set to PC;

the heater resistance switch (38) is set to ON and tank (69) contains
sufficiently warm water;

tank (80) contains cold water;

the mode selector for the two pumps (9) is set to AUTOM;

the start selectors for the two pumps (12) and (16) are set to ON.

2.

Launch program MPCT/T.

3.

Select File-New.

4.

Select PID Regulator in the Select Exercise Type window and click OK.

5.

Enter the operators name and your comments, if any, in the Test Description
window and click OK.

6.

In the Set Up set-point window, set:

7.

Function = DC

Amplitude = 50%

Offset = 50%

Period= /

In the PID Parameters window, set:

Proportional Band = 286%

Integrative Time = 0.5 min

Derivative Time = 0 min

and click OK.


8.

In the Noise Setup window, set:

Function: DC (continuous noise)

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Amplitude = 10 %

Offset = 0 %

Period= /

and click OK.


9.

Do not make any manual alignment, i.e., leave the control signal field in the
Manual Alignment window set to 0 and click OK.

10.

In the Real Time Diagram window make sure that noise is enabled, through
the enable field contained in the Noise box.

11.

Click the Start button to start the test.

12.

Monitor system behaviour for a few minutes paying special attention to the
effects of controller parameters.

13.

Notice how the system reacts to different kinds of noise, e.g., z, square-wave or
sinusoidal type noise, by changing its characteristics through the Noise Setup
window that is recalled with the Noise button.

14.

Evaluate separately the effects of the various parameters of the controller by


changing them through the PID Parameters window opened with the Param
button. Evaluate system reactions to changes in set-point values.

15.

At the end of the test click Stop and Cancel.

16.

Monitor samples of the signals involved in the test and their evolution over time
through the File-Browse-Data and File-Browse-Diagram functions.

17.

If desired, print the data and/or the diagrams.

18.

If desired, save the data to the disc through File-Save.

19.

End the exercise with File-Close.

20.

Empty out the hot water tank (69).

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Chapter 5.

Test results

Fig. 5.11 PID temperature control via software (file TPID1.CRS)

Fig. 5.12 PID temperature control with sinusoidal noise (file TPID2.CRS)

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Exercises

Fig. 5.13 PID temperature control with square-wave noise (file TPID3.CRS)
Observations

Notice how the system reactions are much slower compared to the other cases.
Suggestions

See exercise 2.

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Chapter 5.

5.7

Exercise 7 On-Off pH/conductivity control via software

Test execution modalities

1.

Perform the initial operations listed in 4.5 and in particular make sure that:

process selector (55) or (58), for conductivity or pH control, respectively, is


pressed (telltale (54) or (57) lights up).

control mode selector (2) is set to PC;

tank (81) is full of corrective substance, tank (88) is full of a substance


having the opposite effect to the corrective substance contained in tank (81),
feed tank (93) contains the solution whose pH/conductivity we intend to
control, and process tank (84) is empty so that it may receive liquids from
the other tanks;

the mode selector for the two pumps (9) is set to AUTOM;

the start selectors for the two pumps (12) and (16) are set to ON.

2.

Launch program MPCT/pH o MPCT/COND.

3.

Select File-New.

4.

Select On-Off Regulator in the Select Exercise Type window and click OK.

5.

Enter the operators name and your comments, if any, in the Test Description
window and click OK.

6.

In the Set Up set-point window, set:

7.

Function = DC

Amplitude = 50%

Offset = 50%

Period= /

In the On-Off Parameters window, set:

Hysteresis = 5%

Open Time: 2 s

Gain: 0.5

and click OK.


8.

In the Noise Setup window, set:

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Function: DC (continuous noise)

Amplitude = 100 %

Offset = 0 %

Period= /

and click OK.


NOTE: For proper unit operation, set solenoid valve opening value to 0 % or 100%. (Valve
fully closed or fully open).

9.

In the Real Time Diagram window make sure that noise is enabled, through
the enable field contained in the Noise box.

10.

Click the Start button to start the test.

11.

Monitor system behaviour for a few minutes paying special attention to the
effects of controller parameters.

12.

Evaluate separately the effects of the various parameters of the controller by


changing them through the On-Off Parameters window opened with the
Param button. Evaluate system reactions to changes in set-point values.

13.

At the end of the test click Stop and Cancel.

14.

Monitor samples of the signals involved in the test and their evolution over time
through the File-Browse-Data and File-Browse-Diagram functions.

15.

If desired, print the data and/or the diagrams.

16.

If desired, save the data to the disc through File-Save

17.

End the exercise with File-Close.

18.

Empty out the tank using pump 2 in manual mode.

Test results
Observations

Obviously, when gain is increased, the system reacts faster, and hence the slope of
the signal corresponding to the level is steeper.
The possibility to adjust gain makes it possible to consider the situation in which,
noise being high and gain being low, the system is unable to react because the amount
of corrective substance flowing in is less than the inflow of the substance having the
opposite effect (noise).

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Chapter 5.

Suggestions

Notice how with decreasing hysteresis, the amplitude of the oscillations around the
set-point decreases but at the same time there is an increase in control signal level On to
Off and vice versa transitions.
With the Open Time parameter we can simulate the effect of a motorised valve,
which takes a few seconds to open or close. Notice how, as this time span increases it
takes longer for the system to react to noise level or set-point variations.

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Exercises

5.8

Exercise 8 PID pH/conductivity control via software

Test execution modalities

1.

Perform the initial operations listed in 4.5 and in particular make sure that:

process selector (55) or (58), for conductivity or pH control, respectively, is


pressed (telltale (54) or (57) lights up).

control mode selector (2) is set to PC;

tank (81) is full of corrective substance, tank (88) is full of a substance


having the opposite effect to the corrective substance contained in tank (81),
feed tank (93) contains the solution whose pH/conductivity values we intend
to control, and process tank (84) is empty so that it may receive liquids from
the other tanks;

the mode selector for the two pumps (9) is set to AUTOM;

the start selectors for the two pumps (12) and (16) are set to ON.

2.

Launch program MPCT/pH o MPCT/COND.

3.

Select File-New.

4.

Select PID Regulator in the Select Exercise Type window and click OK.

5.

Enter the operators name and your comments, if any, in the Test Description
window and click OK.

6.

In the Set Up set-point window, set:

7.

Function = DC

Amplitude = 50%

Offset = 50%

Period= /

In the PID Parameters window, set:

Proportional Band = 286%

Integrative Time = 0.5 min

Derivative Time = 0 min

and click OK.


8.

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In the Noise Setup window, set:

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Chapter 5.

Function: DC (continuous noise)

Amplitude = 100 %

Offset = 0 %

Period= /

and click OK.


NOTE: For proper unit operation, set solenoid valve opening value to 0 % or 100%. (Valve
fully closed or fully open).

9.

Do not make any manual alignment, i.e., leave the control signal field in the
Manual Alignment window set to 0 and click OK.

10.

In the Real Time Diagram window make sure that noise is enabled, through
the enable field contained in the Noise box.

11.

Click the Start button to start the test.

12.

Monitor system behaviour for a few minutes paying special attention to the
effects of controller parameters.

13.

Evaluate separately the effects of the various parameters of the controller by


changing them through PID Parameters window recalled with the Param
button. Evaluate system reactions to changes in set-point values.

14.

At the end of the test click Stop and Cancel.

15.

Monitor samples of the signals involved in the test and their evolution over time
through the File-Browse-Data and File-Browse-Diagram functions.

16.

If desired, print the data and/or the diagrams.

17.

If desired, save the data to the disc through File-Save.

18.

End the exercise with File-Close.

19.

The same module may be used for the control of the pH and the conductivity of
the solution contained in process tank 84. The operating principle is the same in
both processes. The only provision to be kept in mind when changing from one
process to the other is to wash accurately the tanks and to change the probe,
selecting the appropriate one and submerging it in the process tank. Washing the
tanks and the probes is also required when, in using the module to control the pH
of a solution, we go from a substance with basic pH to be acidified to a
substance with acid pH to be basified. To ensure that they are emptied out
completely, the tanks are fitted with discharge valves to be connected to the
respective collection tanks. The tanks are also fitted with appropriate covers to
facilitate the filling process.

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Exercises

Test results
Observations

Notice the initial over-oscillation due to the prevalence of the proportional


component over the integral component.
This oscillation tends to disappear with a smaller Proportional Band and a bigger
integral component.
In the case of periodic noise, notice how the controlled quantity varies with the same
frequency as the noise signal, albeit with a smaller amplitude.
Suggestions

Notice the effect of residual Offset when only the proportional component is present.
To this end, eliminate the derivative and integral components through the PID
parameters window and set a continuous noise.
As can be seen, a few minutes after the start of the test, the controlled quantity
stabilises over a value lower than the set-point. That is to say, a rather conspicuous
residual Offset remains.
The control signal stabilises over a value close to the noise level to compensate for
the liquid leaving the tank.
The Proportional Band being the same, it is interesting to repeat the test with
different set-point values.
As you will see, residual Offset remains the same, in that, as we have seen, its value
depends on the flow of liquid leaving the tank (which remains constant in all the tests
performed), as well as on the Proportional Band selected.
It is also interesting to repeat the test with different Proportional Band values while
maintaining the same set-point.
You will notice that, every other condition being the same, the Offset increases with
increasing Proportional Band.
If, besides the proportional component, an integral component is also present (e.g.,
1 min, with no derivative component), you will see how the residual Offset disappears.
Notice how, in this case, stability (with nil Offset) is reached after a transient
characterised by an overoscillation of rather long duration.
Repeat the test with different Integral constants: you will notice that a considerable
increase in the Integral constant, e.g., 2 minutes, eliminates the overoscillation effect,
the drawback being a longer recovery period after a load change.

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Chapter 5.

By simulating the effect of a load change we can also clearly see the error recovery
action accomplished by the integral component: following the load change, the
controlled quantity decreases and then increases again until it reaches the set-point
again (eliminating the error).
The control signal increases to adapt to the new consumption rate.

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5.9

Exercise 9 PID pH/Conductivity control with the MiniReg

Introductory considerations

This exercise is performed with the MINIREG electronic controller available as an


option; in this case too, the CRS software is used to observe the behaviour of the system
and to transmit the set-point signal to the external controller.
For details on the operation of the MiniReg, the reader is referred to the relative
documentation; keep in mind that before it can be used selector (2) must be set to
MiniReg.
The MiniReg is able to perform PID or On-Off control, enabling the operator to
define the values to be assigned to the fundamental parameters; a special functional
feature of the MiniReg is the automatic determination of the optimal values for the PID
parameters.
The exercise consists of using the MiniReg in this operating mode and to analyse
system behaviour through the CRS software. Moreover, it is interesting to have the
MiniReg determine the optimal values of the PID parameters and compare them with
the values set with the CRS software during the previous exercises.
Test execution modalities

1.

Check the electrical connections relating to the power supply and the signals of
the MiniReg, and turn on the MiniReg.

2.

Perform the initial operations listed in 4.5 and in particular make sure that:

process selector (55) or (58), for conductivity or pH control, respectively, is


pressed (telltale (54) or (57) lights up).

control mode selector (2) is set to PC;

tank (81) is full of corrective substance, tank (88) is full of a substance


having the opposite effect to the corrective substance contained in tank (81),
feed tank (93) contains the solution whose pH/conductivity we intend to
control, and process tank (84) is empty so that it may receive liquids from
the other tanks;

the mode selector for the two pumps (9) is set to AUTOM;

the start selectors for the two pumps (12) and (16) are set to ON.

3.

Launch program MPCT/pH o MPCT/COND.

4.

Select File-New.

5.

Select Ext. Regulator in the Select Exercise Type window and click OK.

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6.

Enter the operators name and your comments, if any, in the Test Description
window and click OK.

7.

In the Ext. Regulator Parameters window, set:

set-point = 50%

and click OK.


8.

By pressing the REM key, program the MiniReg in Remote mode to accept
the set-point from the PC.

9.

In the Noise Setup window, set:

Function: DC (continuous noise)

Amplitude = 100 %

Offset = 0 %

and click OK.


NOTE: For proper unit operation, set solenoid valve opening value to 0 % or 100%. (Valve
fully closed or fully open).

10.

In the Real Time Diagram window make sure that noise is enabled, through
the enable field contained in the Noise box.

11.

Click the Start button to start the test.

12.

Set selector (2) to MiniReg.

13.

Activate the Self Tuning function of the MiniReg according to the instructions
provided in the MiniReg Manual.

14.

Wait a few minutes so that the controller may interact with the process making it
possible to determine the most appropriate control parameters.

15.

Monitor system behaviour for a few minutes and wait until it stabilises.

16.

Notice how the system reacts to changes in set-point level by adjusting the setpoint values in the PID Parameters window opened with the Param button.

17.

Determine PID control parameters from the MiniReg.

18.

At the end of the test click Stop and Cancel.

19.

Monitor samples of the signals involved in the test and their evolution over time
through functions File-Browse-Data and File-Browse-Diagram.

20.

If desired, print the data and/or the diagrams.

21.

If desired, save the data to the disc through File-Save.

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22.

End the exercise with File-Close.

23.

The same module may be used for the control of the pH and the conductivity of
the solution contained in process tank 84. The operating principle is the same in
both processes. The only provision to be kept in mind when changing from one
process to the other is to wash accurately the tanks and to change the probe,
selecting the appropriate one and submerging it in the process tank. Washing the
tanks and the probes is also required when, in using the module to control the pH
of a solution, we go from a substance with basic pH to be acidified to a
substance with acid pH to be basified. To ensure that they are emptied out
completely, the tanks are fitted with discharge valves to be connected to the
respective collection tanks. The tanks are also fitted with appropriate covers to
facilitate the filling process.

Test results
Observations

From the MiniReg panel we have determined the optimal values of the PID control
parameters:

Proportional Band = 42.8%

Integral constant = 0.8 minutes

Derivative constant = 0 minutes

The latter value confirms the inefficacy of the derivative component in the case on
hand.
From the diagram, it can be seen that the desired value is obtained through an
oscillation of the control signal which is reflected in a small oscillation of the controlled
quantity in the proximity of the set-point.
System behaviour vis--vis a load change is very good: the transient is very small.
Suggestions

Repeat the test using the CRS, instead of the MiniReg, as the controller, and
assigning the parameters the values suggested by the MiniReg, and namely:

Proportional Band = 43%

Integral constant = 0.8 minutes

Derivative constant = 0 minutes

Following the instructions provided in Exercise 2, you will notice that the control
action behaves much same way as with the MiniReg, but control signal oscillations are
much smaller.

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Chapter 5.

Though the PID parameters are the same, in fact, the two control techniques in
question are completely different: one is analog and the other is digital. The digital
simulation of an analog system, which, as is known, is obtained through the z transform,
in fact, has inherent limits due to system discretisation.

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