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Polymer-Plastics Technology and Engineering

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On-Line Tension Control for Polyester Film Processing

Chang-Chiun Huanga; Chi-Chung Penga; Tsann-Tay Tanga
Department of Polymer Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei,
Taiwan, Republic of China

To cite this Article Huang, Chang-Chiun , Peng, Chi-Chung and Tang, Tsann-Tay(2008) 'On-Line Tension Control for
Polyester Film Processing', Polymer-Plastics Technology and Engineering, 47: 2, 157 — 163
To link to this Article: DOI: 10.1080/03602550701816035
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03602550701816035


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Polymer-Plastics Technology and Engineering, 47: 157–163, 2008
Copyright # Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN: 0360-2559 print/1525-6111 online
DOI: 10.1080/03602550701816035

On-Line Tension Control for Polyester Film Processing

Chang-Chiun Huang1, Chi-Chung Peng2, and Tsann-Tay Tang3
Department of Polymer Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology,
Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China
Department of Polymer Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology,
Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China
Department of Polymer Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology,
Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China
Downloaded By: [2007-2008-2009 Konkuk University - Seoul Campus] At: 06:29 21 July 2010

suffer from changes in shape and from breakage or crushing

The uniform tension at a preferred value of polyester (PET) of the outer layers on the inner layers when tension is too
films in processing or rewinding is important to product quality, high, and sagging, wrinkling, or railing when the tension
which can be achieved by tension control. Furthermore, the uniform is too low. Because tension and transport speed are
transport speed is helpful in creating uniform film tension. In this linked, a severely fluctuating speed may deteriorate the
article, a simplified version of PET film processing systems, consist-
ing of an unwinding roll, a sensor roller, and a rewinding roll, is tension variation as well as causing defects such as
considered. The unwinding roll and rewinding roll are driven by a ribbing lines, waves, and unevenness in coating thickness.
torque-controlled motor and speed-controlled motor, respectively. Thus, the uniform tension and uniform transport speed at
A control signal to the torque-controlled motor, generated by a con- preferred values will result in higher-quality products and
ventional sliding-mode controller or a fuzzy sliding-mode controller, greater throughput.
regulates the film tension. Moreover, the speed-controlled motor
adjusts the transport speed at the winding section. To improve the Young and Reid[1] modeled the longitudinal and
speed fluctuation, an external proportional-plus-integral- lateral behaviors of webs and designed a PID tension con-
plus-derivative (PID) controller for the speed-controlled motor troller based on the linearized model. Ludwicki and
was implemented. The experimental results demonstrate that fuzzy Unnikrishnan[2] developed a controller based on root locus
sliding-mode control gives the tension response with smaller methods combined with simulations of the time response to
variation than the conventional sliding-mode control does, and the
external PID control for speed diminishes fluctuations in speed, thus meet the dancer position and acceleration requirements for
leading to more uniform tension, while maintaining it at the the unwind section in a film finishing application. Choi,
preferred value. et al.[3] described the tension behavior of a moving tape
by means of the one-dimensional wave equation and
Keywords Fuzzy sliding-mode control; Polyester film; Tension applied the sliding-mode control algorithm to achieve
control desired tension. Sakamoto and Fujino[4] expressed the
web in terms of spring and dashpot elements and included
INTRODUCTION a dancer roll in modeling the web tension system. Simula-
A thin polymer film is generally conveyed to a working tions were performed on the model with a proportional-
zone for processing and wound for storage or final ship- plus-integral (PI) controller and focus on paper as a web.
ment on a rewinding roll by means of roll-to-roll transport Mathur and Messner[5] controlled the torques to the
mechanisms. In the roll-to-roll mechanism, the longitudinal unwinding and rewinding reels in a high-speed, low-tension
behavior, including tension and transport speed, is impor- tape transport system. The multi-input and multi-output
tant to product quality and productivity. For instance, system identification, sequential loop closing technique,
when coating optical films, uniform tension can avoid adaptive ripple cancellation, and fault compensation were
defects such as crossweb lines, bad pasting, and shrinkage incorporated into the control system design. Luo and
(even breakage). In the rewinding process, the film may Wen[6] proposed a multiple-page mapping artificial neural
network with a back-propagation training algorithm which
Address correspondence to Chang-Chiun Huang, Department could decouple the speed and tension control loops,
of Polymer Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science allowing both loops to operate quasi-independently in
and Technology, 43, Keelung Road, Sec. 4, Taipei, Taiwan. order to handle the variation of the rewinding roll’s
E-mail: huangcc@mail.ntust.edu.tw


diameter. Knittel, et al.[7] presented a multivariable H1 respectively. For simplicity in modeling, we assumed the
robust control of tension and velocity with two degrees following: that the film is perfectly elastic, that there is
of freedom (2DOF) and gain scheduling to web winding no slippage phenomenon between the roller and the film,
systems. The 2DOF significantly improved disturbance that both the wound-out tension and coulomb friction of
rejection while reducing the coupling between tension and the unwinding roll are zero, and that the sensor roller
velocity. Lin[8] proposed a PI-type observer to estimate and idle rollers do not affect tension. According to the
web tension precisely regardless of the effects of friction mass conservation law for a control volume and very small
and inertia and designed an observer-based tension feed- strain with the film, the dynamic of tension is given by[1]
back controller against the variation of system parameters.
In our simplified PET film processing system, we focus Vr ðtÞTðtÞ
T_ ðtÞ ¼  þ K½Vr ðtÞ  Ru ðtÞxu ðtÞ ð1Þ
on the uniform control of PET film tension at a targeted L
level in combination with uniform transport speed at the
where TðtÞ is the tension of the films, Vr ðtÞ is the tangential
rewinding section. The tension behavior modeling is based
velocity of the rewinding roll, K ¼ EA=L; L is the film length
on some assumptions and exhibits nonlinear characteris-
of a span, E is Young’s modulus of the film, A is the cross
tics. Both the conventional sliding-mode controller and
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section of the film, Ru ðtÞ is the radius of the unwinding roll,

the fuzzy sliding-mode controller are adopted to control
and xu(t) is the angular velocity of the unwinding roll.
tension, because they can handle nonlinear systems and
The radii of the unwinding roll and rewinding roll vary
are robust even in the face of modeling uncertainties and
with time, and their change rates are given by[5]
fluctuations in speed (to reduce the speed fluctuation, an
external PID controller for the speed-controlled motor th xr ðtÞ
R_ r ðtÞ ¼ ð2Þ
was also implemented). The performances of our control- 2p
lers are evaluated based on the mean and standard devia- th xu ðtÞ
tions of their responses to tension and speed. R_ u ðtÞ ¼  ð3Þ

System Modeling where Rr(t) and xr(t) are the radius and angular velocity of
the rewinding roll, respectively, and th is the thickness of
A simplified version of PET film processing systems,
the film. Because the speed-controlled motor drives the
shown in Figure 1, is considered in this study and consists
rewinding roll, the tangential velocity of the rewinding roll
of an unwinding roll, a rewinding roll, a sensor roller, and a
can be written as[8]
pair of idle rollers. The film is unwound from the unwind-
ing roll and moved through the idle rollers, which guide the Vr ¼ Rr xr ¼ Rr Kr Ur ð4Þ
film around the sensor roller at a fixed angle. Finally, the
film is wound onto the rewinding roll. The unwinding roll where Kr and Ur denote the speed constant and input volt-
and rewinding roll are driven by two AC servo motors in age of the motor, respectively. The unwinding roll is driven
torque-controlled mode and speed-controlled mode, by the torque-controlled motor. Hence, the torque equilib-
rium at the unwinding roll gives the equation[5]:
½Ju ðtÞxu ðtÞ ¼ su  Bu xu ðtÞ þ TðtÞRu ðtÞ ð5Þ
where Ju(t) is the total moment of inertia of the unwinding
roll and motor, Bu is the viscous friction coefficient, and xu
is the torque generated by the motor. Substituting

su ¼ Ku Ut and Ju ðtÞ ¼ Jum

þ KJ ðR4u  R4uo Þ into Eq. (5) yields
x_ u ðtÞ ¼
Jum þ KJ ðRu ðtÞ4  R4u0 Þ
4th KJ Ru ðtÞ3 xu ðtÞ2
  Ku Ut  Bu xu ðtÞ þ ð6Þ
where Ku is the torque constant of the motor, Ut is the
input voltage to the motor, Jum is the total moment of iner-
tia of the motor and unwinding roll without the film
FIG. 1. Configuration of the experimental setup. wrapped on, KJ ¼ qtw p=2, q is the film density, tw is the

film width, and Ru0 is the radius of the unwinding roll

without films. Therefore, Eqs. (1)–(4) and (6) describe the
dynamic behavior of film tension, and Eq. (4) governs
the transport speed of films at the rewinding section.

Fuzzy Sliding-Mode Control

Consider a nonlinear system with a single input and
single output of the form
x_ ¼ fðxÞ þ gðxÞu ð7Þ
FIG. 2. Membership function for S and S_ .
y ¼ hðxÞ ð8Þ
where x 2 Rn , u is the input, and y is the output. We
consecutively differentiate the output y in an increasing order we have the varying switching gain tuned by the fuzzy logic
until the minimum order r in which at least one coefficient of u theorem based on the deviation from the sliding surface
and its change in the fuzzy sliding-mode control
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appearing in the expression y(r) is not zero. The value of r

is defined as the relative degree of the system, which is (FSMC)[14,15]. The concept originates from the fact that
mathematically expressed by the Lie derivatives as[9,10] when the output deviates from the sliding surface (S) and
tends to move toward or away from the sliding surfaceðS_ Þ
yðrÞ ¼ Lrf h þ Lg ðLr1
f hÞu ð9Þ in different degrees, the force driving the output toward the
sliding surface should have a different quantity. The mag-
Lg Lif hðxÞ ¼ 0 0i <r1 ð10Þ nitude of g affects the driving force, and the fuzzy logic the-
Lg Lr1
f hðxÞ ¼
6 0 ð11Þ orem can determine the value of g on the basis of the states
of S and S_ .
where the Lie derivatives are defined as L0f h ¼ h and In general, the fuzzy system is comprised of the fuzzifier,
Lif h ¼ rðLi1
f hÞf, i ¼ 1, 2, . . . . fuzzy knowledge base, fuzzy inference engine, and defuzzi-
Based on the relative degree, a sliding function S is fier[16,17]. In the defuzzifier, we choose two input fuzzy vari-
defined as[11,12] ables, S and S_ , and one output fuzzy variable, g. For S and
r1 S_ , the membership functions are defined on the normalized
S ¼ eðrÞ þ Ck eðkÞ ð12Þ domain [-5 5] as shown in Figure 2, where LN, MN, SN,
k¼0 ZO, SP, MP, and LP represent large negative, medium
where e ¼ ðy  yd Þdt, yd is the desired output, and the negative, small negative, zero, small positive, medium posi-
coefficients Ck, k ¼ 0, 1, . . . , r–1, are real values such that tive, and large positive, respectively. For g, the membership
all the roots of the polynomial sr þ Cr1 sr1 þ    þ functions, shown in Figure 3, are defined on the normal-
C1 s þ C0 ¼ 0 are in the left half-plane[13]. The sliding ized domain [0 5] because g is a strictly positive constant,
surface is defined by S ¼ 0. When the output remains on where ZO, SP, MP, and LP stand for zero, small positive,
the sliding surface for t  t0 , it implies that y ¼ yd. Taking medium positive, and large positive. In addition, a scaling
the time derivative of S gives factor is used to adjust the domain of the membership func-
r tion. As displayed in Table 1, the rule base is built on the
S_ ¼ ðLrf h þ Lg ðLr1
f hÞu  yd þ Ck1 eðkÞ ð13Þ characteristics of the response of S. For example, if the

If S_ ¼ g sgnðSÞ where g is a switching gain and sgnðSÞ is

a sign function, the trajectory of the output is always
forced to move toward the sliding surface until it reaches
it moves along it. This can be shown by Lyapunov’s second
stability theorem with the Lyapunov functions
V ¼ 1 S2 > 0 and V_ ¼ gjSj < 0, g > 0. Consequently,
the control law becomes
1 ðrÞ
u¼ ðLr
f h  y d Þ þ Ck1 eðkÞ þ g sgnðSÞ ð14Þ
Lg ðLr1
f hÞ k¼1

In conventional sliding-mode control (SMC), a fixed

switching gain g is chosen by the designer, often suffering
from the chattering problem. To alleviate the drawback, FIG. 3. Membership function for g.

TABLE 1 sliding-mode control or fuzzy sliding-mode control, adjusts

Rule base of FSMC the film tension. The speed-controlled motor regulates its
S angular velocity based on the target transport speed and
S_ LN MN SN ZO SP MP LP radius of the rewinding roll. To improve the speed vari-
ation, an external PID feedback control system to the
LP ZO SP MP LP LP LP LP speed-controlled motor was also implemented as shown
MP SP ZO SP MP MP LP LP in Figure 4, where xrd is the desired angular velocity and
SP MP SP ZO SP SP MP LP KP , KI , and KD are gains of the PID controller.
ZO MP MP SP ZO SP MP MP The target levels—30 N of tension and 1.0 m=sec trans-
SN LP MP SP SP ZO SP MP port speed—are maintained. Conventional sliding-mode
MN LP LP MP MP SP ZO SP control and fuzzy sliding-mode control for tension regu-
LN LP LP LP LP MP SP ZO lation, in tandem with the speed-controlled motor alone
or with an external PID controller, are implemented and
their performances are compared. We consecutively differ-
output trajectory falls far away from the sliding surface entiate Eq. (1) with respect to time t and find that the
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(LN or LP for S) and has a pronounced tendency to move input Ut appears in the second derivate of T in the first
away from the sliding surface (LN or LP for S_ ), a large instance. Thus, the relative degree is two and the sliding
switching gain (LP) for g that pulls the output toward
R for tension control is S ¼ e€ þ C1e_ þ C0 e, where
the sliding surface is required. Finally, the max–min com- e ¼ ðT  Td Þdt and Td is the target tension. Differentiat-
position and center of gravity are adopted for decision- ing S with respect to t and substituting S_ ¼ g sgnðSÞ
making and defuzzification, respectively. yields the following sliding-mode control law:
1 _ Vr T
An experimental setup as schematically shown in " 
Figure 1 was built. Two of S-shaped load cells are located th x u R
þ K V_ r  þ u   Bu xu
at both sides of the sensor roller, around which the film 2p
Jum þ KJ R4u  R4u0
wrapped at an angle of 120. Thus, the total force measured
by the load cells minus the weight of the roller is film’s ten- !#
sion. The values of system parameters are listed in Table 2. 4th KJ R3u x2u
þ TRu þ þ C1e€ þ C0e_
In practice, the tension response usually fluctuates. This 2p
paper deals with maintaining a target level of tension KKu Ru
with less fluctuation; furthermore, maintaining the þ g sgnðSÞ ð15Þ
Jum þ KJ ðR4u  R4u0 Þ
uniform transport speed at the rewinding section can
enhance tension control performance. The voltage signal In conventional sliding-mode control, there are two coeffi-
to the torque-controlled motor, generated by conventional cients—C0 and C1—of the sliding surface and the switching
gain g to be chosen. In fuzzy sliding-mode control, how-
ever, the gain g is self tuned by the fuzzy logic theorem
TABLE 2 based on S and S_ . The scaling factors fS , fS_ , and fg for
System parameters membership functions S, S_ , and g are chosen by the design-
Symbol Value er. Three gains, KP, KI, and KD of the external PID control-
ler to the speed-controlled motor also need to be selected.
q 680 kg=m3
These choices can be justified by simulation results. As a
th 1.9  10 4 m
consequence, the choice of C0 ¼ 130, C1 ¼ 1, g ¼ 1.5,
tw 0.4 m
fS ¼ 0.0025, fS_ ¼ 2.510 6, fg ¼ 0.2, KP ¼ 1.11210 2,
L 0.8 m
KI ¼ 43.29, and KD ¼ 2.79310 3 gives good simulation
Rr0 2.25  10 2 m
performance in tension and speed responses. The simulation
Ru0 2.25  10 2 m
Rr ð0Þ 2.25  10 2 m
Ru ð0Þ 6.25  10 2 m
E 6.52379  107 N=m2
Jum 8.85  10 4 kg  m2
Bu 2.0  10 3 N  m  sec=rad
Kr 27.932 rad=sec  Volt
Ku 0.2391 N  m=volt FIG. 4. An external PID control for the speed-controlled motor.

results when implementing the fuzzy sliding-mode control

in tandem with an external PID controller for the speed-
controlled motor are shown in Figure 5.
In the experiment, the tension and speed responses
usually fluctuate; thus, their levels and uniformity are eval-
uated by the mean and standard deviation of tension and
speed data. Angular velocities of the unwinding and
rewinding rolls are obtained from encodings of AC motors.
The transport speed at the rewinding section is the product
of the angular velocity and radius of the rewinding roll,
where the radius is estimated by integrating Eq. (2). The
target speed divided by the radius gives the target angular
velocity of the winding roll, which can be converted by
Eq. (4) into the required input voltage to the speed-
controlled motor. By way of demonstration, Figures 6 and 7
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display the tension and speed responses when implementing

conventional sliding-mode control and fuzzy sliding-
mode control in cooperation with PID control. In Table 3,

FIG. 6. Experimental results by SMC in terms of (a) tension and (b)

transport speed.

we summarize the mean and standard deviations—

denoted by m and r, respectively—in responses to tension
and speed for our implementation of the controllers. No
matter the type of tension and speed control used, the
mean tension and speed are maintained at levels near to
the target values. When applied to either method of speed
regulation, fuzzy sliding-mode control can significantly
reduce the standard deviation of tension in comparison
with conventional sliding-mode control. The speed-
controlled motor with an external PID controller can
FIG. 5. Simulation results in terms of (a) tension and (b) transport reduce the standard deviation of speed and also helps to
speed. reduce the standard deviation of tension. Thus, fuzzy

Mean and standard deviations of tension and speed
Tension Transport speed
Controller m r m r
SMC 29.549 0.960 0.998 0.024
FSMC 30.158 0.367 1.005 0.017
SMC 29.772 0.828 1.007 0.013
FSMC 30.139 0.348 1.007 0.013

Cooperated with an external PID controller for the speed-con-
trolled motor
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shown to be effective in countering fluctuations in speed.

The torque-controlled motor provides the required torque,
generated either by conventional sliding-mode control or
by fuzzy sliding-mode control, to the unwinding roll to
regulate the film tension. Fuzzy sliding-mode control yields
less fluctuation in the tension response than does conven-
tional sliding-mode control, because its self-tuned switch-
ing gain alleviates the chattering problem and enhances
resistance to fluctuations in speed. The external PID
controller helps lessen fluctuations in tension, particularly
in the case of conventional sliding-mode control.

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