Posted on Feb 7, 2014

In order to manufacture large quantities of anything, there needs to be a manufacturing system or process in place. The manufacturing process can be open loop or closed-loop. In an open-loop system, variables are controlled manually. In a closed-loop system, variables are controlled automatically. The majority of applications in industry require a

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closed-loop system. The objective of a closed-loop system is to keep one or more controlled variables equal to the desired set point. The set point is where you would like the measurement to be. The thermostat in your house and the cruise control in your car are common examples of how controllers are used to automatically adjust some variable to hold the measurement at the set point. The controlled variable is the actual variable being monitored and maintained. It is monitored by a measurement device that sends a feedback signal to the error detector. The error detector compares the feedback signal to the set point and creates an error signal that is sent to the controller. The controller determines what action to take in order to match the set point and then sends a signal to the actuator that physically adjusts the manipulated variable. The manipulated variable is the energy that is altered by the actuator. The adjustment of the manipulated variable causes the controlled variable to change to the desired set point. There are many different types of closed-loop systems and they are generally defined by the kind of process or system they control. In industry, PID controllers are common closed-loop controllers. PID stands for Proportional (Gain), Integral (Reset), and Derivative (Rate). The terms Gain, Reset, and Rate are functions that determine how fast the controller will change the output signal. Proportional control is...

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