Increasing Intelligence in PID Control

Last week, I highlighted a narrated presentation on PID control advances by Emerson’s Terry Blevins. Also at this IFAC Conference on Advances in Process Control PID’12, Terry presented Intelligent PID Product Design. A paper to complement this presentation was authored by the Emerson team including Willy Wojsznis, John Caldwell, Peter Wojsznis, Mark Nixon, and Terry.

In this 14:18 narrated presentation Terry describes intelligent PID [proportional-integral-derivative control], performance monitoring, on-demand and adaptive tuning, and process model identification.


Terry defines intelligent PID as having the ability to improve control performance, to detect abnormal or fault conditions, and to learn about process disturbances and operation conditions. He begins his discussion on performance monitoring on at the 3:50 mark on slide 7 by sharing how the loop variability can be monitored at the PID level. A discussion on tuning begins at the 5:47 mark on slide 11.

The key to intelligent PID is robust process model identification. To have the capability to model the fastest loops, this model identification needs to be done at the PID control level. Terry describes the theory of operation behind this model identification and adaptive PID control on slide 14 at the 8:45 mark.

The history of PID control dates back into the late 1800s. As Terry highlights in this presentation, the technologies to make it the most heavily used form of control in process automation continue to advance.

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