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Logic Controllers
Third Edition

Frank D. Petruzella
Chapter 14
Process Control and
Data Acquisition
Process Control
Process control involves the automatic regulation of a
control system. A variety of approaches can be used for
process control, depending on the complexity of the
process being controlled.
controlled variables
in a process include:

Continuous Process
A continuous process is one in which raw materials
enter one of the system and the finished product comes
out the other end of the system; the process itself runs

In many cases parts are mounted sequentially, in an

assembly line fashion, through a series of stations. Units
being assembled are moved from station to station using
a transporter mechanism, such as a conveyor. A specific
assembly may utilize only manual operations, or it may
include machine operations.
Continuous Process
Batch Process
The steps followed in baking a cake are a good example of a
batch process. In this case we may follow a recipe that involves
adding ingredients, stirring the mixture, pouring into baking
pans and baking them for a specific time at a specific
Industrial batch processes are similar but done on a larger
scale. Products produced using the batch process include food,
beverages, pharmaceutical products, paint, and fertilizer.

In batch processing there is no flow of product material from

one section of the the process to another. Instead, a set amount of
each of the inputs to the process is received in a batch, and then
some operation is performed on the batch to produce a finished
product, or an intermediate product that needs additional
Batch Process
Batch Process

Two ingredients
are added together,
mixed, and heated.
 A third ingredient
is added.
All three are
processed and then
Individual Product Production
The individual, or discrete, product control production
process is the most common of all processing systems.

With this manufacturing process, a series of operations

produces a useful output product.

The workpiece is normally a discrete part that must be

handled on an individual basis.
Individual Product Production
The item produced may be bent, drilled, welded, and so on,
at different steps in the process.

Control Process
In the modern automated industrial plant, the operator
merely sets up the operation and initiates a start, and
the operations of the machine are accomplished

These automatic machines and

processes were developed to mass-
produce products, control very
complex operations, or operate
machines accurately for long
periods. They replaced much
human decision, intervention, and
Individual Control
The individual control configuration is used to control a single
machine. This type of control does not normally require
communications with other controllers.

The operator enters the feed length and batch count via the interface control
panel and then presses the start button to initiate the process. Rail lengths vary
widely. The operator needs to select the rail length and number of rails to cut.
Centralized Control

Centralized control is used when

several machines or processes are
controlled by one central controller.

The control layout uses a single, large control system to control

many diverse manufacturing processes and operations. Each
individual step in the manufacturing process is handled by a
central control system controller. No exchange of controller status
or data is sent to other controllers.
One disadvantage of centralized control is that, if the main
controller fails, the whole process stops. A central control system
is especially useful in a large, interdependent process plant
where many different process must be control for efficient use of
facilities and raw materials.
Distributive Control
The distributive control system (DCS) differs from the centralized
system in that each machine is handled by a dedicated control

Each dedicated control is totally independent and could be

removed from the overall control scheme if it were not for the
manufacturing functions it performs.

Distributive control involves two or more computers

communicating with each other to accomplish the complete
control task. This type of control typically employs local area
networks (LANs), in which several computers control different
stages or processes locally and are constantly exchanging
information and reporting the status on the process
Distributive Control
Communications among computers is
done through single coaxial cables or
fiberoptics at very high speed.

Distributive control
drastically reduces field
wiring and heightens
performance because it
places the controller
and I/O close to the
machine process being
Distributive Control
Because of their flexibility, distributive control systems have
emerged as the system of choice for numerous batch and
continuous process automation requirements.
Distributive control permits the distribution of the processing
tasks among several control elements. Instead of just one
computer located at a central control point doing all the
processing, each local loop controller, placed very close to the
point being controlled, has processing capability.

Some distributed controllers

are housed in enclosures that
can be field-mounted without
control cabinets.
Structure Of Control Systems

A process control system can be defined as the functions

and operations necessary to change a material either
physically or chemically.

Process control normally refers to the manufacturing or

processing of products in industry.

In the case of a programmable controller, the process or

machine is operated and supervised under control of
the user program.
Of A Process
Control System
Components Of A Process Control System

Provide inputs from the

process and from the
external environment Sensors
Are related to a physical
variable so that their
electrical signal can be
used to monitor and
control a process

Convert physical information

such as pressure,
temperature, flow rate, and
position into electrical signals
Components Of A Process Control System
Operator-machine interface

Allows human inputs through

various types of switches,
controls, and keypads
Allows inputs from a human to set up the starting conditions,
or alter the control of a process
Operates using supplied input information that may include;
emergency shutdown, or changing the speed, the type of process
to be run, the number of pieces to be made, or the recipe for a
batch mixer
Components Of A Process Control System
Signal Conditioning

Involves converting input and

output signals to a usable form

Includes signal-conditioning techniques

such as amplification, attenuation,
filtering, scaling, A/D and D/A
Components Of A Process Control System
Convert system output into Actuators
physical action
Have process actuators that include Solenoid
flow control valves, pumps, Valve
positioning drives, variable speed
drives, clutches, brakes, solenoids,
stepping motors, and power relays
Can send outputs directly from
the controller to a computer for
storage of data and analysis of
Indicate the state of the process variables through
external actuators such as meters, monitors,
printers, alarms, and pilot lights
Components Of A Process Control System


Makes the system’s

decisions based on
the input signals

Generates output
signals that operate
actuators to carry
out the decisions
Open-Loop Control System
Control systems are broadly classified as either open-loop or
closed-loop. The open-loop control system is controlled by
inputting to the controller the desired set-point necessary to
achieve the ideal operating point for the process and accepting
whatever output results.

The controller receives no

information concerning the
present status of the process
or the need for any
corrective action.
Open-loop control reduces system complexity and costs less when compared
to closed-loop control. Open-loop control systems are not as commonly used
as closed-loop control systems because they are less accurate.
Open-Loop PLC Stepper Motor Control System
Stepper motors are often used to control position in low-power,
low-speed applications. A stepper motor is basically a permanent
magnet motor with several sets of coils, termed phases (A and B),
located around the rotor. The phases are wired to the PLC output
assembly and are energized, in turn, under the control of the user
program. The PLC does not receive feedback from the motor to
indicate that rotation has occurred, but it is assumed that the
motor has responded correctly.

A stepper motor converts electrical pulses

into specific rotational movements. The
movement created by each pulse is precise
and repeatable, which is why stepper
motors are so effective for positioning
Open-Loop PLC Stepper Motor Control System
Stepper Motor


Stepper Motor Step Pulses

Output Module

Open-loop, or nonfeedback, control is only as

stable as the load and the individual
components of the system.
Closed-Loop Control System
A closed-loop control system is one in which the output
of a process affects the input control signal. The system
measures the actual output of the process and
compares it to the desired output.

Adjustments are made continuously by the control system until

the difference between the desired and actual output is as small as
is practical.
Closed-Loop Control System

- Determines
- The componentwhether the
that process
directly operation
affects aoutputthe
- Produces
The signal the
contains corrective
information about
process that
change point the desired operating
signal based
current on status
process the error signal input
- Referred
Has for to
motors, the errorfans,
heaters, signal
the systemthat
-- deviation
Normally to the feedback
signal by signal
a human operator,
are all examples of output actuators
-- The
although matches
it mayand
magnitude thepolarity
be point
of thebyerror
will circuit
determine how the process will be brought
back under control
Container-Filling Closed-Loop Process

An empty box is moved into

position and filling begins.

The weight of the box and

contents is monitored.

When the actual weight

equals the desired weight,
filling is halted.
Container-Filling Closed-Loop Process

A sensor attached to the scale weighing the container generates the voltage
signal or digital code that represents the weight of the container and contents.

The sensor signal is subtracted from the voltage signal or digital code that has
been input to represent the desired weight.
As long as the difference between the input signal and feedback signal is
greater than 0, the controller keeps the solenoid gate open.

When the difference becomes 0, the controller outputs a signal that closes the gate.
Container-Filling Closed-Loop Process

Virtually all feedback controllers determine their output by

observing the error between the set point and a measurement of
the process variable. Errors occur when an operator changes the
set point intentionally, or when a disturbance or a load on the
process changes the process variable accidentally. The controller's
role is to eliminate the error automatically.

Controllers may be classified according to the type of

power they use. Pneumatic controllers are decision-
making devices that operate on air pressure. Electric
(or electronic) controllers operate on electric signals.

Controllers are also classified according to the type of

control they provide as follows:
 On/Off
 Proportional (P)
 Integral (I)
 Derivative (D)
On/Off Control
With on/off control (also known as two-position and bang-bang
control), the final control element is either on or off – one for
the occasion when the value of the measured variable is above
the set point, and the other for the occasion when the value is
below the set point.
The controller will never keep the final control element in an
intermediate position.

Controlling is achieved by the period of on/off cycling action.

The following slide shows a system using on/off control, in

which a liquid is heated by steam. If the temperature goes
below the set point, the steam valve opens and the steam is
turned off. When the liquid’s temperature goes above the set
point, the steam valve closes and the steam is shut off.
On/Off Liquid Heating System
The measured variable will oscillate
around the set point at an amplitude and
frequency that depends on the capacity
and time response of the process.
On/Off Control

A deadband is usually established around the set point of

an on/off controller.
The deadband of the controller is usually a selectable
value that determines the error range above and below
the set point that will not produce an output as long as
the process variable is within the set limits.

The inclusion of a deadband eliminates any hunting by

the control device around the set point. Hunting occurs
when minor adjustments of the controlled position are
continuously made due to minor fluctuations.
Proportional Control (P-Controller)
Proportional controls are designed to eliminate the
hunting or cycling associated with on/off control.
Proportional controls allows the final control element
to take intermediate positions between on and off.
This permits analog control of the final control
element to vary the amount of energy to the process,
depending on how much the value of the measured
variable has shifted from the desired value.
The proportional controller allows tighter control of
the process variable because its output can take on
any value between fully on and fully off, depending on
the magnitude of the error signal.
Motor-Driven Analog Proportional Control Valve
A proportional control valve is used as
the final control element.

The valve receives an input current between 4 mA and 20 mA from the

controller; in response it provides a linear movement of the valve.
A value of 4 mA corresponds to minimum value (often 0) and 20 mA
corresponds to maximum value (full scale). The 4 mA lower limit allows the
system to detect opens. If the circuit is open, 0 mA would result, and the
system can issue an alarm.
Time Proportioning a 200 W Heater Element
Proportioning action can also be accomplished by
turning the final control element on and off for short
intervals. This time proportioning (also known as
proportional pulsewidth modulation) varies the ratio of
on time to off.
Proportional Band
The proportioning
action occurs within a
"proportional band"
around the set as
illustrated in the chart.

Outside this band the

controller functions as
an on/off unit.

Within the band the

output is turned on
and off in the ratio of
difference from the set
Proportional Control Offset
The operation of a proportional controller leads to a
process deviation known as offset or droop.

This steady-state error is the difference between the attained

value of the controller and the required value. It may require an
operator to make a small adjustment (manual reset) to bring the
controlled variable to the set point on initial start-up, or when
the process conditions change significantly.
Proportional Control Steady State Error

When valve B opens, liquid flows

out and the level in the tank

This causes the float to lower

opening valve A, allowing more
liquid in. This process continues
until the level drops to a point
where the float is low enough to
open valve A, thus allowing the
same input as is flowing out. The
level will stabilize at a new lower
level, not at the desired set point.
Integral Control (I-Controller)
The integral action, sometimes termed reset action,
responds to the size and time duration of the error

With integral action, the controller output is

proportional to the amount of time the error is present.
Integral action eliminates offset.

Integral controllers tend to respond slowly at first, but

over a long period of time they tend to eliminate errors.

The integral controller eliminates the steady-state

error, but may make the transient response worse.
Derivative Control (D-Controller)
The derivative controller responds to the speed at which
the error signal is changing – that is, the greater the
error change, the greater the correcting output.

The derivative action is measured in terms of time.

With derivative action, the controller output is
proportional to the rate of change of the measurement
or error.

The derivative mode controller is never used alone.

With sudden changes in the system the derivative
controller will compensate the output fast.
Proportional Plus Integral (PI) Control Action
Proportional plus integral (PI) control combines the
characteristics of both types of control.

A change in the measurement causes the controller to respond

proportionally, followed by the integral response, which is added to
the proportional response. Because the integral mode determines
the output changes as a function of time, the more integral action
found in the control, the faster the output changes.
Proportional Plus Derivative (PD) Control Action

Proportional plus derivative (PD) control is used in

process-control systems with errors that change very

By adding derivative control to proportional control,

we obtain a controller that responds to the
measurement's rate of change as well as to its size.
Proportional-Integral-Derivative Control
(PID Controller)
The functions of the individual proportional, integral and
derivative controllers complements each other. If they
are combined its possible to make a system that responds
quickly to changes (derivative), tracks required positions
(proportional), and reduces steady state errors (integral).
PID Control
A PID controller can reduce the system error to zero
faster than any other controller. It is the most
sophisticated and widely used type of process controller.

Because it has an integrator and a differentiator, this

controller must be custom-tuned to each process
PID Control Using A PLC
PID is essentially an equation that the controller uses to
evaluate the controlled variable.

Either programmable controllers

can be fitted with input/output
assemblies that produce PID
control, or they will already have
sufficient math functions to allow
PID control to be carried out.
PLC Control Of A PID Loop
The PLC program compares
The controlled variable (pressure) the feedback to the set point
is measured and feedback is and generates an error signal

The controller then

issues a command The error is examined in
(control output) 3-ways: with proportional,
to correct for any measured error integral, and derivative
by adjustment of the position of the outlet valve methodology
SLC 500 PID Output Instruction
The SLC 500 PID programmable controller output
instruction uses closed-loop control to automatically
control physical properties such as temperature,
pressure, liquid level, or flow rate of process loops.

This instruction normally reads data from an analog

input module, processes this information through an
algorithm, and provides an output to an analog output
module as a response to effectively hold a process
variable at a desired set point. This task makes the
instruction one of the most complex available for PLCs.
SLC 500 PID Output Instruction

A file that stores the

data required to operate
the instruction
The element address that
stores the process input value

The element address that stores

the output of the PID instruction

Double click setup screen on the instruction to bring up

a display that prompts you for other parameters you
must enter to fully program the PID instruction.
Data Acquisition Systems
Data acquisition is the collection, analysis, and storage of
information by a computer-based system.
A data acquisition or computer
interface system allows you to
feed data from the real world to
your computer.
It takes the signals produced by
temperature sensors, pressure
transducers, flow meters, and so
on, and converts them into a
form your processor can
With an acquisition system, you can use your computer to gather,
monitor, display, and analyze your data.
Supervisory control
and data acquisition
(SCADA) systems
have additional
control output
capabilities you can
also use to control
your processes
accurately for
Components Of A Data Acquisition System
Components Of A Data Acquisition System
In addition to producing products, PLCs also produce data. The
information contained in this data can often be used to improve
the efficiency of the process. The great advantage of data
acquisition is that data are stored automatically in a form that can
be retrieved for later analysis without error or additional work.
Modular Data Acquisition System
Most sensors cannot be wired directly to a data
acquisition board without preconditioning. Special
signal conditioning modules are needed.