Control design: CyboSoft Introduces MFA control toolbox for Matlab

CyboSoft, General Cybernation Group Inc., the developer of model-free adaptive control technology, released a new software product: MFA Control Toolbox for Matlab.

By Control Engineering Staff June 1, 2007

Rancho Cordova, CA — CyboSoft, General Cybernation Group Inc ., the developer of model-free adaptive control technology, released a new software product: MFA Control Toolbox for Matlab. Model-free adaptive (MFA) control, as its name suggests, is an adaptive control method that does not require process models. An MFA control system is defined to have the following properties: (1) Precise quantitative knowledge of the process is not necessary; (2) Process identification mechanism or identifier is not included in the system; (3) Controller design for a specific process is not needed; (4) Manual tuning of controller parameters is not required; and (5) Closed-loop system stability analysis and criteria are available to guarantee the system stability.

CyboSoft CEO Dr. George Cheng said, “We are very excited about introducing this first model-free adaptive control simulation product to the science and engineering community. An increasing number of our customers and partners are using MFA control technology to solve very complex control problems in process control, building control, and equipment control applications. This new product enables users to simulate, test, and evaluate the MFA controllers on their sophisticated process models built in the Matlab/Simulink environment. This product also allows CyboSoft to improve R&D productivity, and deliver what customers want with a minimal time to market.”

Developed by Mathworks, Inc ., Matlab and Simulink are popular simulation tools. Matlab is a high-level language and interactive environment that enables users to perform computationally intensive tasks faster than with traditional programming languages. Simulink is a platform for multi-domain simulation and Model-Based Design for dynamic systems. It provides an interactive graphical environment and a customizable set of block libraries, and can be extended for specialized applications.

The MFA Control Toolbox for Matlab software includes a set of embedded MFA controller S-functions that work as control function blocks in the Simulink environment. Anyone who is familiar with Simulink can easily configure and use the MFA control blocks to perform off-line simulations. It is a useful tool for research, development, teaching, and lab testing.

CyboSoft director of engineering Steve Mulkey explains: “Using the rich variety of MFA controllers in the MFA Control Toolbox, one can solve various tough control problems with ease and prove the concept with computer simulations before launching the real MFA control system using other real-time MFA control products.”

The MFA Control Toolbox for Matlab software runs in Windows operating system. The number of MFAs that can run in a simulation program is limited by the size of the MFA Control Toolbox software. The Standard Edition includes 6 of the most popular MFA controllers:

SISO MFA to replace PID and control simple to complex processes,

Nonlinear MFA to control extremely nonlinear processes,

Anti-delay MFA to control processes with large time delays,

Robust MFA to force the process variable to stay within defined bounds,

Feedforward MFA to deal with measurable disturbances, and

MFA pH controller to control pH processes.

The Professional Edition of MFA Control Toolbox software includes these 6 popular MFA controllers and 7 special MFA controllers, each of which solves a challenging control problem.

MIMO MFA controllers to control multivariable processes,

MFA Sharp controller to achieve tight control for both step and varying setpoint changes,

Flex-phase MFA controller to control open-loop oscillating processes,

Anti-Inverse MFA controller or MFA Optimizer to control processes that change signs,

Time-Varying MFA controller to control processes with large process time constant and delay time changes,

Anti-delay MFA pH controller to control pH processes with large time delays,

MFA XRT controller to control exothermal reaction run-away process with large time delays.

— Control Engineering C.G. Masi , senior editor( Register here and scroll down to select your choice of eNewsletters free.)