Vance VanDoren, Ph.D., P.E., Control Engineering

Articles

Process Safety August 17, 2010

Back to Basics: Closed-loop stability

Tutorial: Stability is how a control loop reduces errors between the measured process variable and its desired value or setpoint.

By Vance VanDoren, Ph.D., P.E., Control Engineering
PLCs, PACs March 1, 2010

Feedforward control

Here's how to augment feedback control with feedforward control.

By Vance VanDoren, Ph.D., P.E., Control Engineering
Project Management December 1, 2009

Excellence in Automation: 2010 System Integrator of the Year Awards

And the winners are...... Every year since 1993, Control Engineering has compiled and updated the Automation Integrator Guide, an online resource to help readers find the design and implementation services they need for their industrial automation and control projects. Choosing among the now nearly 1,800 integrators listed can be a challenge, even with multi-parameter search capabilities.

By Vance VanDoren, Ph.D., P.E., Control Engineering
Workforce Development November 1, 2009

How to Avoid Project Failure

Automation projects don't always go smoothly. Learn 10 signs of impending failure and 7 ways system integrators say you can stay on track.

By Vance VanDoren, Ph.D., P.E., Control Engineering
Project Management September 1, 2009

Planning Cuts Automation Project Risk

System integrators share tips on how avoiding surprises helps them succeed. Clear communications and documentation top the list. Tools follow for project management.

By Vance VanDoren, Ph.D., P.E., Control Engineering
Control Systems September 1, 2009

Relay Method Automates PID Loop Tuning

A traditional loop tuning technique has been modified to simplify its implementation.

By Vance VanDoren, Ph.D., P.E., Control Engineering
Manufacturing IT, MES May 27, 2009

Time-proportional control: more from an on/off switch

Time-proportional control, a form of pulse-width modulation, is a mathematical technique that allows a feedback controller to use an on/off or discrete actuator as if it were a continuous actuator capable of generating control efforts anywhere between 0% and 100%. The trick is to turn the actuator on and off for periods proportional to the desired control effort.

By Vance VanDoren, Ph.D., P.E., Control Engineering
Process Instrumentation and Sensors October 1, 2008

The Basics of Numerical Filtering

To coffee drinkers and auto mechanics, “filtering” extracts unwanted contaminants from a stream of valuable material. Control engineers, on the other hand, use numerical filters to extract streams of valuable data from measurement noise and other extraneous information (see the “Filtering the feedback” graphic).

By Vance VanDoren, Ph.D., P.E., Control Engineering
PID, APC September 1, 2008

Multivariable controllers balance competing objectives

Multivariable controllers differ from traditional single-variable controllers in that they can regulate more than one process variable by using more than one actuator at once. Doing so can be difficult if each actuator effects more than one process variable, but if those interactions can be quantified, the controller can determine the control efforts required to drive all of the process variab...

By Vance VanDoren, Ph.D., P.E., Control Engineering
DCS, SCADA, Controllers March 1, 2008

Models Aid Controller Design

In order to maintain a process variable at some desired setpoint, a feedback controller must be configured to accommodate the behavior of the specific process to which it has been applied. It needs to know how much and how long to react to errors between the process variable and setpoint. In academic circles, the traditional method for endowing the controller with the necessary insight is to cr...

By Vance VanDoren, Ph.D., P.E., Control Engineering
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