PiControl Solutions

SUPERTUNE

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Fully Automatic Auto-Tuning Software

PiControl Solution LLC is pleased to announce the release of SuperTune – PID control loop auto tuning product. SuperTune is PiControl’s new and latest breakthrough in PID auto tuning technology. The development of SuperTune began several years ago and now has been tested and matured for deployment in chemical plants, factories and manufacturing centers. SuperTune is an amazing new PID auto tuning software that works reliably for fast and slow processes and outperforms existing technologies and algorithms.

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See the four scenarios in the figure showing deterioration in PID control loop quality.  Control instability (often called hunting or ringing) can start anytime.  Sometimes a PID control loop is stable for long periods of time but then can become unstable due to changes in one of many characteristics.  Or a control loop can become sluggish, also impacting the control quality.  SuperTune is able to address and fix all four cases of control quality deterioration.

Control engineers have long and often been afraid of using PID control loop auto-tuning in chemical plants because of the chance of unpredictable or potentially undesirable or erroneous tuning calculations.  SuperTune was tested using multiple real-time simulations ranging from linear to highly nonlinear processes where the process gain could change by 10 times or even 100 times or more.

SuperTune algorithm is extremely fast and consumes very low CPU.  This is because of modern technology, novel and new algorithms that run in a manner different from existing technologies.  SuperTune generates various error codes, messages and criteria calculations useful for understanding what is going on and showing a history of what happened and the basis for the control action produced.  No need for complex math, no need for intrusive step tests, SuperTune brings you new, modern breakthrough technology, allowing PID auto-tuning in a manner most thought was not possible with existing algorithms and known technologies.

PID control loop oscillations can be a control engineer’s, a chemical plant operator’s or a manager’s worst nightmare.  Oscillations could severely impact the ability to run the plant efficiently and could lead to process upsets and even shutdowns causing big monetary losses. 

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Modern plants are increasingly efficient and also more complex.  Due to global competition, tighter government regulations, pollutions laws and the need to operate more efficiently, there is more heat and mass integration, more recycle streams, more sensors, more control valves, final control elements, more nonlinearities, more complexities, changes in process, market and economic conditions and finally – more unknowns.  There are more PID control loops now in a plant than before.  The newer and more efficient plants lead to more complex PID loop process dynamics, more interactions and more nonlinearities increasing the challenge for PID tuning and creating more chances for PID loop to become oscillatory or unstable.  Hence the need for a product like SuperTune.

Many experienced engineers have recently retired in western nations.  An all-time high number of new and inexperienced engineers and technicians are entering the control rooms in many new plants worldwide.  Modern plants are designed to be more complex, integrated and more efficient, making them harder to run.  Furthermore, software gets increasingly more complex and hardware more sophisticated.  There are increasing challenges in the control room environments than ever before.  And hence there is even an increasing need for an advanced and reliable auto-tuning PID control loop software like SuperTune.

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In manufacturing processes, the dynamic models, or process characteristics can change for various known and unknown reasons.  These unpredictable changes pose challenges for auto-tuning of PID control loops.  If an auto-tuner misses a rare or abnormal situation and is unable to process it correctly, the PID control loop could become unstable or too sluggish and in either cases cause operating problems leading to process upsets, shutdowns or even undesirable or hazardous operating conditions.

Industrial processes can be super-fast to fast to slow to very slow.  Settling time is typically defined as the time needed for the process variable (PV), the controlled variable (abbreviated often as CV) to settle after a change in the manipulated variable (MV).  In various different equipment, industrial and manufacturing processes, settling times can vary from a few milliseconds to several hours.  A super-fast process settles in a few seconds or even milliseconds.  A fast process settles in a few tens of seconds.  Slow processes take several minutes to settle.  Very slow processes can take several hours or even days to settle.  Some processes are zero-order transfer function types, also called integrating processes or ramp type processes.  These processes never settle and their dynamic models are characterized by pure dead time (time dead or process dead time) and a ramp rate.  SuperTune can successfully and reliably tune both settling types of processes (first-order, second-order or higher orders), or ramp or integrating type processes (zero-order) or can also be applied to open-loop unstable transfer functions (as seen in exothermic reactions seen on polymer processes).

SuperTune can be applied to fast processes like in rotating machinery control systems like turbines and compressors where the settling times are under a second.

SuperTune can be applied to flow controllers and pressure controllers where settling times are in the 10-200 second range, sometimes longer especially for PCs.

SuperTune can be applied to TCs (temperature PID controllers) where the settling times can be around 10-120 minutes.

SuperTune can also be applied to very slow processes like those controlling online analysis using GC (gas chromatograph) or some other online measurements in distillation columns or other equipment, where the settling times can be several hours or even days.

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Our industry and product research shows no other product, technology or algorithm capable of reliable PID auto-tuning for all processes ranging from super-fast dynamics to super-slow dynamics – without any operator intervention and without any intrusive step tests.  But now SuperTune provides this functionality.

SuperTune algorithm is a breakthrough in PID auto-tuning technology.  It is an important milestone in the growth and evolution of industrial automation and process control.  What makes SuperTune unique is that it does not need any step tests – no step tests on OP in manual and no step tests needed on SP in auto modes. 

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Many of the other existing PID auto-tuning inject a few too many intrusive steps on the control valve or final control element in manual mode, or on the setpoint in auto mode.  Some of the existing technologies require the operator to push a button and then auto-tuning software does its steps and bumps and then the operator turns the button off and auto-tuning is disabled.

In stark contrast, PiControl’s SuperTune is completely automated.  There is no need of any operator intervention, there are no intrusive step tests on anything.  SuperTune just reads the data, watches everything, monitors and learns and then optimizes the loop tuning parameters.

PiControl’s SuperTune comprises of various internal logic blocks and calculations that monitor real-time data.  It has several complex, compact algorithms that churn out criteria calculations and diagnostics that are then used to optimize the PID control loop tuning parameters.  The frequency of adjustment is automatically determined based on loop dynamics.

SuperTune PID Auto Tuner

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Contact PiControl today – info@PiControlSolutions.Com for more details.  PiControl can setup a demo for you and help you test on a very high fidelity process control simulator.

PiControl has the technology to offer you a very realistic test platform closely mimicking your real plant with all typical SP changes and disturbances.  After this you will have the confidence to apply it on your real plant. 

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