SAIMC


SAIMC: Johannesburg branch

January 2022 SAIMC

During another full month, the Johannesburg team had the pleasure of hosting the branch year-end function, as well as a technology evening presented by turboTRAIN. The year-end function was a spectacular quiz night that was filled with laughter and competitive spirits. Thank you very much to everyone who participated.

The technology evening was presented by turboTRAIN’s Eric Carter, who agreed to step in at short notice to present on ‘PID for Dummies’. In this presentation, there was no pretence at advanced control, just the basics of what P, I and D are all about, with references to how they interact.

The presentation was marred by Teams issues, but the point was made that this is not rocket science and that people such as Ziegler and Nichols made important contributions to the factors that contribute to how the proportional action (gain), integral action (reset) and derivative action (rate), all contribute to a controller output that, if optimally tuned, returns the process variable to set-point, or very close to it, in an optimal way.

There were some interesting questions afterwards, particularly regarding PD control, which Eric answered with reference to common temperature control systems. Another question related to on/off outputs (as opposed to analog). This was explained as being pulse width modulation, also common in temperature control applications, where the time constant is long and integral action sometimes causes problems. The gain is usually high (so proportional offset is small) and a small derivative component is added to prevent overshoot.

The branch thanks all members for their continued support during 2021 and wishes you all the best for 2022.


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