Loop Tuning

Loop tuning in process controls refers to a technique used to adjust the parameters of a process until you receive the desired result consistently.

Control loops utilize a device known as a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller to determine the gap between the desired outcome and the current value of the target metric. PID controllers, based on their programming (tuning), adjust the process to achieve the desired result from the automated control function.

The most commonly cited — and easily recognizable — example is your car’s cruise-control function. This technology works to maintain a constant speed despite changes in grade, headwinds, etc.

Why We Need Process Control Loop Tuning

The job of control loops is to constrain an industrial process to fall within predetermined tolerances.

This might prevent certain materials or components from overheating, for example, or maintaining a constant level of pressure on or flow within a fluid pipe. When something happens to affect the condition of the process — like your car starting up a long hill while using cruise control — the PID controller has to make adjustments to restore the desired conditions.

Now imagine if you drove for hours, days or weeks through mountain ranges. If the process loop experiences rapidly fluctuating conditions, the controller must be prepared to address the situation without overcompensating and causing a problem.

These adjustments help to ensure the PID controller can handle whatever comes its way without becoming overly reactionary or overshooting its goals.

Loop Tuning to Improve Process Controls

The skills required for accurately tuning a PID loop are substantially more complex than it might sound.

Once our team of process control experts completes loop tuning, the PID controller will yield the best possible response. Consequently, process variability drops, efficiency and productivity increase, and finally, cost impacts are minimized.

To explore loop tuning to improve automation and process control for your Utah industrial facility, contact Double D Electrical & Instrumentation today.