Importance of Control Systems
Control system engineering ensures that there is a strategic method to improving productivity and enhancing the best practices of your company. You want to eliminate the redundant manual controls and reduce human errors that could cost you a significant amount of money.
A control system should be evaluated frequently to ensure that the processes are where they need to be and functioning efficiently and effectively. This way, you can adhere to industry standards while providing the best service to your customers
The term “CONTROL SYSTEMS” comes across various domains, like computer science, electrical, electronics, instrumentation, mechanical, biomedical and even management also. Let’s explore some base level from each one of the above domains
Remote Control System Monitoring & Management
You may need remote monitoring and management, especially when you have multiple locations that all intricately work together. This is all part of the continuous improvement process because you can learn about the control system software and hardware that you have in place. You can also create alerts when there is a problem so that you receive notification immediately.
One of the biggest problems is that you don’t want to find out about a problem too far after it has occurred. You want to be proactive and when you can monitor multiple endpoints all at once, it allows you to stay on top of potential problems.
Delta could have avoided much of the problem that they experienced if they had automated scheduled maintenance checks to learn about what a power failure could do. They could have also received notifications that systems went offline in order to get everything back up and running on a faster level. They could have also had a remote connection to the control system to be able to troubleshoot and get everything powered back up.
In the end, you have to expect the unexpected. Technology is evolving quickly and you have more automation controls than ever before. This will allow you to get more work done and ensure that all is going right with your systems. Even when you have remote locations, you can still be connected to them and manage them in an effective way.
Being proactive is the only way for you to succeed in today’s world. You want to give your customers the best experience possible and when you use continuous improvement tools, you can continue to improve and ensure that there are no hiccups within processes while adhering to all of your best practices.
Good Manufacturing Practices, Inc., (GMP) is a full-service control system engineering, system integrator, industrial controls, and automation solutions provider. Experience the GMP difference. Contact GMP to discuss control system monitoring and automation improvements.
Control Systems in Electrical Domain
Whenever an electrical system needs automatic control, concepts of control systems are used. Electrical systems can be open-loop (eg. speed control of motor without automatic control) or closed-loop (eg. with automatic control). Open-loop systems are controlled crudely, they don’t have any feedback and human intervention is required to control them. Closed-loop systems have some sort of feedback mechanism to control them using a controller.
Before introducing a controller into the electrical system, its affect should be analyzed. The analysis tries to find whether the system is stable with the controller or not.
Instrumentation and control
An instrument is a device that measures or manipulates process physical variables such as flow, temperature, level, or pressure etc. Instruments include many varied contrivances which can be as simple as valves and transmitters, and as complex as analyzers. Instruments often comprise control systems of varied processes. The control of processes is one of the main branches of applied instrumentation.
Control instrumentation includes devices such as solenoids, valves, circuit breakers, and relays. These devices are able to change a field parameter, and provide remote or automated control capabilities.
Applications in biomedical
There are numerous applications of control systems in biomedical engineering, from prostheses control used in the limbs of individuals with amputations or congenitally deficient extremities, drug delivery control used to regulate physiological variables, like blood pressure, blood glucose and heart rate and closed-loop system functioning
Is control systems a good career?
It is a very satisfying and in high demand career: Controls Engineering also called, Process Control Engineer, Automation Engineer or Interrogator. The titles pretty much mean the same thing, each industry uses one or the other. Your job is to automate processes. Control system engineers are in high demand by both private and government employers. Besides designing and developing control systems, control engineers are also in demand for testing, maintenance, reporting, research and innovations
Note: Important websites to start theory about control systems
1) Resourcium (collection of control and automation resources)
2) Control Systems Lectures (youtube channel with lots of videos on mostly introductory topics; do not miss especially if you just started learning)
3) Control Tutorials for MATLAB and Simulink (lots of tutorial examples with excellent documentation)
4) Feedback Systems wiki (webpage for the free textbook “Feedback Systems” by Åström and Murray, with additional examples and exercises)
5) Software resources list of IEEE Control Systems Society TC-CACSD (a list of freely available software tools for control and optimization) (be sure to check out yalmip and cvx if you write optimization based algorithms in matlab)
6) Stanford Engineering Everywhere (do not miss Stephen Boyd’s online courses if you are into optimization)
7) Free Online Course Materials of MIT (this one goes without saying — tons of material and video lectures; especially do not miss Gilbert Strang’s online linear algebra courses)
8) syscop (webpage of the Systems Control and Optimization Laboratory of University of Freiburg; lots of free material (lecture videos, scripts, exercise problems, code examples, etc.) on various topics)
9) APMonitor Documentation (various useful materials)