control systems

Several manufacturing units with industrial automation have multiple processes aligned with each other. Industrial control panels or control systems are used to perform multiple tasks and processes for this purpose. As control systems are responsible for performing so many tasks, they comprise of several instruments and sub-equipment that assist the systems in completing each task. Here in this article, we will talk about the fundamentals of control systems.


In an industrial control system setup, the regulators are used to control gases, fluids, electricity, etc. The regulators primarily perform the task of increasing or decreasing the speed at which a particular substance is flowing through a medium. Different regulators are used to performing various tasks such as mechanical regulators, electronic regulators, electro-mechanical regulators, etc. Each of these regulators is used at different places. For instance, the electronic regulators are used in modern railway sets whereas the electromechanical systems are used to maintain the speeds of modern automobiles. When it comes to an industrial setup, the mechanical regulator is used in a fluid control system.

Measurement Instrumentation

The measurement instrument is considered to be a device that can detect changes that are either physical or of other aspects. The same is notified to the user with the help of electronic signals. There are several elements included in the measurement instrumentation. These elements include sensors that can experience changes, an amplifier to condition the signal in such a way that the output can be displayed to the user. The measured data is presented by using a graduated instrument or an electronic display.

Control Valves and Actuators

The valves are used to control the flow of fluid or substance through the system. They are also known as the final control element. The control valve consists of a valve body and an actuator. The actuator is primarily an assembly that is fitted to the control valve. The actuator provides enough power for moving the moveable parts to a position specified by the control signal. It also provides default positioning by closing or opening a valve or holding it in a steady position. There are three most common types of actuators:

  • Pneumatic
  • Electrical
  • Hydraulic

PID Controllers

A significant chunk of industrial automation processes and control systems use PID controllers. PID stands for Proportional-Integral-Derivative. PID is basically the combination of these three controllers mentioned before to produce a control signal. The PID controllers are feedback controllers. They deliver outputs at the levels that are required. The PID controller is known for its ability to maintain zero error between the process variable and set point by closed-loop operations.

Control Accessories

The industrial control systems are known for the excessive accessories that are involved in its operation. Some of the most commonly used accessories are as follows:

1. Valve Positioner
The primary task of a positioner is to position the throttling equipment within the control valve accurately. Without the positioner, the control valve goes in an open loop and no feedback is sent. So the valve positioner does the task of breaking the loop for the control valve.

2. IP Converter
The IP converter changes an electrical signal into a proportional pneumatic output. Different control valves often include I/P converters that have built-in transducers to convert the signals. It is important for the plant personnel to choose the one that fits their requirements.

3. Switch
Also known as the position switch, it has the task to communicate when the control panel has reached a specific position. The switch is also used often to turn the control panels’ indicator lights once the valve has fully opened or closed.

Advanced Control (HART & Fieldbus)

Basically, HART (Highway Addressable Remote Transducer) and Fieldbus are types of control systems that are used in the industrial systems. The HART creates the field communication protocol. It also has the Master/Slave design. HART systems have the ability to provide diagnostics of a single device.

Fieldbus sets up a bi-directional communication protocol. It also thought as a Local Area Network for a factory or a manufacturing unit. Therefore, enabling the system to communicate with the entire network. It also provides a situation where the Fieldbus can check the plant health status.

If you wish to install a control system for your manufacturing or industrial unit, you first need to ensure the type of control systems that would be apt for your unit. If you are not aware of your specific requirements, then you can get in touch with an industrial control specialist.

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