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Correction Elements
• The correction element or final control element is the element in a
control system which is responsible for transforming the output of a
controller into a change in the process and so correct the change in
the controlled variable. Examples include:
• A valve which is operated by the output from the controller and used
to change the rate at which liquid passes along a pipe and so change
the controlled level of the liquid in a cistern.
• A motor which takes the electrical output from the controller and
transforms it into a rotatory motion in order to move a load and so
control its position.
• A switch which is operated by the controller and so used to switch on
a heater to control temperature.
Types of Actuators
1. Electrical actuators: These use electrical energy to power a motor and
hence actuate equipment: motors and solenoid
2. Hydraulic actuators: These consist of a cylinder along which a piston
can be moved by the action of pressure applied by means of an
hydraulic fluid
3. Pneumatic actuators :These consist of a cylinder along which a piston
can be moved by the action of pressure applied by compressed air as
the driving force
4. Mechanical actuators:Use gears, pulleys, chains, screws and other
mechanical devices to execute movement by converting rotary
motion into linear motion.
• Process control systems frequently require control of the flow of a fluid.
• Pneumatically operated, are common because such pneumatic devices tend
to be cheaper and more easily capable of controlling large rates of flow.
• The main drawback with pneumatic systems is, however, the compressibility
of air which makes it necessary to have a storage reservoir to avoid changes
in pressure occurring as a result of loads being applied.
• Hydraulic systems do not have this problem and can be used for even higher
power control devices and are ideally suited to provide a strong, fast, or slow
linear motion.
• The system uses a fluid (light-grade oil) to transfer energy from a pump to an
• They are, however, expensive and there are hazards associated with oil leaks
which do not occur with air leaks.
Control Valves
Pneumatic and hydraulic systems use control valves to give direction to
the flow of fluid through a system, control its pressure and control the
rate of flow. The following types of valve can are available:
1. Directional control valves, sometimes termed finite position valves
because they are either completely open or completely closed, i.e. they
are on/off devices, are used to direct fluid along one path or another.
They are equivalent to electric switches which are either on or off.
2. Pressure control valves, often termed pressure regulator valves,
react to changes in pressure in switching a flow on or off, or varying it.
3. Flow control valves, sometimes termed infinite position valves, vary
the rate at which a fluid passes through a pipe and are used to regulate
the flow of material in process control systems.
Hydraulic systems
A basic hydraulic system
Hydraulic systems
• It consists of the following components:
• a tank of hydraulic fluid, a pump, a control valve, and a cylinder.
• The pump pushes the fluid through a tube to the control valve.
• The control valve directs the fluid to the cylinder, causing the piston to
move down in response to the fluid pressure.
• The pump is the actual source of mechanical power, and it is physically
separate from the cylinder actuator.
• Hence, only the cylinder needs to be mounted at the place where the
motion is needed; the pump can be elsewhere.
• This allows a relatively small component such as a hydraulic cylinder to
provide far more power than a similarly sized electric actuator, which
must have the motor attached.
Basic hydraulic system
• It includes the tank, filter, pump, accumulator, pressure-control valve,
directional control valve, and cylinder.
• The constant-displacement pump would be running all the time the
system is on.
• During those times when the cylinder is not moving, the fluid from
the pump, after filling the accumulator, returns to the tank through
the pressure-control valve.
• The filter removes small contaminants, which can get into the fluid
and can cause abrasive wear on the system components and reduce
their lifetime considerably.
Hydraulic Actuators
• The most common type of hydraulic actuator is the hydraulic cylinder.
• The double-acting cylinder can provide force in either direction.
• A piston has a rod that extends out one end of the cylinder.
• Fluid can enter and leave the cylinder on either side of the piston
through ports.
• Under normal operating conditions, both ends of the cylinder are
filled with fluid.
• If additional fluid enters port A, the piston will move toward the right,
but the fluid must be able to escape through port B.
A double-
Flow-control valves
Flow-control valve
• This type of actuator is used in process control systems to regulate the flow of
• The control valve has a built-in valve-operating mechanism, allowing it to be
controlled remotely by a signal from the controller.
• In the on-off valve, when the solenoid is energized, the valve is pulled open, and
the fluid flows. When the solenoid is deenergized, a spring returns the valve to the
closed position. On-off valves are used in batch processes (eg in washing machines)
• In the electric-actuated, the flow of a fluid in a pipe is varied on a continuous
basis. To do this, the valve stem must be controlled with a linear actuator of some
type. An electric motor drives a leadscrew-type valve stem, so it can be put in any
• The pneumatically operated valves use air pressure as the control signal. As the air
pressure is increased, the diaphragm will move down (against a spring) and close
the valve. This type of valve could be used in an on-off or a variable-flow
A basic
Pneumatic systems
Pneumatic systems use air pressure to create mechanical
motion. The basic system includes
i. an air compressor that provides a source of compressed air,
ii. a pressure tank that is a reservoir of compressed air,
iii. a dryer that removes the moisture in the air,
iv. an intake filter that traps dirt before it enters the system,
v. a pressure regulator that maintains air pressure,
vi. a valve that controls the air flow, and
vii. a pneumatic cylinder that creates the mechanical motion.
Pneumatic Actuators
Pneumatic Actuators

• These convert air pressure into mechanical motion.

• There are two basic types: linear actuators (cylinder/piston or
diaphragm types) and rotary actuators.
• Piston and rotary actuators are functionally similar to their hydraulic
• There are two basic internal configurations of pneumatic cylinders:
• The double-acting cylinder connects to the valve with two tubes and
can be driven in either direction.
• The single-acting cylinder can only be driven in one direction with air
pressure and is returned by a spring.
Rotary actuators
• These convert air pressure into rotary
mechanical motion.
• One common design is the vane motor.
• The motor consists of a rotor that is offset in a
housing. Protruding from the rotor are spring-
loaded vanes that seal against the housing
and slide in-and-out of the rotor as it turns.
• Motion is achieved because the vanes on the
top have more exposed surface area than
those on the bottom and hence receive more
force, causing the rotor to turn clockwise.
Electric Motors
• It is the most common type of actuator is the motor.
• Motors are classified as either DC or AC, depending on the type of power
they use.
• AC motors have some advantages over DC motors: They tend to be smaller,
more reliable, and less expensive. However, they generally run at a fixed
speed that is determined by the line frequency.
• DC motors have speed-control capability, which means that speed, torque,
and even direction of rotation can be changed at any time to meet new
• Also, smaller DC motors commonly operate at lower voltages (for example,
a 12-V disk drive motor), which makes them easier to interface with control
Current to Pressure Converter
• The current from the controller passes
through coils mounted on a pivoted beam.
• As a consequence, the coils are then
attracted towards a magnet, the extent of
the attraction depending on the size of the
• The movement of the coils causes the lever
to rotate about its pivot and so change the
separation of a flapper from a nozzle.
• The position of the flapper in relation to
the nozzle determines the size of the
output pressure in the system.
• It be used to convert a current output from
a controller, typically in the range 420 mA,
to a pneumatic pressure signal of 20100
kPa to operate a final control element.