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Title: Design and control of components-based integrated servo pneumatic drives
Author: Pan, Hongtao
ISNI:       0000 0004 0123 3594
Awarding Body: De Montfort University
Current Institution: De Montfort University
Date of Award: 2006
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On-off traditional pneumatic drives are most widely used in industry offering low-cost, simple but flexible mechanical operation and relatively high power to weight ratio. For a period of decade from mid 1980's to 1990's, some initiatives were made to develop servo pneumatic drives for most sophisticated applications, employing purpose-designed control valves for pneumatic drives and low friction cylinders. However, it is found that the high cost and complex installation have discouraged the manufacturer from applying servo pneumatic drives to industrial usage, making them less favourable in comparison to their electric counterpart. This research aims to develop low-cost servo pneumatic drives which are capable of point-to-point positioning tasks, suitable for applications requiring intermediate performance characteristics. In achieving this objective, a strategy that involves the use of traditional on-off valve, simple control algorithm and distributed field-bus control networks has been adopted, namely, the design and control of Components-based Integrated Pneumatic Drives (CIPDs). Firstly, a new pneumatic actuator servo motion control strategy has been developed. With the new motion control strategy, the processes of positioning a payload can be achieved by opening the control valve only once. Hence, lowspeed on-off pneumatic control valves can be employed in keeping the cost low, a key attraction for employing pneumatic drives. The new servo motion control strategy also provides a way of controlling the load motion speed mechanically. Meanwhile, a new PD-based three-state closed-loop control algorithm also has been developed for the new control scheme. This control algorithm provides a way of adapting traditional PID (Proportional Integral Derivative) control theories for regulating pneumatic drives. Moreover, a deceleration control strategy has been developed so that both high-speed and accurate positioning control can be realised with low cost pneumatic drives. Secondly, the effects of system parameters on the transient response are studied. In assisting the analysis, a second order model is developed to encapsulate the velocity response characteristics of pneumatic drives to a step input signal. Stability analyses for both open loop and closed-loop control have also been carried out for the CIPDs with the newly developed motion control strategy. Thirdly, a distributed control strategy employing Lon Works has been devised and implemented, offering desirable attributes, high re-configurability, low cost and easy in installation and maintenance, etc to keep with the traditional strength for using pneumatic drives. By applying this technology, the CIPDs become standard components in "real" and "virtual" design environments. A remote service strategy for CIPDs using TCP/IP communication protocol has also been developed. Subsequently a range of experimental verifications has been carried out in the research. The experimental study of high-speed motion control indicates that the deceleration control strategy developed in the research can be an effective method in improving the behaviour of high speed CIPDs. The verification of open loop system behaviour of CIPDs shows that the model derived is largely indicative of the likely behaviour for the system considered, and the steady state velocity can be estimated using the Velocity Gain Kv. The evaluation made on a pneumatically driven pick-and-place machine has also confirmed that the system setup, including wiring, tuning, and system reconfiguration can be achieved in relative ease. This pilot study reveals the potential for employing CIPDs in building highly flexible cost effective manufacturing machines. It can thus be concluded that this research has developed successfully a new dimension and knowledge in both theoretical and practical terms in building low-cost servo pneumatic drives, which are capable of point-to-point positioning through employing traditional on-off pneumatic valves and actuators and through their integration with distributed control technology (LonWorks) by adopting a component-based design paradigm.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available