CyboSoft's MFA Technology Now Available for ControlLogix

CyboSoft, General Cybernation Group, Inc. has announced that its model-free adaptive (MFA) control technology is now available in Rockwell Automation's ControlLogix programmable automation controller (PAC) platform

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Running inside ProSoft's PC56 industrial in-rack PC, CyboSoft's CyboCon high-speed MFA control software is seamlessly integrated with the ControlLogix system, providing high-speed, mission-critical control for industrial and equipment control applications.

ControlLogix PACs offer high-speed, multi-discipline control for sequential, process, drive and motion-control applications. Developed by ProSoft, PC56 is an industrial in-rack PC for the ControlLogix platform. Plugged and operated in a ControlLogix chassis, PC56 enables a direct connection to the ControlLogix backplane. CyboSoft's CyboLink for ControlLogix interface software running in PC56 provides high-speed, two-way communications between ControlLogix data tables and the CyboCon real-time database. Via this configuration, all the hardware and software are seamlessly integrated.

According to CyboSoft director of engineering, Steve Mulkey, all a ControlLogix user needs to implement the system is a PC56 and the CyboCon and CyboLink software.

CyboSoft CEO Dr. George Cheng explains the advantages of the company's MFA controllers this way: "Modern automation systems require good automatic control for both continuous and discrete variables. Most PACs and PLCs lack user-friendly advanced control capabilities to control critical, yet difficult continuous process variables effectively. CyboSoft's MFA controllers now allow ControlLogix users to solve various tough control problems with ease and achieve significant economic benefits."

CyboCon is the flagship MFA control product that includes a number of MFA controllers, each of which can be used to solve certain control problems. For example, the single-input-single-output (SISO) MFA replaces PID to control simple to complex processes, and the multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) MFA controls multivariable processes. Other controllers in the package handle extremely nonlinear processes, processes with large time delays, pH processes, including those with large time delays, open-loop oscillating processes, processes with large process-time constants and delay-time changes, and exothermal reaction run-away processes with large time delays. CyboCon also has the capability to force the process variable to stay within defined bounds, deal with measurable disturbances, and control processes that change signs.

The adaptive capability of MFA is illustrated when compared with PID (see illustration). The performances of MFA (top) and PID (bottom) are compared to show how MFA adapts when process dynamics change. From the beginning, MFA and PID are controlling two identical processes with similar control performance. Then both processes have a major dynamic change, causing the systems to oscillate. The PID system will continue to oscillate, while MFA quickly adapts to an excellent control condition. When the setpoints are changed again, the MFA system no longer shows oscillation.

Since MFA is "model-free," the MFA control algorithm can be computed with very little CPU time so that high-speed adaptive control signals can be generated. The high-speed version of CyboCon software running in PC56 allows MFA controllers to run at a 1-millisecond control update rate. In contrast, model-based self-tuning PID or identification-based adaptive controllers usually have difficulties in providing high-speed adaptive control because online identification or training of mathematical models can be too time-consuming.

CyboSoft's MFA for ControlLogix is available now. MFA controllers are also available for systems from other major process automation vendors.

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