This is from a series of articles reprinted from the journal ISA Transactions. All ISA Transactions articles are free to ISA members, or can be purchased from Elsevier Press.

Fig. 1. The Merrick weigh belt feeder.

Abstract: An industrial weigh belt feeder is used to transport solid materials into a manufacturing process at a constant feedrate. It exhibits nonlinear behavior because of motor friction, saturation, and quantization noise in the measurement sensors. To overcome the nonlinearities, a simple yet effective method of controller autotuning, an indirect self-tuning regulator, was designed and implemented for an industrial weigh belt feeder. Implementation issues are discussed and experimental results show the effectiveness of the adaptive controller for several different reference inputs. Also, the performance of the indirect self-tuning regulator is compared with that of a fuzzy logic controller for the same application.

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