News

Control Automation Online Textbook: The Best Just Got Better!

October 23, 2022 by David Peterson

Control Automation is proud to announce updates to several chapters of our popular online textbook. Check out the improvements in the PLC, Feedback Control, and Power Generation sections.

The central theme of Control Automation and all of EETech is to ‘help engineers engineer the future.’ Nowhere is this more obvious than the online textbook created for students, new professionals, and any advanced control engineer wishing to learn a new set of skills, or to reinforce the basics.

Although most technology does not change rapidly in the control system space, updates in various systems, as well as generational learning styles, force us to revisit educational material to ensure top-notch quality.

Three main chapters of our popular online text have been updated with all-new sections, images, and even entire new pages to help you better understand the theory and concepts that drive the automated world.

Chapter 29 - Basics of Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs)

This chapter has been revised to include an expanded discussion on memory organization for both memory-based and tag-based PLC processors. We have expanded the discussion of structure-type commands, common in nearly every modern PLC programming environment. Examples have been improved for multiple makes and models, with clear diagrams and descriptions that can apply to nearly any PLC system.

Chapter 32 - Closed-Loop Control Systems

Also known as PID control systems, these concepts apply to processes, motion, and nearly every control theory in which changing variables must be monitored and controlled. The problem with PID control systems is typically the confusing algorithms and equations that often require calculus to understand. At first glance, it might seem as though this topic is unapproachable for anyone without an advanced degree, but that could not be further from the truth.

This chapter includes PID control system topics spanning from pneumatic, to analog electrical (using mainly operational amplifier circuits), to some of the most modern advanced digital controllers and loop theory.

The topic is broken down to provide visual reinforcement (response graphs) for each of the proportional, integral, and derivative terms to help better learn this important topic while providing tangible application to the mathematics.

Chapter 25 - Electric Power Measurement and Control Systems

Power is generated, transmitted, and used in every corner of the world. The systems and devices that allow the safe transportation of electricity are collectively referred to as ‘the grid’.

To keep the world running, these systems must operate efficiently with the ability to detect failures, provide alternative sources, and troubleshoot the fault locations as quickly as possible.

This textbook chapter includes all-new descriptions and modernized images to help better understand the wide variety of complex subjects. Some of the key pages include discussions about line diagrams for 3-phase power systems, circuit breakers and disconnects (which bear many similarities to industrial circuit breakers, but with many differences as well), and special-purpose protective relay devices.

Nearly 40 Chapters of Control Content!

Learning never stops for any engineer. I encourage you to take the next step in learning a skill you haven’t yet seen. This book provides guidance on these topics, and many more. Check back regularly as we continue adding new content, more exciting visual aids, better navigation, and more.

We aren’t done yet.

• ControlsGuy25 October 23, 2022

Nice and great idea !
Would be glad to check out what is inside these textbooks

Cheers
James

Like.
• R
richards48 October 28, 2022

The PDF Version links to the new chapters only go to the full text of Version 2.32 (Released 4 January 2019) Tony Kuphaldt’s excellent book, Lessons in Industrial Instrumentation. The links under Education > Textbook lead to the same 3311 page book.
How can one access the Control Automation version?

Like.
• D
David Peterson October 28, 2022
That is a great question! Every chapter gives you the PDF link to download the entire open-source book. We are working hard to revise the rest of the textbook so that we can convert the PDF link to our own full version. A temporary (less elegant) fix is to visit the textbook page and click Ctrl-P, which will open the print box, you can 'Save as PDF' from there.
Like.