Control System Design Guide

4th Edition

Using Your Computer to Understand and Diagnose Feedback Controllers

Authors: George Ellis
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123859204
eBook ISBN: 9780123859211
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 15th May 2012
Page Count: 520
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Control Systems Design Guide has helped thousands of engineers to improve machine performance. This fourth edition of the practical guide has been updated with cutting-edge control design scenarios, models and simulations enabling apps from battlebots to solar collectors.

This useful reference enhances coverage of practical applications via the inclusion of new control system models, troubleshooting tips, and expanded coverage of complex systems requirements, such as increased speed, precision and remote capabilities, bridging the gap between the complex, math-heavy control theory taught in formal courses, and the efficient implementation required in real industry settings.

George Ellis is Director of Technology Planning and Chief Engineer of Servo Systems at Kollmorgen Corporation, a leading provider of motion systems and components for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) around the globe. He has designed an applied motion control systems professionally for over 30 years He has written two well-respected books with Academic Press, Observers in Control Systems and Control System Design Guide, now in its fourth edition. He has contributed articles on the application of controls to numerous magazines, including Machine Design, Control Engineering, Motion Systems Design, Power Control and Intelligent Motion, and Electronic Design News.

Key Features

  • Explains how to model machines and processes, including how to measure working equipment, with an intuitive approach that avoids complex math
  • Includes coverage on the interface between control systems and digital processors, reflecting the reality that most motion systems are now designed with PC software
  • Of particular interest to the practicing engineer is the addition of new material on real-time, remote and networked control systems
  • Teaches how control systems work at an intuitive level, including how to measure, model, and diagnose problems, all without the unnecessary math so common in this field
  • Principles are taught in plain language and then demonstrated with dozens of software models so the reader fully comprehend the material (The models and software to replicate all material in the book is provided without charge by the author at
  • New material includes practical uses of Rapid Control Prototypes (RCP) including extensive examples using National Instruments LabVIEW


Mechanical, electrical and industrial design engineers, and students preparing to enter these disciplines.

Table of Contents


Praise for the new edition


Section I Applied Principles of Controls

Important Safety Guidelines for Readers

Chapter 1. Introduction to Controls

1.1 Visual ModelQ Simulation Environment

1.2 The Control System

1.3 The Controls Engineer

Chapter 2. The Frequency Domain

2.1 The Laplace Transform

2.2 Transfer Functions

2.3 Examples of Transfer Functions

2.4 Block Diagrams

2.5 Phase and Gain

2.6 Measuring Performance

Chapter 3. Tuning a Control System

3.1 Closing Loops

3.2 A Detailed Review of the Model

3.3 The Open-Loop Method

3.4 Margins of Stability

3.5 A Zone-Based Tuning Procedure

3.6 Variation in Plant Gain

3.7 Multiple (Cascaded) Loops

3.8 Power Converter Saturation and Synchronization

3.9 Phase vs. Gain Plots

Chapter 4. Delay in Digital Controllers

4.1 How Sampling Works

4.2 Sources of Delay in Digital Systems

4.3 Experiment 4A: Understanding Delay in Digital Control

4.4 Selecting the Sample Time

Chapter 5. The -Domain

5.1 Introduction to the z-Domain

5.2 z Phasors

5.3 Aliasing

5.4 Experiment 5A: Aliasing

5.5 From Transfer Function to Algorithm

5.6 Functions for Digital Systems

5.7 Reducing the Calculation Delay

5.8 Quantization

Chapter 6. Four Types of Controllers

6.1 Tuning in this Chapter

6.2 Using the Proportional Gain

6.3 Using the Integral Gain

6.4 Using the Differential Gain

6.5 PD Control

6.6 Choosing the Controller

6.7 Experiments 6A–6D

Chapter 7. Disturbance Response

7.1 Disturbances

7.2 Disturbance Response of a Velocity Controller

7.3 Disturbance Decoupling

Chapter 8. Feed-Forward

8.1 Plant-Based Feed-Forwar


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About the Author

George Ellis

George Ellis is Vice President European Engineering at Kollmorgen Corporation, a leading provider of precision motion systems around the globe. For 30 years he has worked in product development including leading product development projects, designing development processes, and creating portfolio management systems. He has also written two well-respected books with Elsevier, Control System Design Guide, now in its fourth edition, and Observers in Control Systems. He has contributed articles to numerous magazines, including Electronic Design News, Machine Design, Control Engineering, Motion Systems Design, and Power Control and Intelligent Motion.

Affiliations and Expertise

Kollmorgen Corporation, USA


"…the new addition in this edition, rapid control prototyping for a motion system, [is] both timely and useful in smoothing the transition from simulation to an embedded, hardware solution."  -Zhiqiang Gao, Associate Professor and Director, Center for Advanced Control Technologies, Cleveland State University