Development Of Pneumatic Control System

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Development of pneumatic control:

The development of pneumatic control elements in the 1930s matured to a point of finding applications in the process industries. However, prior to 1940, the design of control systems remained an art generally characterized by trial-and-error methods.

During the 1940s, continued advances in mathematical and analytical methods solidified the notion of control engineering as an independent engineering discipline.

In the United States, the development of the telephone system and electronic feedback amplifiers spurred the use of feedback by Bode, Nyquist, and Black at Bell Telephone Laboratories [13–17].

The operation of the feedback amplifiers was described in the frequency domain and the ensuing design and analysis practices are now generally classified as “classical control.”

 During the same time period, control theory was also developing in Russia and eastern Europe. Mathematicians and applied mechanicians in the former Soviet Union dominated the field of controls and concentrated on time domain formulations and differential equation models of systems.

Further developments of time domain formulations using state variable system representations occurred in the 1960s and led to design and analysis practices now generally classified as “modern control.”

The World War II war effort led to further advances in the theory and practice of automatic control in an effort to design and construct automatic airplane pilots, gun-positioning systems, radar antenna control systems, and other military systems. The complexity and expected performance of these military systems necessitated an extension of the available control techniques and fostered interest in control systems and the development of new insights and methods. Frequency domain techniques continued to dominate the field of controls following World War II, with the increased use of the Laplace transform, and the use of the so-called s -plane methods, such as designing control systems using root locus.

On the commercial side, driven by cost savings achieved through mass production, automation of the production process was a high priority beginning in the 1940s.

During the 1950s, the invention of the cam, linkages, and chain drives became the major enabling technologies for the invention of new products and high-speed precision manufacturing and assembly. Examples include textile and printing machines, paper converting machinery, and sewing machines.

High-volume precision manufacturing became a reality during this period. The automated paperboard container-manufacturing machine employs a sheet-fed process wherein the paperboard is cut into a fan shape to form the tapered sidewall, and wrapped around a mandrel. The seam is then heat sealed and held until cured. Another sheet-fed source of paperboard is used to cut out the plate to form the bottom of the paperboard container, formed into a shallow dish through scoring and creasing operations in a die, and assembled to the cup shell.

The lower edge of the cup shell is bent inwards over the edge of the bottom plate sidewall, and heat-sealed under high pressure to prevent leaks and provide a precisely level edge for standup. The brim is formed on the top to provide a ring-on-shell structure to provide the stiffness needed for its functionality.

All of these operations are carried out while the work piece undergoes a precision transfer from one turret to another and is then ejected.

 The production rate of a typical machine averages over 200 cups per minute. The automated paperboard container manufacturing did not involve any mechanical system except an electric motor for driving the line shaft.

These machines are typical of paper converting and textile machinery and represent automated systems significantly more complex than their predecessors.

In the late 1970s, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Machine Industry (JSPMI) classified mechatronics products into four categories [1]:

1.       Class I: Primarily mechanical products with electronics incorporated to enhance functionality. Examples include numerically controlled machine tools and variable speed drives in manufacturing machines.

2.       Class II: Traditional mechanical systems with significantly updated internal devices incorporating electronics. The external user interfaces are unaltered. Examples include the modern sewing machine and automated manufacturing systems.

3.       Class III: Systems that retain the functionality of the traditional mechanical system, but the internal mechanisms are replaced by electronics. An example is the digital watch.

4.       Class IV:Products designed with mechanical and electronic technologies through synergistic integration. Examples include photocopiers, intelligent washers and dryers, rice cookers, and automatic ovens.


The enabling technologies for each mechatronic product class illustrate the progression of electromechanical products in stride with developments in control theory, computation technologies, and microprocessors. Class I products were enabled by servo technology, power electronics, and control theory. Class II products were enabled by the availability of early computational and memory devices and custom circuit design capabilities. Class III products relied heavily on the microprocessor and integrated circuits to replace mechanical systems. Finally, Class IV products marked the beginning of true mechatronic systems, through integration of mechanical systems and electronics.