Direct Switching Position Control Algorithms For Pneumatic Actuators Using On/Off Solenoid Valves
Bone, Gary M.
MetadataShow full item record
Pneumatic actuators are advantageous in terms of cost, power to weight ratio and inherent safety. However, their dynamics makes precise closed-loop position control very difficult in practice. Two sliding-mode control algorithms for controlling the position of a pneumatic cylinder by directly switching four on/off solenoid valves are proposed in this paper. The solenoid valves are much less expensive than the commonly used servo or proportional valves. The proposed algorithms are compared to two state of the art position control algorithms. Based on experiments on a high friction cylinder with various payloads, the proposed controllers provide superior performance in terms of valve switches per second, steady state error, settling time and overshoot. The achieved number of valve switches per second is also about one tenth of the number required by the pulse-width modulation method that is commonly used with on/off valves. This should result in prolonged valve lifetimes and reduced maintenance costs.