The Ziegler–Nichols tuning method is a heuristic method of tuning a PID controller. It was developed by John G. Ziegler and Nathaniel B. Nichols. It is performed by setting the I (integral) and D (derivative) gains to zero. The "P" (proportional) gain, is then increased (from zero) until it reaches the ultimate gain , at which the output of the control loop has stable and consistent oscillations. and the oscillation period are used to set the P, I, and D gains depending on the type of controller used:
|Pessen Integral Rule|
The ultimate gain (Ku) is defined as 1/M, where M = the amplitude ratio
These 3 parameters are used to establish the correction from the error via the equation:
which has the following transfer function relationship between error and controller output:
The Ziegler-Nichols tuning creates a "quarter wave decay". This is an acceptable result for some purposes, but not optimal for all applications.
This tuning rule is meant to give PID loops best disturbance rejection.
Bequette, B. Wayne. Process Control: Modeling, Design, and Simulation. Prentice Hall PTR, 2010. 
- Co, Tomas; Michigan Technological University (February 13, 2004). "Ziegler-Nichols Closed Loop Tuning". Retrieved 2007-06-24.
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