Design and implementation of adaptive PI control schemes for web tension control in roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing. Academic Article uri icon


  • In this paper, two adaptive Proportional-Integral (PI) control schemes are designed and discussed for control of web tension in Roll-to-Roll (R2R) manufacturing systems. R2R systems are used to transport continuous materials (called webs) on rollers from the unwind roll to the rewind roll. Maintaining web tension at the desired value is critical to many R2R processes such as printing, coating, lamination, etc. Existing fixed gain PI tension control schemes currently used in industrial practice require extensive tuning and do not provide the desired performance for changing operating conditions and material properties. The first adaptive PI scheme utilizes the model reference approach where the controller gains are estimated based on matching of the actual closed-loop tension control systems with an appropriately chosen reference model. The second adaptive PI scheme utilizes the indirect adaptive control approach together with relay feedback technique to automatically initialize the adaptive PI gains. These adaptive tension control schemes can be implemented on any R2R manufacturing system. The key features of the two adaptive schemes is that their designs are simple for practicing engineers, easy to implement in real-time, and automate the tuning process. Extensive experiments are conducted on a large experimental R2R machine which mimics many features of an industrial R2R machine. These experiments include trials with two different polymer webs and a variety of operating conditions. Implementation guidelines are provided for both adaptive schemes. Experimental results comparing the two adaptive schemes and a fixed gain PI tension control scheme used in industrial practice are provided and discussed.

published proceedings

  • ISA Trans

author list (cited authors)

  • Raul, P. R., & Pagilla, P. R.

citation count

  • 40

complete list of authors

  • Raul, Pramod R||Pagilla, Prabhakar R

publication date

  • May 2015