Can I buy the blueprint as a hard copy?
Yes. The blueprint is now available in hard copy format. Choose the deluxe version at the checkout.
What are the different packages I can buy, what is included?
Your options are all shown here.
Don't modern PID Controllers all have autotune functions?
Yes, a lot do. And most of the autotune functions just plain don't work. Don't take my word for it though. Control Engineering magazine tested 5 vendors' autotunes in their January 2009 issue. 80% didn't work at all.
Do I need an Engineering Degree to implement the Blueprint and/or use the software?
Not at all. But I don't blame you for asking when you look at how complicated everyone else seems to make PID tuning and PID control appear! Most control companies have a vested interest in making PID Tuning seem like a black art. I don't. The blueprint is written so any technical person with basic numerical literacy can follow it. But please don't take my word for it. Check out what other engineers and technicians think here.
Will your tuning method work with my digital / analog / pneumatic controller?
If your controller can be put into Manual mode (99% can), then Yes, you can use this method, no problems at all. This is because you have to take some measurements with the loop in manual. It works on digital, analog and pneumatic controllers, whether they are P, PI or PID.
What kind of measuring equipment do I need?
You need to be able to log your main Process Variable so that you can take some measurements over a few minutes of operation. You can do this with a good old fashioned chart recorder, your SCADA system, your Plant Historian, your PLC, a datalogger, an oscilloscope or your laptop. If your process isn't setup for monitoring already and you are looking for a cheap but effective datalogger, I recommend someting like this which turns your laptop into a data logger for <$300.
Can I copy / print out / share my blueprint & tuning software?
All the files are open and unprotected - so yes, feel free to keep multiple copies on different PCs and print out as many copies as you like. All I ask is that you purchase 1 licence for every unique user (or our very reasonably priced site license makes sense if you want more than 4 users). See our very straightforward terms here.
Is this the Zeigler Nichols method?
No. This is a completely different approach. Be very careful if you choose to use the Ziegler Nichols method as it can leave you with a loop teetering on the edge of instability.
My loop has a nasty time-delay. Will this method still work?
Yes. The blueprint will identify the time-delay in your PID loop and show you how to calculate tuning constants that will handle the delay.
What if I try it and it doesn't work on my loop?
Short Answer: I'll cheerfully refund your money. Longer Answer: The blueprint tries to cover the vast majority of issues that prevent most processes from performing to their potential. But there will be a minority of processes that don't tune with this method. If that is the case, I'm more than happy to refund your money and, if you like, recommend someone who can have a look at your process.
Do I need to pay by Credit Card to get the Blueprint?
No. Someone sent me a bottle of rare tequila once.
Alternatively you can send us a check in US funds, or transfer funds to our bank account.
Drop us a line for more details if you need an alternative payment method.