Derivative backoff: The other saturation problem for PID controllers

Alfred Theorin, Tore Hägglund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


tThe PID controller is by far the most common controller, and to ensure good behavior under all circumstances, a PID implementation must consider many practical aspects such as integrator windup,derivative kick, and bumpless parameter and mode changes. In this paper, an entirely new issue for the derivative part is introduced and has been named derivative backoff. It occurs when the process value measurement saturates and is a general issue that affects all PID implementations. Derivative backoff is described in detail and it is shown that it can cause considerable, undesired, effects on industrially relevant processes even when they are controlled by well-tuned PID controllers. An anti-backoff strategy for PID controllers with integral action is proposed and evaluated, and a simple patch for existing PID implementations is presented. Possible strategies for PID controllers without integral action are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-160
JournalJournal of Process Control
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Other Engineering and Technologies

Free keywords

  • Control algorithms
  • Derivative action
  • PID control
  • PID controllers
  • Derivative backoff


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