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Mathworks has announced the availability of Simulink Control Design 3.0, which is equipped with features that automate the process of tuning proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controllers.

These features are being released along with PID controller blocks in Simulink.

Engineers can use these blocks to create PID controllers, select PID structure, include integrator anti-windup logic, convert from continuous-time to discrete-time domain, and prepare the controller for implementation on a processor using fixed-point arithmetic.

A tuning algorithm in Simulink Control Design 3.0 automatically calculates PID-controller gains based on desired phase margin and system bandwidth.

A user interface supports visual tuning of PID controllers for all types of plant models, without requiring expert knowledge of control theory.

The resulting design can then be verified through simulation in Simulink, which reduces the amount of time needed for tuning and testing on expensive hardware prototypes.

Engineers can then use Real-Time Workshop to automatically generate code for implementation on target microcontrollers.

Simulink has new functionality for advanced linear analysis, which enables users to compute the frequency response of Simulink models using simulation.

This helps engineers more easily linearise Simulink models that have strong discontinuities or event-based dynamics, with no model modification required.

It also has the ability to specify custom linearisation for Simulink blocks and subsystems.

Engineers can, for example, mark a gain block as uncertain and linearise the model to create a corresponding uncertain system.

Using Robust Control Toolbox with this system, users can then design a controller that meets stability and performance requirements in the presence of uncertainty.

Simulink Control Design is available for Microsoft Windows, Solaris, Linux, and Macintosh platforms.

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