Synchronous position control strategy for bi-cylinder electro-pneumatic systems


Pneumatic systems have been widely used in industrial applications because of their well-known advantages. However, pneumatic systems possess several disadvantages that include strong non-linearity and low natural frequency. These drawbacks make it difficult to obtain satisfactory control performances in comparison to hydraulic and electromechanical systems. In this paper, the fundamental characteristics and nonlinear synchronous control strategy of pneumatic systems are studied. A two-layer sliding mode synchro-system based on friction compensation is applied to electro-pneumatic cylinders and a synchro-PID controller is utilized for position tracking. To validate the developed strategy, experiments with bi-cylinder electro-pneumatic systems were performed. The experimental results demonstrate that the synchronous position control scheme is effective in terms of accuracy and robustness.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Pinhas Ben-Tzvi.

Additional information

Recommended by Associate Editor Won-jong Kim under the direction of Editor Hyouk Ryeol Choi. This work was in part supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51575528).

Hong Zhao received her Ph.D. degree from Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shannxi Province, China in 2003. She is currently an Associate Professor in China University of Petroleum (Beijing). Her research interests include mechanical and electrical transmission control, virtual instrument measurement and control technology.

Pinhas Ben-Tzvi received his B.S. degree (summa cum laude) in mechanical engineering from the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology, Israel and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Toronto, Canada. He is currently an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the founding Director of the Robotics and Mechatronics Laboratory at Virginia Tech. His current research interests include robotics and intelligent autonomous systems, human-robot interactions, mechatronics, mechanism design and system integration, dynamic systems and control, and novel sensing and actuation. Application areas are varied and range from search & rescue on rough terrain to medical diagnostics, surgery, and therapy. Dr. Ben-Tzvi is a senior member of IEEE and a member of ASME.

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Zhao, H., Ben-Tzvi, P. Synchronous position control strategy for bi-cylinder electro-pneumatic systems. Int. J. Control Autom. Syst. 14, 1501–1510 (2016).

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  • Friction compensation
  • pneumatic servo system
  • sliding mode control
  • synchro-PID controller