The MathWorks updates Simulink Control Design with improved PID tuning

September 23, 2009  by  

Mathworks SL Control Design 9b image

The MathWorks has released Simulink Control Design 3.0 with new features that automate the process of tuning proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controllers. The firm also added new PID Controller blocks in Simulink.

Engineers can use these blocks to create PID controllers quickly, 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 new tuning algorithm in Simulink Control Design 3.0 automatically calculates PID controller gains based on desired phase margin and system bandwidth. A new 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, thus reducing the time needed for tuning and testing on expensive hardware prototypes. Engineers can then use Real-Time Workshop to generate code automatically for implementation on target microcontrollers.

Additional new features in Simulink Control Design 3.0 include:

 ·        New functionality for advanced linear analysis. Users can now compute the frequency response of Simulink models using simulation. This helps engineers more easily linearize Simulink models that have strong discontinuities or event-based dynamics, with no model modification required.

 ·         The ability to specify custom linearization for Simulink blocks and subsystems. Engineers can, for example, mark a Gain block as uncertain and linearize 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 immediately available for Microsoft Windows, Solaris, Linux, and Macintosh platforms. U.S. list prices start at US$1,000. More information, including international pricing, is available at

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