As a key factor characterizing the control accuracy of multi-temperature zone systems (MTZSs), the stable control of temperature field distribution uniformity and consistency is of critical importance for MTZSs, and it largely determines the product quality and production efficiency. Due to the complicated multiple input and output properties, as well as the various external variations in practice, however, it is extremely difficult to monitor the temperature field distribution in production process. To address the uniform and consistent temperature field distribution problem in MTZSs, a multi-variable dynamic matrix control (DMC)-based predictive control mechanism is proposed in this paper. Specifically, we first establish a finite element-based heat transfer model to analyse heat transfer within the multi-temperature zone, and then propose a multi-variable DMC-based decoupling design method to decompose the entire system into multiple subsystems with single-input single-output for temperature uniformity distribution control in MTZS. By utilizing the ANSYS tools to analyse the transient field temperatures, we obtain both time and space distribution characteristics of the transient temperature field with the proposed control method, and also compare such results with those obtained using the PID control method. Finally, we apply the proposed multi-variable DMC control mechanism onto a multi-temperature sintering furnace of a practical industrial product line for verification. Results show that, with the proposed control mechanism adopted, the difference between the highest and lowest temperature of any workpiece could be maintained within 5°C in the heat rising up period, which convincingly verifies the effectiveness of the proposed predictive control algorithm in different cases.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Transactions of the Institute of Measurement and Control|
|Publication status||Published - 11 Feb 2021|