The advent of control, computer, and communication (3C) technology during the last several decades has had a major impact on today’s civilization.
- The automatic control technology has made industrial automation possible so that massive quality products can be produced efficiently;
- The computer technology including hardware and software has brought us into the information era so that precious information, knowledge, and intelligence can be utilized easily; and
- The communication technology has made the world much smaller so that information, thoughts, and culture can be shared freely. It is evident that science and technology have impacted our lives, culture, and morals. The world is becoming a more peaceful, democratic, and richer place to live.
Compared to the incessant improvement and acceptance of computer technology and products, the improvement and acceptance of control technology and products have been slow. There continues to be a large gap between the state of the art in control theory and its actual applications.
While the academic world has been proposing many kinds of new control paradigms, the industrial world is still using the old technology that may have been used for decades.
On the factory floor, we frequently face complex control problems that require high level expertise to resolve. At the same time, it is the ill-prepared operators who run the processes day and night. This is a fact that is overlooked and cannot be discounted.
The next giant step that control technology needs to and should be able to advance is to provide the technology and products to these ordinary operators that will allow them to easily and effectively control complex industrial systems with good and consistent performance.
The patented 1-For-3 Controller presented in this document will be instrumental in the quest of this dream by generations of control scientists and engineers. We begin our introduction by reviewing existing control technology, which is the foundation of our new development.
The followings points are covered in this chapter: