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AutoQuiz: Characteristics of an Industrial Controller

AutoQuiz is edited by Joel Don, ISA's social media community manager.

This automation industry quiz question comes from the ISA Certified Control Systems Technician (CCST) program. Certified Control System Technicians calibrate, document, troubleshoot, and repair/replace instrumentation for systems that measure and control level, temperature, pressure, flow, and other process variables. Click this link for more information about the CCST program.

Which of the following describes a controller in which an increase in the process variable results in an increase in the output to the manipulated variable?

a) reverse acting
b) direct acting
c) nonlinear
d) fail safe
e) none of the above

The correct answer is B, direct acting. For a direct-acting controller, the resulting output movement is in the same direction as the movement of the process variable.

Here is an example of a direct-acting controller. If we have an air-to-open tank outlet valve, as the level rises (PV) in the tank, we would want the outlet valve to open (controller output increases).

Reference: Goettsche, L.D. (Editor), Maintenance of Instruments and Systems, 2nd Edition

About the Editor
Joel Don is the community manager for ISA and is an independent content marketing, social media and public relations consultant. Prior to his work in marketing and PR, Joel served as an editor for regional newspapers and national magazines throughout the U.S. He earned a master's degree from the Medill School at Northwestern University with a focus on science, engineering and biomedical marketing communications, and a bachelor of science degree from UC San Diego.

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Joel Don
Joel Don
Joel Don is the community manager for ISA and is an independent content marketing, social media and public relations consultant. Prior to his work in marketing and PR, Joel served as an editor for regional newspapers and national magazines throughout the U.S. He earned a master's degree from the Medill School at Northwestern University with a focus on science, engineering and biomedical marketing communications, and a bachelor of science degree from UC San Diego.

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