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Clutch Dancer Control Simulation
A Robust Winder Dancer Control Algorithm


© ApICS ® LLC 2000


This engineering study was commisioned by NEXEN Group Inc. The report described in this HTML version has been abridged at the request of NEXEN Group to protect proprietary algorithms and control strategies. The full report "CLUTCH DANCER CONTROL SIMULATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF A ROBUST DANCER CONTROL ALGORITHM" describes the simulation of a brake/clutch based winder and the derivation of a dancer position regulation scheme for the same. Brief sets of results that reflect the expected system performance are provided. Included is a brief description of the simulation sub-systems. The simulation description is meant to provide the user with the information required to perform "what-if" scenarios using the simulation.


This report describes the simulation of a winder/unwinder system with a dancer controller. It also describes the development of a non-linear robust dancer control algorithm for winding and unwinding applications in the metals, forrest products, paper, consumer products and specialty coating product industries. The winder control algorithm includes a model and heuristic rule based adaptive algorithm that automatically tunes the non-linear PID regulator as a function of several control performance parameters. The details of the algorithm are proprietary and protected by an IP agreement. They are therefore not included in this HTML version of the report.

Results (Included in the Full Report)

Sets of results are provided to give insight into the expected behavior of the dancer control system with varying system configurations.

For each presented result set, the following variables are plotted:

  1. Dancer position [in],
  2. Web Tensions [lb]
  3. Backstand/Winder torque [lb ft]
  4. Line speed [ft/min]
  5. Roll Diameter [in], and Inertia [lb ft2]

The investigations include: the effect of roll diameter on gain adaptation response time, demonstration of stable response over the entire roll build-up/wind-down. Demonstration of stable operation over a wide range of material thicknesses and elasticities.

A procedure for starting up the regulator is described, along with necessary sequencing issues that must be implemented for the regulator to operate in a safe manner.

The study concludes with some pertinent observations, and conclusions/recommendations.

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