What is PID Control?

Posted by Ian Parnell in on 30 January 2014

PID Control

PID stands for ProportionalIntegralDerivative.

PID control provides a continuous variation of output within a control loop feedback mechanism to accurately control the process, removing oscillation and increasing process efficiency.

How Do PID Controllers Work? 

Where proportional control is used to minimize the oscillation characteristic of on/off control, PID control goes that bit further to reduce errors and provide accuracy and stability in a process. It does this by using the integral action and derivative actions to eliminate control deviation errors and to manage rapid process movements. All three PID terms need to tuned appropriately for the application requirements to achieve the most accurate control.


For a high level of control, digital PID controllers are often used. These typically come in the form of PID Temperature Controllers or PID Process Controllers and can be single, dual or multi-loop instruments.

PID control is used for a variety of process variables such as; Temperature, Flow and Pressure. Typically, challenging applications such as industrial heat treatment processes, ovens and furnaces use PID controllers as well as in the scientific and lab sector where precision and reliability is essential to the quality of a control application.

Find Out More

On/Off vs Proportional Control

Popular PID Controllers