Implementing Cascade Mode with Dual PIDE Loops in Studio 5000

Modern industrial automation relies heavily on advanced control strategies to ensure efficiency, stability, and precision in complex processes. One such advanced strategy is the implementation of cascade control loops using Proportional-Integral-Derivative with Derivative on Error (PIDE) controllers in Rockwell Automation’s Studio 5000 environment. This article explores the concept, configuration, and benefits of utilizing two PIDE loops in cascade mode within Studio 5000.

Understanding Cascade Control

Cascade control is a control strategy where two or more control loops are nested together to enhance the performance of the control system. The primary loop controls the main process variable, while the secondary loop controls a related intermediate variable that affects the primary process. This structure allows the secondary loop to react to disturbances more quickly, providing a more stable and accurate control system.

Components of Cascade Control in Studio 5000

In Studio 5000, a cascade control system typically involves the following components:

  1. Primary PIDE Loop (Master Loop):
    • Setpoint: The desired value for the main process variable.
    • Process Variable: The actual value of the main process variable.
    • Output: The setpoint for the secondary PIDE loop.
  2. Secondary PIDE Loop (Slave Loop):
    • Setpoint: The output from the primary PIDE loop.
    • Process Variable: The actual value of the intermediate process variable.
    • Output: The control action that influences the intermediate process variable.

Configuration in Studio 5000

To implement cascade control with two PIDE loops in Studio 5000, follow these steps:

  1. Define the Process Variables:
    • Identify the main and intermediate process variables that need control. For example, in a temperature control system, the main process variable might be the temperature of a reactor, and the intermediate variable could be the flow rate of a cooling medium.
  2. Configure the Primary PIDE Loop:
    • Create a PIDE instruction for the primary loop.
    • Set the desired setpoint for the primary process variable.
    • Configure the feedback to come from the main process variable sensor.
    • Ensure the output of the primary PIDE loop is linked to the setpoint input of the secondary PIDE loop.
  3. Configure the Secondary PIDE Loop:
    • Create a PIDE instruction for the secondary loop.
    • Set the setpoint to be the output of the primary PIDE loop.
    • Configure the feedback to come from the intermediate process variable sensor.
    • Set the output of the secondary PIDE loop to control the appropriate actuator (e.g., a valve controlling the cooling medium flow).
  4. Tuning the PIDE Loops:
    • Begin by tuning the secondary (slave) loop. Adjust the P, I, and D parameters to achieve a stable and responsive control of the intermediate process variable.
    • Once the secondary loop is well-tuned, tune the primary (master) loop. The primary loop’s tuning should be less aggressive than the secondary loop to avoid instability.
    • Use simulation tools and historical data in Studio 5000 to fine-tune both loops under various operating conditions.

Benefits of Cascade Control

  • Implementing cascade control with two PIDE loops in Studio 5000 offers several advantages:
    • Improved Disturbance Rejection: The secondary loop quickly compensates for disturbances affecting the intermediate variable, resulting in a more stable primary process.
    • Enhanced Control Accuracy: By controlling an intermediate variable, the system can maintain the primary process variable closer to its set point.
    • Reduced Overshoot and Oscillation: Properly tuned cascade loops can minimize overshoot and oscillation, providing smoother control.
    • Increased Process Efficiency: Better control leads to optimized process performance, potentially reducing energy consumption and wear on equipment.


  • Cascade control using two PIDE loops in Studio 5000 is a powerful method for enhancing process control in complex industrial applications. By carefully configuring and tuning both loops, engineers can achieve superior performance, stability, and efficiency in their control systems. The flexibility and advanced features of Studio 5000 make it an ideal platform for implementing and optimizing such sophisticated control strategies.

Video – PIDE Cascade Loop Video

The video below shows an example of a PIDE Loop in Cascade.

I will be putting together more programming videos and articles upon request, I already have several ideas and will be starting to add more videos to my YouTube channel which is Shane Welcher

I would love to hear what you guys think so far as I try to get this website whipped into shape.

Drop me a comment here or on my YouTube channel.



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Studio 5000 PIDE Cascade