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How to Tune Servo Systems: Force Control

Joe Profeta

Dr. Profeta has more than 30 years of experience in technology-driven companies. He is the Director of the Control Systems Group at Aerotech Inc., with P&L responsibility for the controls, drives and motors. In this role, he works with companies to design and select control system architectures that result in increased machine performance while minimizing component cost. He has earned a BS, MS and Ph.D., and Executive MBA. He has been awarded five patents and published 43 papers. Dr. Profeta is also an Adjunct Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at the University of Pittsburgh where he teaches software engineering and mechatronics. You can contact Joseph at or +1.412.967.6839.

About the webinar

Among the most troubling tasks in machine building can be tuning the servo system to meet or exceed the performance specification. Invariably, we have all sat at the machine and asked ourselves, “What three numbers should I put in this proportional-integrated-derivative (PID) controller?” However, when tuning, it is not always about the PID gains. Many other factors affect the tuning and can be changed to improve the machine performance. This webinar will discuss aspects of controller design, including control loop structures, and using frequency-based tools for gain selection, filter selection and machine characterization. This will be presented in four parts.

Part four will focus on the force control. The typical scenario is an axis moves to a position, in positioning mode, and then switches to Force mode to control the force applied to an object. Two different control loop structures will be considered, one with a force loop around a position loop and the second a force loop around a current loop.

Part Four (1st June 2021, 2:00pm BST / 03:00pm CET) How to Tune Servo Systems: Force Control

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the limitations of force loop around the position loop
  • Understand the limitations of force loop around the current loop
  • Understand how to command arbitrary force trajectories
  • Understand how to minimize the bump when transferring between position and force mode.


Arbeiten Sie mit dem Weltmarktführer für hochpräzise Positionier- und Bewegungsaufgaben zusammen und wandeln Sie Ihre Herausforderungen in erfolgreiche Prozesse um.