Closed-Loop Control System

What Does Closed-Loop Control System Mean?

A closed-loop control system refers to a hardware or logical setup that regulates a process variable and automatically keeps a process to a desired state, according to inputs.


The alternative is an open-loop control system.

Techopedia Explains Closed-Loop Control System

The difference between the open-loop control system and the closed-loop control system is that the open-loop control system only takes in the input and produces the output.

With this in mind, it requires initial event-driven management to generate the model, whereas the closed-loop control system continually takes the output to direct further input.

That is what leads to the automation of the closed-loop control system model. One way to think about it in simplistic terms is that if the control system is open, the input flows through to the result and stops, but if the loop is closed, the system keeps looping without additional external direction.

Some use the example of a thermostat directing a heating and cooling system. In the open-loop case, the system would be programmed to complete one cycle and then wait for additional input.

In a closed-loop control system, the output would be processed back into the control loop and the machine would keep working on continual input.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…