Here is the circuit of a Op-Amp based Square Wave Generator. One of the main application of this is in a Simple PWM circuit and Triangle Opamp Oscillator. The Slope of the Triangle wave is compared with a DC Level to derive a pulse width or On-Time proportional to a Voltage.
This On-Time proportional to voltage is for a fixed oscillation rate based on C2-C3 and R15. The C2-C3 form a Unpolarized cap, This type is also used in crossover networks in speaker boxes. This is because, a plastic 4.7 uF (2 * 10uF series) is big and costlier, but a plastic cap is very stable and closer to an ideal cap.
First you need to know that most opamps in such circuits can give a square wave, but very few can swing to the rails (+/-5). For designing take 75% of Vcc. CA3130 is one that can swing to rails like a CMOS gate.
Assuming the swing of output is around +/- 4V, the pin 10 + input will be at +/- 2V. When the cap is discharged at 0 V, let us take that the output is +, the cap charges to a little above +2, – input becomes dominant, so output swings negative. This discharges the cap to 0 and then charges it negatively upto -2. This in turn flips the output to + as pin 10 turns dominant. Hence this continues as a oscillation, with a nice triangle across the cap for the PWM comparator.
Dominant means more +, 0 is positive compared to -2V. Also -2.5 is negative compared to -2.2.
A Center tap 50Hz Step Down Transformer with two diodes is used to get a train of Positive Sine Pulses at 100Hz which is applied to Q6 base via R51. 2N2646 is a unijunction transistor(UJT) in a TO-18 metal package. The control voltage or voltage proportional to error is fed to R56-Q3, The UJT drives a pulse transformer which provides isolation from the Load which the SCR bridge is controlling. This phase angle control gives a near Linear closed loop control for a SCR bridge which may be used in Electroplating or a Preregulator of a big power supply.
A Two Point Process Controller or Temperature Controller would look like this. When a High-Low Alarm Protection for uC based Controller was needed the same was modified and used.
Sometimes uC based instruments just forget and that can be costly, the watchdog timer has solved this problem. In Industrial Process Control we cannot take any chances, so a two tier or even three tier protection is required, especially so if the Job or Raw material being processed is expensive. So Real Time Analog Trip + uC Controller is safe. Then you can still have Electro Mechanical Devices for Extra protection against Fire or Meltdown.
Temperature is the most common process parameter, Pressure seems to be next. Flow, Level, RPM, Distance and many more follow.
When a physical parameter let us say distance is measured, we first need a sensor that converts it into electrical values, digital or analog. The sensor used for length is a Linear encoder and it creates the electrical information for the DRO to Display.
Now many sensors like a strain gauge produce very low and weak signals and some are non-linear. So the signals undergo Amplifying, Temperature compensation and Linearizing together called Signal Conditioning. This stage outputs some standard values like 4-20mA, 0-10 V, 1-5V, or even directly digital or wireless in the new technologies. Even when a digital interfacing standard is used, amplification and some signal conditioning is required at sensor end. Compensation and Linearizing can be better done with a uC using Math or Look up Tables.
When you have many different parameters then it is better to use process controllers with a 4-20mA input standard. Then the inventory of controllers can be reused for any process.
It is always better to use sensor-end transmitters to get 4-20mA to your Controller, Recorder or SCADA System.Weak signals are corrupted by noise and dont travel long wire distance. Junction EMF at joints and terminal blocks add to errors. These are overcome by the 4-20mA signal that has the juice and punch to transmit the data over the shop floor to the control panel rooms.
Read more here Temperature Measurement and Control