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Excel Engineering Newsletter

May 2017

Excel Engineering 2018 Technical Conference

Our 13th annual Technical Conference will be held on Thursday, May 3rd, 2018 at the Shoreview Community Center in Shoreview, MN (previously scheduled for  2/8/18). Please check back here for more details as they are available!

Invitations will be sent out via email around mid-March of 2018. If you are interested in speaking, have topic suggestions or would like to be added to the invitation list, please contact Krista Nielsen at


Back to Basics: Modeling and Scaling Feedforwards

By Wayne Salo

The beginning of Section 1 was previously highlighted in this section. You can read more on that using the link below to access the entire document. We’ll pick up here in Section 2 on Cascaded Control Arrangements.

2 Cascaded Control Arrangements

When a process that is being controlled has intermediate process measurements or if these intermediate measurements can be easily added in the process, the control can easily transform into a cascaded control. This can vastly improve the control of the final controlled variable.

2.1 Process with Intermediate Measured Variables

Figure 25

The process depicted above has a process measurement between the MV and the CV. Typically this Intermediate Measured Variable (IV) will react more quickly than the final controlled variable. In addition the value of this IV will have a direct relation to and influence on the final process value of the CV. This lock-step relationship lends itself to a Cascaded Control Arrangement.

Figure 26

The signal flow diagram for this cascaded model now shows two feedback loops. The loop consisting of the IV and MV will have the fastest response. Note that this representation falls inside overall the feedback loop. This is how these individual loops received the names of “Inner Loop” and “Outer Loop”. The outer loop is the feedback from the final process CV is compared to the SP for the process error. This error along with the associated controller establishes or modifies the Set point for the Inner Loop controller. It is expected that the response of this inner loop will be 4 to 10 times faster than the outer loop.

Continue reading by clicking here to access the complete document. You do not need to sign in to download this .pdf document.

Please contact Krista Nielsen at with questions.

Visit the White Papers page of our website for this article, as well as other content provided by our associates at

Employee Anniversaries

We would like to congratulate the following employees on recent anniversaries with Excel Engineering. We appreciate your commitment to Excel!

 10 Years

Tom McGrath

Jeff Richardson

Craig Thingvold

Steve Townsend

5 Years

Mike Johnson

Andy Lund

Wayne Salo

Elena Tivyan

Don Tschida

New Employees

We are pleased to announce the addition of the following new employees to the Excel organization.



Vincent Becker started at Excel Engineering in October 2016 as a CAD Technician. In this role, he is drafting electrical drawings for Excel’s clients, such as control panel schematics and layouts. He graduated from Century College in May 2016 with an Associates for Applied Science Degree in Engineering CAD Technology.


Adam LaFleur graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering while a member and captain of the Men’s Gymnastics team.  Developed a strong background in technical CAD design in the HVAC industry while preforming a number of roles including control engineer, sales engineer, and project manager from 2013-2016.  Most recently, was contracted to build and develop the Proof of Concept lab for Rockwell Automation before joining Excel Engineering in 2017.

Client Services


Perry Kuznar has over 34 years of engineering and sales experience in the power utility, engineering services and manufacturing industries.  He most recently served as Principle Applications Engineer for Turbine Technologies, Ltd. of Chetek, Wisconsin; a manufacturer of high-end laboratory training equipment for engineering universities and technical institutes.

Perry’s broad experience includes; product hardware development, operator manual /curriculum development, factory-direct global product sales, establishing sales rep alliances and developing sales and marketing strategies and tools.  He has traveled extensively domestically and internationally to support sales, including a successful trip across China to establish in-country representation and make sales presentations to leading universities.

Perry received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and is a Registered Professional Engineer.  He also obtained a Supervisory Management diploma from Chippewa Valley Technical College-Eau Claire.
Perry is married to Kathleen and they have two daughters and a son.  He enjoys long-distance cycling, running and flying.

Controls & Automation


Colin Singer has been involved in controls and automation engineering projects and services since 2008 as both a controls engineer and project manager, with the majority of his experience in the specialty chemical and power generation industries.  Colin received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA.  He is an active member of the ISA.

Industrial Automation


Pat Supanich has joined Excel Engineering  serving in the role of  Industrial Automation Manager.  Pat comes to Excel after developing a diverse background in the industry.  Pat started his professional career in 1996 when he joined 3M Company working in their internal automation group serving the 3M Medical Division.  In early 2000, he relocated to a 3M medical plant in Irvine, CA where he served as a Resident Systems Engineer and Plant Engineering Supervisor.  He left 3M in late 2002 and took a year sabbatical to travel the world with his spouse. Upon his return, he was given the opportunity to start a local office in Minneapolis for a System Integrator.  There he grew the Minneapolis office to nine engineers and became the Director of  Food and Beverage Division, where he oversaw offices in Minneapolis, Dallas, St Louis and Greenville, SC.  In 2012, Pat went to work with Automation Resources, which consisted of, an online magazine for the industry, and Automationtechies, a recruiting agency. While there, he served as Vice President and focused on improving their operations and profitability. He also served as a fill in editor, publisher and contributing writer to the publication. After group was sold in late 2014, Pat focused his efforts on the recruiting side of the business until he left to join Excel Engineering.

Pat grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  He graduated from Michigan Technological University with a BSEE degree in 1996.   He is married and lives in SW Minneapolis with his wife and their two kids.  Pat enjoys spending time with family and friends, outdoor activities such as canoeing and backpacking, traveling, working on his old VW Campervan and doing “projects”  around the house which will all be finished “soon”.


Nathan Wirkkula has nine years of experience in Systems Integration for manufacturing and process control.  His career began working for a Systems Integrator after completing his Electrical and Computer Engineering Degree from the University of Minnesota, Duluth.  Nathan has worked in many different industries since and has become skilled in a variety of PLC, HMI and SCADA systems from manufacturers such as Rockwell, Schneider Electric, and Inductive Automation.  He has provided new automation solutions, as well as upgrades and support to existing systems.  In addition, Nathan has been involved in managing internal resources to ensure project scopes are met along with electrical design and programming.  He also completed startups for plant wide control systems, and factory acceptance tests for machine control.


Paul Brzezinski began his career in the mobile equipment industry. After graduating from North Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering he gained experience designing mobile equipment electrical systems for hazardous environments. His experience also includes working in a manufacturing environment to solve design challenges on the production floor. With five and a half years of Electrical hardware design and manufacturing experience Paul moved into Controls. Working for a system integrator he was involved with delivering comprehensive and detailed control system proposals. He also produced panel layouts, electrical schematics, bill of materials, and collaborated with shop personnel to produce UL508A compliant industrial control panels. Paul has a strong belief in continuous learning and self-improvement; always excited to meet new people and take on new challenges.

Power System Studies


Andrew Turner has a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota Duluth and joined Excel Engineering as part of the Power Systems Studies group in August of 2016. Prior to Excel, Andrew was an intern for Delta ModTech where he was responsible for machine start-up, function testing, and troubleshooting along with making necessary revisions to electrical AutoCAD prints.

Process & Facilities Electrical

Brian Taylor – Senior Designer