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The time required for the controlled variable to reach and stay within a predetermined band about the control point following any change of the independent variable or operating condition in a control system. Also known as settling time.

Related Terms


  1. An instrument used to measure continuously or at intervals a condition that must be kept within prescribed limits, such as radioactivity at some point in a nuclear reactor, a variable quantity in an automatic process control system, the transmissions in a communication channel or bank, or the position of an aircraft in flight. 2. To use meters or special techniques to measure such a condition. 3. A person who watches a monitor.


The delay caused by the amount of time required to transport material or propagate a signal or condition from one point to another. Also known as transportation lag; transport lag.


The degree of correspondence between the ultimately controlled variable and the ideal value in a feedback control system.


The analysis of the behavior of the output variable of an automatic control system as the system changes from one steady-state condition to another in terms of such quantities as maximum overshoot, rise time, and response time.


  1. A series of operations in petroleum refining or natural-gas processing in which the steps are repeated periodically in the same sequence. 2. A periodic change of the controlled variable from one value to another in an automatic control system.


A reservoir without control gates for storing water over brief periods of time until the stream has the capacity for ordinary flow plus released water; used for flood regulation.


A deliberate delay of a predetermined time in the action of a safety device or control.


A capacitor connected across a switch, relay, or key to lengthen the decay time from the closed to the open condition when the device is opened or closed.


A performance rating that governs the choice of a device for a particular application; for example, the figure of merit of a magnetic amplifier is the ratio of usable power gain to the control time constant.


The amount of time required for a rubber compound to reach maximum viscosity or modulus at a given temperature.

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