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control & regulation

English translation: here are definitions from

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12:08 Feb 15, 2007
English to English translations [PRO]
Tech/Engineering - Automation & Robotics / controls
English term or phrase: control & regulation
could anybody explain the difference between control & regulation (i.e. controller and regulator) in English?
Franco Mori
Italy
Local time: 18:00
English translation:here are definitions from
Explanation:
Elsevier's Dictionary of Computers, Automatic Control, and Data Processing:

(Automatic) Controller -- A device which measures the value of a variable quantity or condition, and operates to correct or limit deviation of this measured value from a selected reference.
(Automatic) Regulator -- That part of the automatic control system in which the measured value of a controlled condition is compared with a set value and which transmits a signal to a correcting element
Control -- A general term for a system or device which exerts a restraining, governing or directing influence
Regulation -- The maintaining of a variable of a circuit or device at essentially a constant level
Selected response from:

Nik-On/Off
Ukraine
Local time: 19:00
Grading comment
Thanks Tony!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +5See explanation below...
Tony M
4 +3here are definitions from
Nik-On/Off
4Rough explanationkmtext


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


23 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Rough explanation


Explanation:
To regulate something tends to mean to make small adjustments to its working processes to keep it running within certain parameters.
Controlling includes regulation but also means being able to make greater changes up to and including stopping a process or equipment.



kmtext
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:00
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GaelicGaelic
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25 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
here are definitions from


Explanation:
Elsevier's Dictionary of Computers, Automatic Control, and Data Processing:

(Automatic) Controller -- A device which measures the value of a variable quantity or condition, and operates to correct or limit deviation of this measured value from a selected reference.
(Automatic) Regulator -- That part of the automatic control system in which the measured value of a controlled condition is compared with a set value and which transmits a signal to a correcting element
Control -- A general term for a system or device which exerts a restraining, governing or directing influence
Regulation -- The maintaining of a variable of a circuit or device at essentially a constant level

Nik-On/Off
Ukraine
Local time: 19:00
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian, Native in UkrainianUkrainian
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thanks Tony!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Hakki Ucar: they are correct but as Tony M said it needs more context
6 mins
  -> thanks

agree  Roman Bardachev: Can't argue with the dictionary, especially when it's in the field of the asker's question
6 hrs
  -> thanks

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
2 days4 mins
  -> thanks
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23 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
See explanation below...


Explanation:
Sometimes, there isn't really much difference at all — particularly in the 2 examples you cite.

Generally, a "regulator" may be assumed to control something TO A PARTICULAR VALUE — for example, a power supply regulator may be designed to produce (say) a fixed 12 volt output.

Sometimes, "regulator" has the sense of limiting something to a maximum value, as for example in a pressure "regulator" used with bottled gas etc.

A "controller", on the other hand, suggest that you have some means of adjusting; for example, a speed controller might let the user adjust the speed of a fan etc.

In many engineering usages, there is a degree of overlap between the terms that is highly dependent on the precise context.

When used in other fields, for example business and finance, a whole new range of possibilities emerges; in many cases, the 2 terms are to all intents and purposes synonymous, though one or the other may be preferred in certain contexts. So you will find things like "regulatory bodies" — and there are times when the use of one word or another can actually have a specific, different legal or administrative significance.

So I don't believe there is one single, straightforward answer to your question; as ever, it all depends on the exact context!

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Note added at 2 hrs (2007-02-15 14:12:43 GMT)
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Well, Franco, as Ken has said, a regulator is actually more of a closed-loop system than an open-loop one. But in any case, although those generalized definitions are often true, there are many cases of practical usage where they may not be, or at least, where the interpretation may be difficult to make out.

Tony M
France
Local time: 18:00
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Notes to answerer
Asker: May I say that a regulator is an open loop device and a controller is mainly a closed loop device?


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jack Doughty: Might also be worth mentioning the other meaning of control, i.e. monitoring, as in quality control.
1 min
  -> Thanks Jack! A good point, indeed!

agree  Attila Piróth
4 mins
  -> Thanks, Attila!

agree  Hakki Ucar: in generally correct but as you said it needs more context
7 mins
  -> Thanks, Hakki!

agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
38 mins
  -> Efharisto, Vicky!

neutral  Alexander Demyanov: Cannot agree to your "when used in other fields" explanation, specifically, the "to all intents...synonymous". Regulatory bodies can and usually do make rules. Controlling organizations just oversee compliance.
1 hr
  -> As I was very careful to point out, "in many cases" — but as I went on to say, by no means ALL.

agree  webguru
12 hrs
  -> Thanks, Webguru!
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