Detection of safe operating regions: A novel dynamic process simulator based predictive alarm management approach

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6 Citations (Scopus)


The operation of complex production processes is one of the most important research and development problems in process engineering. A safety instrumented system (SIS) performs specified functions to achieve or maintain a safe state of the process when unacceptable or dangerous process conditions are detected. A logic solver is required to receive the sensor input signal(s), to make appropriate decisions based on the nature of the signal(s), and to change its outputs according to user-defined logic. The change of the logic solver output(s) results in the final element(s) taking action on the process (e.g., closing a valve) to bring it back to a safe state. Alarm management is a powerful tool to support the operators' work to control the process in safe operating regions and to detect process malfunctions. Predictive alarm management (PAM) systems should be able not only to detect a dangerous situation early enough, but also to give advice to process operators which safety action (or safety element(s)) must be applied. The aim of this paper is to develop a novel methodology to support the operators how to make necessary adjustments in operating variables at the proper time. The essential of the proposed methodology is the simulation of the effect of safety elements over a prediction horizon. Since different manipulations have different time demand to avoid the evolution of the unsafe situation (safety time), the process operators should know which safety action(s) should be taken at a given time. For this purpose a method for model based predictive stability analysis has been worked out based on Lyapunov's stability analysis of simulated state trajectories. The proposed algorithm can be applied to explore the stable and unstable operating regimes of a process (set of safe states), information that can be used for PAM. The developed methodology has been applied to two industrial benchmark problems related to the thermal runaway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)658-668
Number of pages11
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 20 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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