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A systematic approach to construct fault trees for advanced process control systems is presented in this paper. For illustration purpose, the proposed method is explained with a specific feedback scheme, i.e., the cascade control strategy. The digraph configuration of a standard system is first described and analyzed in detail. On the basis of a series of qualitative simulation studies, all failure mechanisms can be identified and summarized with a set of generalized fault-tree structures. The fault trees produced with the conventional digraph-based techniques are shown to be not as comprehensive as the ones constructed with the proposed approach. To demonstrate the correctness of our analysis, the successful application of the proposed structures to a heat exchange process is presented. In addition, the resulting fault tree is compared with one obtained from a single-loop feedback control system and the trade-off between the two in system reliability and control performance is assessed accordingly.
Date of Publication: March 2004