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Keywords:

  • process control;
  • control;
  • safety;
  • batch control

Abstract

This work considers the problem of controlling batch processes to achieve a desired final product quality subject to input constraints and faults in the control actuators. Specifically, faults are considered that cannot be handled via robust control approaches, and preclude the ability to reach the desired end-point, necessitating fault-rectification. A safe-steering framework is developed to address the problem of determining how to utilize the functioning inputs during fault rectification to ensure that after fault-rectification, the desired product properties can be reached upon batch termination. To this end, first a novel reverse-time reachability region (we define the reverse time reachability region as the set of states from where the desired end point can be reached by batch termination) based MPC is formulated that reduces online computations, as well as provides a useful tool for handling faults. Next, a safe-steering framework is developed that utilizes the reverse-time reachability region based MPC in steering the state trajectory during fault rectification to enable (upon fault recovery) the achieving of the desired end point properties by batch termination. The proposed controller and safe-steering framework are illustrated using a fed-batch process example. © 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2009