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Computer-aided applications in process plant safety

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posted on 29.06.2010, 11:17 by Hong An
Process plants that produce chemical products through pre-designed processes are fundamental in the Chemical Engineering industry. The safety of hazardous processing plants is of paramount importance as an accident could cause major damage to property and/or injury to people. HAZID is a computer system that helps designers and operators of process plants to identify potential design and operation problems given a process plant design. However, there are issues that need to be addressed before such a system will be accepted for common use. This research project considers how to improve the usability and acceptability of such a system by developing tools to test the developed models in order for the users to gain confidence in HAZID s output as HAZID is a model based system with a library of equipment models. The research also investigates the development of computer-aided safety applications and how they can be integrated together to extend HAZID to support different kinds of safety-related reasoning tasks. Three computer-aided tools and one reasoning system have been developed from this project. The first is called Model Test Bed, which is to test the correctness of models that have been built. The second is called Safe Isolation Tool, which is to define isolation boundary and identify potential hazards for isolation work. The third is an Instrument Checker, which lists all the instruments and their connections with process items in a process plant for the engineers to consider whether the instrument and its loop provide safeguards to the equipment during the hazard identification procedure. The fourth is a cause-effect analysis system that can automatically generate cause-effect tables for the control engineers to consider the safety design of the control of a plant as the table shows process events and corresponding process responses designed by the control engineer. The thesis provides a full description of the above four tools and how they are integrated into the HAZID system to perform control safety analysis and hazard identification in process plants.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Engineering (CICE)


© Hong An

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This is a dissertation thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree Doctor of Engineering (EngD), at Loughborough University.





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