Control Performance: An Imperative for Safety


This paper explains the link between control performance and safety, reviewing the minimum requirements for effective control system operation.

Safety is the primary requirement of any control system. After that comes environmental requirements, stability, efficiency, and optimization. But safety is always the very first concern.

When handling dangerous energy, chemical, and mechanical hazards, the automated control system is the first layer of safety. It can respond more quickly, predictably, and repeatedly than a human operator. Yet few plants are measuring the performance of the control system and its resulting effect on safety. This means that the control system may not be capable of meeting its design requirements, and could fail in the face of a serious safety hazard.


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