Yinghong Zhao a, c, Xiao He a, Michael G. Pecht c, Junfeng Zhang a, and Donghua Zhou b, a
a Department of Automation, Beijing National Research Center for Information Science and Technology (BNRist), Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
b College of Electrical Engineering and Automation, Shandong University of Science and Technology, Qingdao 266590, China
c Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE), University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
So far, problems of intermittent fault (IF) detection and detectability have not been fully investigated in the multivariate statistics framework. The characteristics of IFs are small magnitudes and short durations, and consequently traditional multivariate statistical methods using only a single observation are no longer effective. Thus in this paper, moving average control charts (MA-TCCs) with multiple window lengths, which simultaneously employ a bank of MA-TCCs with different window lengths, are proposed to address the IF detection problem. Methods to reduce false/missing alarms and infer the IFs’ appearing and disappearing time instances are presented. In order to analyze the detection capability for IFs, definitions of guaranteed detectability are introduced, which is an extension and generalization of the original fault detectability concept focused on permanent faults (PFs). Then, necessary and sufficient conditions are derived for the detectability of IFs, which may appear and disappear several times with different magnitudes and durations. Based on these conditions, some optimal properties of two important window lengths are further discussed. In this way, a theoretical framework for the analysis of IFs’ detectability is established as well as extended discussions on how the theoretical results can be adapted to real-world applications. Finally, simulation studies on a numerical example and the continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) process are carried out to show the effectiveness of the developed methods.