Wednesday, December 28, 2011

PRO/II flash unit operation hints

The PRO/II flash unit operation is not limited to simple specifications such as temperature and pressure, but can also be used to create complex product specifications; e.g. composition, vapor pressure, actual volumetric rate, transport property and many others. This is done by setting-up a flash in the usual way, selecting temperature or pressure as the first specification and then activating the radio button to select “Product Specification” for the second specification. The product specification is constructed in the same way as other PRO/II specifications and the flash uses the remaining degree of freedom (i.e. temperature or pressure) to achieve it. This is a useful feature for streamlining process flowsheets, avoiding unnecessary control loops and increasing solution speed. For further details, please contact Technical Support.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays! 

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

PRO/II – PIPEPHASE interface

The PRO/II – PIPEPHASE interface is a stand-alone graphical user interface that allows PIPEPHASE simulations to interface with PRO/II simulations. The interface allows bi-directional transfer of data between simulations, as well as simultaneous solution of the simulation models, which means that recycles between flowsheets can be rigorously handled. The interface can also be used to transfer data from PRO/II to PRO/II and PIPEPHASE to PIPEPHASE simulations, which enables large simulations to be broken down into more manageable flowsheets. For further details, please contact Technical Support.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Invensys Signs Technology Agreement with Shell


Tom Clary, Invensys Operations Management t: 469-365-6651 m: 214-549-5629

John Nero, Tiziani Whitmyre, t: 781-793-9380 m: 401-486-3120

Invensys Signs Technology Agreement with Shell
 -- Rigorous simulation and optimization to help achieve real-time operational excellence --

DECEMBER 19, 2011 / PLANO, TEXAS - Invensys Operations Management, a global provider of technology systems, software solutions and consulting services to the manufacturing and infrastructure operations industries, today announced that it has signed a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract to deliver comprehensive software solutions and services for Shell.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Comply with ISA-S84 documentation and verification requirements - SimSci-Esscor Introduces the SimSci-Esscor Logic Validator

The SimSci-Esscor Logic Validator is a test harness that automatically executes a series of commands that set tag or input variables, allows a loop to process, and verifies the outcome matches expectations. 
It is designed to work in a soft or simulated environment, separate from the real DCS or PLC hardware.
A straightforward Excel-based interface is used to write the input file, verify the commands and tags or control variables are valid, execute the test procedure, and document the test results.   It has been developed around the TriStation 1131 emulator in conjunction with TRISIM Plus that employs the Dynamic Simulation Suite, or DSS infrastructure associated with DYNSIM.

10 Most Common Pitfalls in Process Simulation #10: Assay Property Blending

When you have more than 1 assay in a simulation model, you need to be concerned with assay blending and how it will affect the results of your file.  Assay blending is the mixing of 2 or more blends of components (i.e. – sets of cuts/pseudo-components) in order to calculate averaged component properties for cuts that are in the same boiling point range as one another.  Once these new averaged component properties are determined, the program will use these averages from there and on in the simulation model any time it needs to access component properties for a given pseudo-component.  All component properties are blended, including normal boiling points, specific gravity, molecular weight and refinery inspection properties, and usually the blended component properties are calculated using a weighted average, like the equation below for normal boiling point –

Friday, December 16, 2011

Invensys attends #PowerGen - Booth #8416

Dates: 12/12/2011 - 12/16/2011
Venue: Las Vegas Convention Center | Las Vegas, NV

POWER-GEN International is the industry leader in providing comprehensive coverage of trends, technologies and issues facing the generation sector. As the need to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively becomes increasingly important, no other event bridges challenges with solutions like POWER-GEN International.
More than 1,200 companies from all sectors of the industry exhibit each year and more than 19,000 attendees come together at POWER-GEN International for a horizontal look at the industry with key emphasis on new solutions and innovations for the future.
Booth Number: 8416

SimSci-Esscor Software Solution from Invensys Operations Management Helps Achieve Compliance with New Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

Press Release Link

Full Text Below

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Spreadsheet tools in PRO/II

In PRO/II, by selecting the Spreadsheet option from the Tools menu, you have three options for exporting simulation results direct to an Excel spreadsheet in a defined format.  More spreadsheets are available from our website, or can be requested from Technical Support.  In addition the spreadsheets can be customized to meet your own requirements.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Free Webinar Series

Free Webinars on Wednesdays
SimSci-Esscor Webinar Series
This week we discuss Assays and Pseudocomponents in PRO/II. Let us know what you think of the webinar.

10 Most Common Pitfalls in Process Simulation #9: Assay Pseudo-Component Development

Petroleum assays are sets of distillation data that are used to characterize all of the components that reside in a given crude sample.  When you enter the distillation data into a process simulator, the program needs to take this data and convert it into components that is can use when modeling your processes.  These components that are generated are called pseudo-components, and each pseudo-component represents all of the unknown components that would be within a given boiling point range in the crude. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Marina Velazquez takes over from Joe McMullen as Product Manager for PES

Process Engineering Suite (PES) has a new product manager, Marina Velazquez. Marina goes from being a power user, and member of the PES Advisory Board (since 2005) to managing PES which includes PRO/II, the flagship product under the SimSci-Esscor brand.       

Marina was born and raised in Spain, graduated with a  BS Chemical Engineering from University of Puerto Rico. She holds a Masters degree in Engineering Management from Marshall University in West Virginia. 
Marina started her career in Union Carbide as a process engineer in West Virginia.  She transferred to UOP in New York to the support in-house process simulators.  After that, she switched to BOC in New Jersey for Process Simulation and engineering computer tools.  In her most recent position at  ABB Lummus, now Lummus Technology a CB&I company, she was a Thermodynamic and Process Simulation specialist.  Now at Invensys Operations Management, Marina will support PES from her New Jersey location.

Marina brings a user’s perspective and a wealth of industry knowledge to the position, and we expect great things from her and PES. She welcomes user’s comments and feedback on PES; you can contact her at

Monday, December 5, 2011

10 Most Common Pitfalls in Process Simulation #8: Difficult or Impossible Specifications

Specifications within process simulation are everywhere.  Every stream or unit operation you place in your model contains specifications.  In the simplest form, a specification is a constraint that you place on the model in which the model needs to meet the constraint in order to successfully converge.  For streams, these are usually temperatures, pressures, flowrates and compositions.  For unit operations, they range from process conditions, like temperatures and pressures, to product conditions, like an overhead composition in a column. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Video: Returning the human to automated processes | Control Engineering

Video: Returning the human to automated processes Control Engineering

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

10 Most Common Pitfalls in Process Simulation #7: Model Complexity

There are 2 ways to designing a process simulation model –

  1. Make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies anywhere in the model.
  2. Make it so complex that there are no obvious deficiencies anywhere in the model. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

10 Most Common Pitfalls in Process Simulation #6: Recycles

By definition, recycles in process simulation are any time when you are returning to a previously calculated unit operation or operations to iteratively recalculate the unit due to a change made elsewhere in the model.  They are very common and can often be difficult parts of a model to converge.  When working with a model, it is important to identify and fully understand the recycles that are in your process.  Recycles can come in many forms within process simulation.  The most common form is the compositional recycle.   

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

10 Most Common Pitfalls in Process Simulation #5: Tolerances

Many of the calculations in process simulation are iterative.  When these calculations iterate, the program needs to compare the results calculated from one iteration to the results calculated in the next iteration in order to determine whether it is converged to a solution and can stop calculating or if it needs to keep going.  This way of comparing results is the basic formula for tolerance values, and simulation programs use tolerance to determine this stopping point.  The diagram below shows how a typical tolerance calculation is performed, where N = the value of the current iteration number, N-1 = the value of the previous iteration number, and Ep is the tolerance value.  This example is for a pressure calculation. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

10 Most Common Pitfalls in Process Simulation #4: Thermodynamic Method Selection

Proper selection of thermodynamic methods for your simulation is the most important decision that you make when modeling a process.  The method you end up choosing could have a drastic change on your results.  In the example below, using Peng-Robinson instead of Grayson-Streed for your column would result in a higher duty for your column’s condenser and an increased reflux ratio.  If you did not know that this was wrong, you could end up designing and purchasing a column much larger than you needed.  

Friday, November 11, 2011

EYESIM - Practical Applications

EYESIM Virtual Reality Training System will soon be utilized by the National Energy Technology Laboratory to model Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) processes. The process converts coal to energy and minimizes harmful emissions by sequestering carbon products. The process is leading the way for clean coal processing and is an integral step toward the future. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New application for Connoisseur (APC software) shows impressive initial results

Invensys Operations Management is offering a new solution to aid in achieving the difficult task of maximizing the heat rate of power plant facilities while minimizing key emissions.  Smart Firing Control (SFC) offers the first fully automated closed loops enhancement of this requirement to the industry and could truly revolutionize the way a power plant is controlled. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

10 Most Common Pitfalls in Process Simulation #3: Bad Plant Data

Plant data changes over time.  What you enter into a simulation program when you initially build a model will not be the same information that is valid in the future.  Your feed information may be different, especially in the case of assay data which always changes over time.  Your unit operation’s process conditions may also be different now than they were when you built the model.  Not only does plant data change over time, but measurement information is often very inaccurate.  This could be due to faulty or poorly calibrated measurement equipment, leaks in lines, sensor failures, and other issues.  Because of these changes and inaccuracies over time, you always have to validate the information that is entered in your model to ensure that you are obtaining the proper results.  A simple mass balance around the plant below would show that something does not add up properly!

There are programs out there that can help with this data validation and reconciliation.  ROMeo is SimSci-Esscor’s online optimization program.  With it, you can connect your model to your data historian to constantly pull up to date measurements into your model and then reconcile those measurements to determine when problems arise within your plant and where those problems are most likely occurring.  After running data reconciliation, you can manually transfer and use your reconciled plant data as feed information to our other software, like PRO/II and PIPEPHASE.

If you do not have a data reconciliation program to determine the quality of the plant data that you are given, you can use your engineering judgment to determine if the data is valid.  For example, in the process below, depending on the mass balanced performed, we have 3 different flowrates for stream S4.  If you look at just the measurement value, you will get 30.6.  If you perform a mass balance around node C using the measured values for streams S3 and S5, you obtain a flowrate of 29.3.  If you perform an overall mass balance for the process using the measured values given (all streams with MS# shown; S1, S2, and S3 provide enough information to determine S7 = 59 and S8 = 37.9, which then allow you to measure S6 = 21.1), you get a flowrate of 28.1 for S4.  Three different mass balances each provide a different flowrate result for S4.  Which is correct?  As an engineer, it is up to you to decide, but knowing that this is a possibility and checking for this is how you help ensure good plant data instead of bad.  

Monday, October 31, 2011

MPEC Conference & ROMeo 6.0 Ribbon Cutting

From October 23 - 26, 2011, Invensys participated in 1st Middle East Process Engineering Conference and Exhibition 2011 held in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain. During the conference, ROMeo 6.0 was introduced by Harpreet Gulati, Director of Design & Optimization at Invensys, followed by an official ribbon cutting as the milestone for the launch.

The Invensys Team was also awarded the first prize for the best booth! Thank you to all who attended. 

ROMeo 6.0 Ribbon Cutting