Monday, June 30, 2014

How can you benefit from an Operator Training Simulator (OTS)?

-taken from “Workforce Enablement Technology: Training The Operators Of The Future”
By: Cecil F. Shewchuk, Ph.D., P.Eng. Shewchuk Consulting, Principal

Traditional, relatively passive teaching and learning methods, such as reading and listening to lectures, are notoriously ineffective with a low rate of knowledge retention. Participatory teaching, including group discussion, practice, and teaching others, is essential for the development of in-depth retained learning. The cost to effectively and efficiently train a plant operator workforce can be quite high, partly because of the long time, about two years, it takes to develop the necessary skills using traditional methods. Where there is a valid learning need, plants require the best option available to meet that need.
A well-designed and well-integrated Operator Training Simulator (OTS) system will incorporate all the essential training to develop a highly efficient, confident, and skillful operator workforce in a matter of months, not years. The use of OTS technology reduces the high cost of training the next generation of operators. This is possible because all the necessary elements are considered including hands-on experience, direct feedback, evaluation and assessment of trainee progress. Furthermore, the essential knowledge and experience of longer-term workers can be incorporated into OTS training exercises.
An OTS uses dynamic simulation technology to produce a high fidelity representation of the processing system including the process equipment, controls and automated procedures. The dynamic simulation calculates, in real-time, how the process system will respond to outside influences such as changes in feed characteristics like temperature or composition, or to operator control actions like motor stop/starts or set point changes. The accuracy of the dynamic simulation model is dependent on the quality of the solving algorithms, modeling equations (heat, mass and momentum balances) and thermodynamic calculations that have been incorporated into the OTS system software architecture. Modern OTS systems are able to be easily configured and maintained using graphical model building tools to represent in fine detail a very broad range of plants commonly found in the process industries.
An OTS system, integrated with a plant’s real control system graphical interface, is used to allow the operator trainee to become familiar with all aspects of operating the plant from a familiar yet totally risk-free environment. Mistakes can be made and lessons learned with no negative consequences to the plant, environment, or personnel. It can be used to create various operating scenarios that may occur in the plant – those which are common and mundane, and those which are irregular, rare, or crisis driven. It allows the operator to practice plant operation under normal circumstances, but it is also useful to allow the operator to see what would happen if for instance certain variables were changed or if a mechanical breakdown occurred, or if a new standard operating procedure was implemented. All of this happens, of course, in a safe environment where the real plant is not affected and the operator can function as if proactive and reactive decisions made are real
It should be noted that the fidelity (trueness to real plant operation) of an OTS system model can be adjusted (high, medium, low) depending on the anticipated requirement of the system. Adjusting the fidelity level trades accuracy for lower cost. Fidelity is an important consideration if it is intended to use an OTS system for purposes other than operator training, such as process and control design, DCS configuration testing and modification and process operations optimization.
By using an OTS with its suite of training oriented functions (see table insert) as an essential component of competency development, a new operator will benefit in many practical ways and the results of the training can be documented for audit and tracking purposes.
A new hire generally has a very steep learning curve to master the operation of a modern refinery or chemical plant. Using an OTS system in which basic training is integrated with graphical schematics of the actual plant DCS that the operator trainee is expected to use, develops a familiarity that instills confidence. This comes from the opportunity to practice real scenarios with hands-on experience in a safe environment. This delivery vehicle leveraging the latest technologies is quite familiar to younger workers who have grown up with technology in all aspects of their lives. Some virtual reality immersive training systems even look very similar to video games but are designed to develop or refine proficiency in field operations. Given that the training is accessible and the content is appropriate to the operator’s work, the learning is retained in a timely fashion.


Why SimSci?









From "Hydrocarbon Processing": "IRPC ’14: Eni lauds conversion of Venice oil refinery into green biorefinery"

VENICE, Italy -- What are the options for a simple, smaller crude oil refinery during tough economic times? For Eni’s Venice refinery in Italy, the situation had only two options: innovate or close.

The bearish economic conditions placed small European refineries under extreme pressure. The only solutions were generally to convert to a terminal or shut down completely."

To read the complete article, click here.

Develop new process flow sheets for a new technology with SimSci, #TechValidate

Customer Testimonial verified by TechValidate.

About PRO/II: PRO/II is the major product in the Process Engineering Suite (PES). This process simulation software optimizes plant performance by improving process design, operational analysis, and performing engineering studies. It is designed to perform rigorous heat and material balance calculations for a wide range of chemical processes. PRO/II allows users to evaluate the use of heat integration with case studies, rigorously evaluate process improvements with the help of a process flow diagram (PFD), or model crude distillation units. PRO/II offers a wide variety of thermodynamic models to virtually every industry and is incredibly cost effective, decreasing both capital and operating costs.
Technical Support: As always, feel free to reach out to your local technical support team for more information.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

OTS and ITS solutions provide an enhanced engineering education, #SimSci #TechValidate

Customer References verified by TechValidate.

About Operator Training: Invensys offers a computer-based training method, Operator Training Simulators (OTS), to help give operators the skills they need to run a process or plant. Refineries and other plants are being forced to rely on inexperienced operators due to the aging workforce. Undertrained employees reduce performance and profitability in a refinery and may also risk the safety of other employees. The aging workforce is moving closer to the age of retirement, making it imperative to train younger, less experienced employees. Invensys offers an Operator Training System to aid refineries in educating inexperienced operators, who will soon be relied upon to operate the refinery and perform operational excellence.
Operators learn the ins and outs of a refinery in this virtual control room. DYNSIM is a model that controls the plant response. Trainees learn how to react appropriately when a similar situation occurs in the actual plant. DYNSIM Checkout is the first process dynamic simulation product designed specifically for control checkout. This solution can validate control system design before it is installed in the plant which eliminates many problems that occur during startup.
Technical Support: As always, feel free to reach out to your local technical support team for more information.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Improve design results, #SimSci #TechValidate

Customer Evidence verified by TechValidate.

About PRO/II: PRO/II is the major product in the Process Engineering Suite (PES). This process simulation software optimizes plant performance by improving process design, operational analysis, and performing engineering studies. It is designed to perform rigorous heat and material balance calculations for a wide range of chemical processes. PRO/II allows users to evaluate the use of heat integration with case studies, rigorously evaluate process improvements with the help of a process flow diagram (PFD), or model crude distillation units. PRO/II offers a wide variety of thermodynamic models to virtually every industry and is incredibly cost effective, decreasing both capital and operating costs.
Technical Support: As always, feel free to reach out to your local technical support team for more information.

Power News on Improving Ramp Rates

Guest Blogger: Paul Campo, Product Marketing Intern

It’s summer time here in the United States! Which means that it is the season of peak demand for electricity. It is essential during this time of the year that power generating plants avoid unexpected shutdowns at critical hours of the day. SimSci APC software is here to help.

Our advanced process control technology is designed to combat:
  • High temperature peaks caused by load ramping
  • Low temperature sags at end of ramp up or during ramp down
  • Thermal imbalances (side to side in twin furnaces)
  • Complex multivariable control problems
  • Significant time delays in process
With:
  • Extended unit ramp rate
  • Reductions in excessive thermal stress on boiler & steam turbine
  • Increased steam turbine cycle efficiency and unit heat rate 

We offer solutions that are more tightly coupled with the existing controls and operator interface to ensure the widest usability and operator acceptance.

Check out our short promotional video and sign up for your free consultation here.

Maximize efficiency and profitability with OTS, #SimSci #TechValidate

Customer Content verified by TechValidate.

About Operator Training: Invensys offers a computer-based training method, Operator Training Simulators (OTS), to help give operators the skills they need to run a process or plant. Refineries and other plants are being forced to rely on inexperienced operators due to the aging workforce. Undertrained employees reduce performance and profitability in a refinery and may also risk the safety of other employees. The aging workforce is moving closer to the age of retirement, making it imperative to train younger, less experienced employees. Invensys offers an Operator Training System to aid refineries in educating inexperienced operators, who will soon be relied upon to operate the refinery and perform operational excellence.
Operators learn the ins and outs of a refinery in this virtual control room. DYNSIM is a model that controls the plant response. Trainees learn how to react appropriately when a similar situation occurs in the actual plant. DYNSIM Checkout is the first process dynamic simulation product designed specifically for control checkout. This solution can validate control system design before it is installed in the plant which eliminates many problems that occur during startup.
Technical Support: As always, feel free to reach out to your local technical support team for more information.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

New Features Included with SimSci APC 2014

Guest Blogger: Paul Campo, Product Marketing Intern

The new Director enhancement offered with SimSci APC allows any parameters from the control room to be easily switched out and scripted to change what goes out to the Distributed Control Systems. Furthermore, the AutoDiscovery feature can detect and adapt to current DCS systems in your process, allowing you to keep earlier versions or competitive models. Finally, display process events by generating trend lines that model system behavior in real-time (as shown).

The overall benefits of our APC software include:
  • Simultaneous process operations close to multiple constraints
  • Reduced variation which allows operation closer to mechanical limits
  • Access to a wide range of process operations
  • Improved quality
  • Increased operating profit
  • Reduced energy costs

Check out our short promotional video and sign up for your free consultation here.

A Quiet About-face?

Guest blogger: Livia Wiley, SimSci Product Marketing Manager
On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Commerce Department approved the sale of unrefined oil exports outside North America “on a limited basis”—the first in more than 40 years. This quietly reported about-face is driven by the fact that the U.S. has an abundance of light oil from its shale formations.  It can be shipped easily without being refined. It is expected that beginning in August, the Eagle Ford Shale formation in south Texas will begin shipping ultra-light condensate, “so long as the liquid is stabilized and distilled”.

I think everyone can agree this decision has been a long time coming, and the push to further expand the “unrefined oil” export market is just beginning. As quiet as this announcement was, expect to see further developments in shale oil exports as this play is just as advantageous for the U.S. Commerce Department as it is for big oil.

Want to know SimSci’s play in shale oil & gas? Visit experience.simsci.com

Operator Training

Refineries are being forced to rely on inexperienced operators due to the aging workforce.  Undertrained employees reduce performance and profitability in a refinery and may also risk the safety of other employees. The aging workforce is moving closer to the age of retirement, making it imperative to train younger, less experienced employees. Schneider Electric offers solutions that aid refineries in educating inexperienced operators, who will soon be relied upon to operate the refinery.


Simulation & Training offering under the SimSci by Schneider Electric brand helps give operators the skills they need to run a refinery. Operators learn the ins and outs of a refinery in this virtual control room. DYNSIM is a model that controls the plant response. Trainees learn how to react appropriately when a similar situation occurs in the actual plant. The immersive training system from SimSci, EYESIM, is a technology breakthrough in training. The EYESIM solution connects all refinery operators by a high-fidelity process simulation and virtual walkthrough plant environment. The virtual plant feature will significantly improve maintenance activities by offering direct feedback once a trainee completes an action. This will provide the knowledge necessary to act appropriately in any given situation.

To find out more information, visit our website, where you can also view the OTS datasheet.

Combustion Optimization System Works to Reduce Coal Plant Losses



Guest Blogger: Paul Campo, Product Marketing Intern
Insufficient monitoring is one of the reasons that fossil fuel plants do not operate at their maximum potential.  Our Combustion Optimization System (COS) will improve heat rate and reduce NOx emissions while increasing boiler operating flexibility and stability throughout the controllable load range.  In addition, it incorporates necessary critical parameters such as opacity, carbon monoxide, etc., to bound the system properly.


APC is a software toolkit for advanced process control with:
  • Multivariable control
  • Linear Optimizer
  • Neural Network
  • Fuzzy Logic
  • Simulation
  • Model Development

NOx and Heat Rate Optimization can be achieved by improving:
  • Excess O2, Stack Losses
  • FD/ID Fan Loadings
  • Reheat/Superheat Sprays
  • Smart Soot Blowing
  • CIA (LOI)
Regardless of whether the optimization objective is to improve load response, heat rate, NOx MW production, LOI, and/or soot blowing, Schneider Electric can solve the problem with a single software license. Our solution improves key performance variables and decreases operator intervention.

Check out our short promotional video and sign up for your free consultation here.

Determine/calculate thermodynamic properties quickly and efficiently with SimSci, #TechValidate

Customer Testimonial verified by TechValidate.

About PRO/II: PRO/II is the major product in the Process Engineering Suite (PES). This process simulation software optimizes plant performance by improving process design, operational analysis, and performing engineering studies. It is designed to perform rigorous heat and material balance calculations for a wide range of chemical processes. PRO/II allows users to evaluate the use of heat integration with case studies, rigorously evaluate process improvements with the help of a process flow diagram (PFD), or model crude distillation units. PRO/II offers a wide variety of thermodynamic models to virtually every industry and is incredibly cost effective, decreasing both capital and operating costs.
Technical Support: As always, feel free to reach out to your local technical support team for more information.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Schneider Electric Advantage: Dynamic Optimization


Guest Blogger: Paul Campo, Product Marketing Intern



Our Model-based Predictive Control and Neural Network software will help not only to improve control but to operate your equipment closer to its mechanical limits. Our enhanced NN Capability results in faster training, nonlinear dynamic model identification, inferential prediction of unmeasured process parameters, improved soft constraint prediction by a nonlinear model, better process control through a true nonlinear control capability.  APC incorporates a number of validation algorithms within its identification technology, and will capture maximum benefits while honoring operating constraints to improve operation efficiency and reliability while cutting utility costs.

Check out our short promotional video and sign up for your free consultation here.

Maintain skills even after qualification with OTS, #SimSci #TechValidate

Customer Survey verified by TechValidate.

About Operator Training: Invensys offers a computer-based training method, Operator Training Simulators (OTS), to help give operators the skills they need to run a process or plant. Refineries and other plants are being forced to rely on inexperienced operators due to the aging workforce. Undertrained employees reduce performance and profitability in a refinery and may also risk the safety of other employees. The aging workforce is moving closer to the age of retirement, making it imperative to train younger, less experienced employees. Invensys offers an Operator Training System to aid refineries in educating inexperienced operators, who will soon be relied upon to operate the refinery and perform operational excellence.
Operators learn the ins and outs of a refinery in this virtual control room. DYNSIM is a model that controls the plant response. Trainees learn how to react appropriately when a similar situation occurs in the actual plant. DYNSIM Checkout is the first process dynamic simulation product designed specifically for control checkout. This solution can validate control system design before it is installed in the plant which eliminates many problems that occur during startup.
Technical Support: As always, feel free to reach out to your local technical support team for more information.

Are you at IRPC in Verona?

SimSci by Schneider Electric is represented there and we would love to meet you. Look for me there and introduce youself. I am presenting on Thursday at 11 in the Refining track 


We are about to get started today! 



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pulp & Paper Mills Annually Earn up to $2mil More with Advanced Process Control (APC) Software by Schneider Electric

Guest blogger: Paul Campo, Product Marketing Intern

Whether it is your Recovery Boiler, Evaporators, Recausticizing Equipment, or Lime Kiln, optimize the pulp and paper recovery cycle with SimSci APC.  The Multivariable Predictive Controller manipulates fuel flow, induced draft (ID) fan speed and other parameters to hold key control variables within operator set constraints. With the ability of switching multiple models depending on process gains, the Invensys solution is capable of adapting and switching these models automatically online in a seamless fashion.

For the often neglected recovery areas, we offer flexible control design, outstanding ROI, DCS independence, pre-configured solutions and fast installation/commissioning. 

Measurable improvements in pulping, recovery and paper making include up to 50 percent reduction in kappa variability, increased delignification efficiency and pulp viscosity, decreased caustic usage and proven automated rate and grade/species changes.

Typical benefits range from $400K to $2 Million per year from our software performance.  With over 900 different Pulp and Paper applications worldwide and decades of experience, SimSci offers the most advantageous industrial solutions to increasing profitability.


Check out our short promotional video and sign up for your free consultation here.

2G Shale Technology

Guest blogger: Livia Wiley, SimSci Product Marketing Manager
Efficiency and design are vital to well output”; that was the collective point of Hart Energy’s 2014 Marcellus Utica Midstream conference on June 4, 2014. Experience and second generation drilling technology has allowed horizontal laterals to increase to between 4,000-7,000 feet and well spacing to drop to 500-700 feet. These are huge improvements over the first generation. And yes, there are challenges (such as, problems with logistics and getting supplies onsite) but the overall outlook looks good. Expect technology to continue to drive growth and the learning curve to provide improved efficiency.


SimSci provides high value solutions to our customers in conventional and unconventional oil & gas processing, including asset development, operator training, and production optimization. Email simscimarketing@invensys.com for more information.

Choose SimSci software for reliable process simulation, #TechValidate

Customer Evidence verified by TechValidate.

About PRO/II: PRO/II is the major product in the Process Engineering Suite (PES). This process simulation software optimizes plant performance by improving process design, operational analysis, and performing engineering studies. It is designed to perform rigorous heat and material balance calculations for a wide range of chemical processes. PRO/II allows users to evaluate the use of heat integration with case studies, rigorously evaluate process improvements with the help of a process flow diagram (PFD), or model crude distillation units. PRO/II offers a wide variety of thermodynamic models to virtually every industry and is incredibly cost effective, decreasing both capital and operating costs.
Technical Support: As always, feel free to reach out to your local technical support team for more information.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Save 2-4 months training time with OTS, #SimSci #TechValidate

Customer References verified by TechValidate.

About Operator Training: Invensys offers a computer-based training method, Operator Training Simulators (OTS), to help give operators the skills they need to run a process or plant. Refineries and other plants are being forced to rely on inexperienced operators due to the aging workforce. Undertrained employees reduce performance and profitability in a refinery and may also risk the safety of other employees. The aging workforce is moving closer to the age of retirement, making it imperative to train younger, less experienced employees. Invensys offers an Operator Training System to aid refineries in educating inexperienced operators, who will soon be relied upon to operate the refinery and perform operational excellence.
Operators learn the ins and outs of a refinery in this virtual control room. DYNSIM is a model that controls the plant response. Trainees learn how to react appropriately when a similar situation occurs in the actual plant. DYNSIM Checkout is the first process dynamic simulation product designed specifically for control checkout. This solution can validate control system design before it is installed in the plant which eliminates many problems that occur during startup.
Technical Support: As always, feel free to reach out to your local technical support team for more information.