In this case, Rain Carbon requested Inprocess to develop a Direct-Connect Operator Training Simulator (OTS) in order to train their operators in a new plant under construction. The process targets the production of a hydrogenated resin and includes different types of reactors for polymerizing the precursor resin and hydrogenating this resin. The OTS also contains the downstream purifications of precursor resin and HHCR as well as the product finishing.
Among others, the needs to be solved were:
- Rain carbon was facing challenges with training operators for the operation of new Hydrogenated Hydrocarbon Resin (HHCR) plant.
- It was necessary to train operators to actively and accurately react to upset conditions
- Operators needed to be trained for start-up, shut-down as well as normal operation of the plant
- As the plant was being commissioned, Rain Carbon required a test-bed to test the initial start-up procedure.
Inprocess developed a Direct-Connect OTS, that consisted of two main components:
- Aspen HYSYS dynamic simulation model developed by Rain Carbon with support from Inprocess
- Siemens ICSS emulator, integrated with Aspen HYSYS model by Inprocess
The connection between both components was solved via OPC communication protocol using Inprocess’s proprietary software (IIS - Inprocess Infrastructure Suite).
The OTS was built in a fully virtualized environment, which allowed access to all stations (engineering station, operator station, etc.) from a single physical computer.
Different Operating scenarios were simulated:
- A complete shut-down and start-up of the plant was executed using OTS. Trainers and trainees were able to interact with the plant as if with the real ICSS.
Operators can be trained in operational procedures that rarely occur in real life.
- 20 malfunctions (such as pump failure, control measurement malfunction, etc.) were implemented into the OTS.
Instructor can activate the malfunctions at any time, so operator’s response to process upset can be evaluated.
Besides the scenarios tested during OTS SAT and pre-programmed malfunctions, instructor could test other procedures or create additional disturbances by interacting with the OTS.
After implementing the OTS and the different scenarios, a general summary of the benefits is that:
- OTS improves the ICSS testing and debugging.
- OTS could reduce the major operational incidents.
- OTS is a good platform to evaluate operator’s skills and to standardize them.
- OTS significantly reduced operators training time, which resulted in important economic savings
- HYSYS-based OTS is a suitable tool to emulate the behaviour of a hydrogenated resin plant.
- HYSYS-based OTS secures reusability of the process model for analyses.
- OTS was executed within time and budget; OTS team was adaptive to the Rain Carbon’s and ICSS developer’s schedules