Lifecycle Modelling: using the same dynamic simulation models from Process Design to Asset Operation.
Inprocess proposes the use of dynamic simulation models during the whole lifecycle, leveraging the invested modelling effort. For instance:
Dynamic Simulation Studies before plant construction:
Approximately 60% of the capital investment for a new producing plant is decided during its early design phases. By using a dynamic model at these stages to carry out some of the engineering studies, project costs could be driven down while sustaining the same project schedules and managing risks. The engineering dynamic simulation studies are carried out using a complete process model, including all relevant pieces of equipment with detailed design characteristics such as geometry of vessels, characteristic curves for valves, performance maps for compressors and pumps, sizing and parameters for columns, vessels and heat exchangers, controllers structure, insulation data for heat loss, elevations, reactions, thermodynamics, etc.
Assessment of Control Philosophy:
The configuration of the control systems can be better assessed by using a dynamic plant model (that creates realistic operating scenarios) than by the traditional static checkout method. The dynamic plant model allows control engineers to evaluate whether regulatory controls sustain reliable operation conditions; the approach to risky scenarios is avoided by safety systems; manual or automatic operating procedures for normal start up, normal shutdown, load change, product transitions, emergency shutdown, etc. work as expected; the configuration of the operator stations shows an operable environment of the process; the system alarms effectively warn the operators about process upsets.
The integration of the dynamic process model with the soft-controller emulating the DCS creates an ideal environment to check out the pre-FAT configuration of the DCS database before its commissioning. The PCS and the SIS can be verified, identifying potential issues (controllers settings, alarms, interlocks, etc:) far in advance. Our experience shows that a DCS checkout with dynamic model can eliminate between 70% and 80% of the errors in the control system design before plant commissioning.
Control Room Operators Training:
Qualified personnel are the key to keeping a plant running safely and efficiently. Operator Training Simulators are tools that allow operators to practice on virtual plants. The core of this tool will be the dynamic model already used in the Dynamic Simulation Studies which will be connected to custom-made interfaces for operators and instructors.