What is Process Simulation Software?
In the past, various chemical, biological, and manufacturing processes and experiments had to be carried out using real materials either in a lab or a factory. This was not only expensive and time-consuming but also risky considering the hazardous nature of some of these processes. In the modern world, however, advancements in technology have provided a means through which these processes can be carried out virtually in a risk-free environment.
This is achieved through the use of process simulation software solutions and services. Which is a system of tools that are used in the design, development, computation, analysis, and optimization of various technical processes. Chemical processes, complex manufacturing operations, biological processes, environmental processes and many more make use of this technology.
All these are achieved through the development of models that represent real-world processes. Process simulation software has enabled scientists and engineers from diverse fields to test and explore different “what-if” scenarios involved in their scientific projects. There are two broad types of process simulation that can be achieved using process simulation software.
Steady-state process simulation
This is the formulation of models based on steady-state processes. A process is said to be in steady-state if the variables that define the behavior of the process are unchanging in time. Process simulation software performs a mass and energy balance of a stationary process to obtain a steady-state model of the process. Steady-state models require less time and computational power to generate and hence they are simpler to develop. These processes are common in chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering.
Dynamic process simulation
This is an extension of the steady-state process simulation described above in which time-dependence is built into the models through the accumulation of mass and energy involved in the process. Dynamic simulations are more powerful compared to steady-state simulations since they facilitate time-dependent description, prediction, and control of real-world processes.
These simulations also enable practitioners to develop a sense of their production process. For instance, as the practitioners interact with the simulation, they are able to gain a clearer understanding of how it reacts to different operating levels and how it’ll change over time. This is especially important when training staff and preparing them to handle various normal and abnormal plant operations effectively. Dynamic simulations can also aid manufacturers to establish patterns which can help them to make sound and informed decisions for optimizing the performance of their production processes.
Generally, dynamic simulations are more complex and require increased calculation time and computational power to execute. In this sense, they can be seen as continuously repeated steady-state simulations with constantly changing parameters. Dynamic process simulation can be performed either online or offline depending on the software one uses.
Is process simulation software worth it?
It’s clear that in the increasingly competitive world of manufacturing and process engineering, comprehensive process simulation software has proven to be an indispensable tool for streamlining and analyzing complex processes. These tools model not only real-world processes but also perform the repetitive calculations involved at a faster and more efficient rate. This saves time, costs and increases the safety and chances of success of the various processes in question.