Simulations can add value across the lifecycle of a manufacturing or production process—from the upfront design work for the capital project portion of the lifecycle to the ongoing operations and maintenance.
In a Processing magazine article, Using Life Cycle Dynamic Simulation to Drive Projects And Performance, Emerson’s Sean Sullivan teamed with a third-party consultant working at chemical manufacturing facility to write the article.
They open defining lifecycle dynamic simulation as:
…holistic, scalable simulation throughout the plant life cycle that can help chemical organizations make strategic project and operations decisions that drive toward top-quartile performance without sacrificing safety or uptime.
They also define a Digital Twin as:
…an operations reference system hosted in a private cloud environment or maintained locally on virtual servers…
This operations reference system simulates the control system and a dynamic simulation provides a virtual representation of the running process and its associated dynamics. These create virtual plant models that simulate the automation and plant technologies used in the physical world. Used together:
…organizations can easily perform complex engineering and training without risk of outages or damage in the live plant environment.
During the project execution lifecycle phase, the project team:
…can test control system design, change and strategy in a safe environment to ensure ideal functionality of systems upon startup.
From a training perspective during this project phase, operators can:
…practice startup and shutdown procedures as well as responses to process aberrations without any risk to people or equipment. In addition, the ability to train in parallel with construction meant that bringing personnel up to speed wouldn’t delay plant startup.
They share an anecdote about control strategy troubleshooting during a construction delay:
…the plant ran into permitting and construction delays that extended the deadline for operator training. This, however, did not result in the simulation system sitting idle. During the delay, the project team put the simulator to work debugging the control system.
Dynamic simulations can come in low, medium and high fidelity. They can scale in complexity over time to fit the need of the application. For one manufacturer:
…the engineering team discovered the flexibility of selective model fidelity. With a simulation platform providing for selective fidelity in place, the team was able to use medium fidelity Dynamic Core modeling for the entire plant, with high fidelity in use only for the reaction models.
Read the article for more examples of how these dynamic simulations improve project and operational performance across the lifecycle of the manufacturing and production operations as well as applications for low, medium and high-fidelity process models.
Visit the Dynamic Simulation section on Emerson.com for more on the technologies and applications for business performance improvement. You can also connect and interact with other simulation experts in the Services and IIoT & Digital Transformation groups in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.