Next-generation plant optimisation technology

Nov 21, 1996 01:00 AM

Software developers at Simulation Sciences Inc. (SIMSCI) and Shell Oil Co. recently demonstrated software designed to optimise refining, petrochemical and chemical processes. The joint development project, code-named ROMEO, began in February 1996, when SIMSCI and Shell agreed to integrate their technology and combine their expertise to develop a next-generation plant optimisation application for the process industry. Demonstrations were conducted at the NPRA Computer Conference held in Atlanta. Interested editors, industry consultants, and SIMSCI customers viewed the optimisation of a crude distillation tower and preheat train. The demonstration showed how to build and solve highly accurate, open-equation models in an easy-to-use Windows-based environment. ROMEO is designed to enable plant engineers and management to model process units and optimise operations on a plant wide basis. The system will use real-time plant data combined with current economic objectives to precisely replicate plant operations. Based on a rigorous model of the actual operating facility, the system is designed to calculate new process setpoints to achieve optimum performance, as well as help determine the location and cause of operating constraints and problems. It is expected that the new software will be installed at selected Shell sites in 1997.

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