Six reasons two simulators are better than one

Process power simulator

What happens when you combine process power simulators process control system simulators?

Previously, I shared how process power simulators can create a risk-free sandbox for mission-critical training, and help you test electrical changes before they’re put into effect.  I’ve also discussed how process control system simulators can provide similar benefits in training, operational efficiency and safety.

Now, I’d like to take that one step further and explain what happens when you combine them.

The value of a digital plant replica

As you know, simulated replicas of your actual electrical and process control systems allow you to see how equipment will behave under realistic process and power conditions and scenarios.

Simulations also give you a way to deeply assess your plant operations and individual asset performance. Upgrades and reconfigurations can be tested, adjusted and verified prior to commissioning or before changes are implemented.

Why two is better than one

So what can you do when you have accurate models of both your process control and process power systems?

Simply put, having both simulators can help you see both sides of the equation. With modeling for both systems, you gain a more comprehensive view of your plant operations, and can better analyze the dynamics between your processes, power and equipment.

With that kind of insight, there are virtually endless possibilities for experimentation, tinkering and optimization. Here are just a few ideas of what you can leverage paired simulations for:

  1. Optimizing energy management: With both systems modeled, you can finetune each to increase production while decreasing energy consumption—and then implement the changes in your actual plant.
  2. Preventing downtime: Decrease or eliminate shutdowns and blackouts by giving operators the ability to test proposed process updates and operational changes, with power consumption accounted for.
  3. Simulating steady-state and dynamic system responses: Model voltages, currents, frequencies and power flows (including full-scale testing of power control, load shedding and synchronization) to avoid unplanned events during or following commissioning.
  4. Improving operator training and education: Provide a learning environment that is nearly identical to actual plant power, engineering and operations, so trainees and learners get a realistic and practical experience.
  5. Enhancing safety: Reduce risk before you commission equipment by allowing users to gain familiarity and build operational competencies before deployment.
  6. Simulating the entire plant lifecycle: Predict consequences of design, process control system and electrical control system configuration changes via virtual commissioning, verification and validation, ultimately increasing the plant, fleet and system life beyond their intended life cycle.

Don’t hesitate to simulate

At ABB, we’re working to provide both process power and process control simulations systems that realistically model intricate plant operations and ecosystems. With solutions like the ABB Process Power Simulator and ABB 800xA Simulator, we’re helping process industry operations become safer and more efficient.

Plus, by bringing these solutions to the cloud, we’re helping make them more cost-effective, simpler to implement and easier to access than they were before.

Let’s talk soon about what the combination of a process power and a process control simulator can do for your operation.

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About the author

Dan Overly

I am Global Head of Product and Business Development for BU Oil, Gas and Chemicals. In this role, I manage the BU portfolio of products and the responsible product managers to ensure alignment with market and customer requirements. I enforce global standardization of products to ensure consistent delivery and performance in all countries. I am also responsible for expanding our offering through strategic partnerships and inorganic growth potential to further enhance ABB’s value to our clients. I joined ABB in 1987 and has held various roles in engineering, sales, marketing, regional management, product management, enterprise software and global services. I obtained a BS in Electrical Engineering and currently live in the US.
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