Software Speeding Development and Tuning of Plant Digital Twins

Editor: Ahlam Rais

Enhancements to Emerson’s Mimic Simulation Software make it possible to simulate new process reactions and enhance safety checks for plant personnel training.

New views for malfunctions and scoring times in Mimic's Operator Training Manager provide easy-to-assess visual representations of training scenarios.
New views for malfunctions and scoring times in Mimic's Operator Training Manager provide easy-to-assess visual representations of training scenarios.
(Source: Emerson)

A new release of Emerson’s Mimic Simulation Software makes it easier for plants to develop a more accurate digital twin. New modelling capabilities, usability enhancements and tuning options will help engineers more easily create, modify and integrate dynamic simulations for process improvements across the plant lifecycle, states the firm.

The development of digital simulations of large projects can quickly get complex. Having to manually navigate through individual streams to tune factors such as temperature, pressure and flow on each process element of a simulated plant asset makes changing models time-consuming. Moreover, changing the format in which this data is collected used to mean taking the simulated process offline. According to the company, new online stream-flow views in the latest release of Mimic significantly speed engineering changes. Users can quickly see all process elements in a single table with changeable parameters, making it possible to view and tune entire processes from front to back – all while keeping the simulated processes online.

Emerson has upgraded Mimic Advanced Modelling Objects with new blocks and objects to improve simulation – making simulation design easier for a wide range of industries, including oil and gas, liquefied natural gas, refining and petrochemical. Advanced Modelling Objects provide rigorous first-principles – dynamic models of plant unit operations such as those performed by separators, compressors, heat exchangers, valves, turbines, evaporators and more. Plate and frame heat exchanger and three-phase flash vapour-liquid-liquid equilibrium (VLLE) separation objects are now available, as are plug flow reactor objects that reduce the engineering time and complexity of model development for continuous processes in the chemical and hydrocarbon industries, adds the firm.

Organisations can also use new, simpler reaction modelling to more easily simulate reactions in a vessel. These new models offer increased flexibility in the use of reactions in design to automation engineers and organisations such as those in the specialty chemical and life sciences industries, which commonly use such medium-fidelity simulations. Users can create simplified reactions in engineering design – without the need for complex or private reaction data, or a background in kinetics and thermodynamics – to achieve desired results, such as the impact of a reaction on pH. The firm mentions that the models also allow for faster simulation implementation because reproduction of complex chemical reactions is not necessary.

For plants that rely on standard operating procedures (SOP) to ensure safety and success in critical procedures such as start-up and shutdown, Mimic provides enhanced scoring features for training simulations. Trainers can modify scoring to prioritise actions that are critical in any SOP to ensure that all steps are properly completed in the correct order every time.

Mimic is now natively integrated with Aspen Tech’s Hysys Simulation Software, providing control platform integration and training functionality to the Hysys simulation – making building and maintaining an operations digital twin much easier for the thousands of organisations already using Aspen Tech’s Hysys software.