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A New Mentality in Process Modeling

By Mary Page Bailey |

Predictive process models enable more efficient operations and higher-value products When they hear the words “process modeling,” some may envision an engineer sitting in front of a laptop waiting for a distillation column flowsheet to converge. While flowsheet simulations are still an invaluable step for engineering design, process modeling is becoming an overarching part of operations as a whole, serving various purposes throughout the entire operational chain — from conceptual design to continuous process improvements to end-use product applications.   Modeling product performance At Optimize 2017, the users’ conference for Aspen Technology, Inc. (Bedford, Mass.; www.aspentech.com), David Kolesar, senior engineering leader from the Dow Chemical Co. (Midland, Mich.; www.dow.com) presented an example where process modeling at the molecular level allowed Dow to fine-tune polymer products to meet the requirements of various application tests while also decreasing batch cycle times. When certain products began failing application tests, and a root-cause analysis indicated no issues with raw-material quality, the team turned to process modeling to evaluate the polymers’ intrinsic properties, focusing on the molecular…
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