New Unit Procedures
Improvements in Operations
Latest Release Notes (All Builds)
What's New in This Build
Users of SuperPro Designer lived (and survived) several major revisions
of the software without the availability of the "Undo" action
button. Starting with this release (v10) the Undo / Redo option is now
available; it is part of the Edit
(main menu) and also it can be activated with a pair of buttons on the
main toolbar (see below):
SuperPro's implementation of "Undo" is slightly different
than most programs (e.g. MS-Word) but much more powerful. In a typical
program (such as MS-Word), the application will record every action (transformation)
that a user applies to his/her open document (for example, add or delete
a character) and after it is executed, it will offer to "undo"
the most recent change or a continuous sequence of past changes. In SuperPro,
since the deletion of a unit procedure has far-reaching implications (e.g.
the equipment associated with it is deleted; if other procedure(s)
used the same equipment, a new one is created for them; all contained
operations are deleted; if any other operation used one of the deleted
operations as reference for scheduling, their scheduling is reset, etc.
etc.) it is virtually impossible to re-apply all those changes. So, instead
of SuperPro 'remembering' the transformations applied by the user after
some action is executed (e.g. deleting a unit procedure), it simply records
the state of the process file right BEFORE the action is issued. SuperPro
will keep recording further states of the simulation file as other changes
are applied. That is why if you click on the "Undo" button,
you will see a listing like this:
If you select an entry in the Undo list (e.g. "Deleted Wash-2"), essentially you request the program to restore your simulation to the state just before you deleted the stream "Wash-2". Therefore, you don't have to select multiple undo-commands to go back to the state of your simulation in the past.
The Redo command works just as expected, but with an extra benefit. If you apply an Undo command (e.g. request to return the simulation to its state just prior to "Deleted Wash-2", as shown above), the simulation will be returned to that prior state and the restore points that were recorded just before the "Deleted Wash-2" will be moved to the top of the "Undo" list. In other words, once you restore your state to just before the "Wash-2" stream was deleted, you can (if you wish), go even further back in time and restore your state of simulation to an even earlier restore point (such as “Edit equipment data of R-101” in this example). Furthermore, once you apply the Undo feature to move to an earlier state, the Redo button will become active. This allows you to move forward again, if desired (for instance, you could move forward to redo the "Edit simulation data of stream HCl" change).
easier way to understand this new feature of SuperPro Designer is to pretend
that the application takes snapshots of the state of your file and keeps
a historical archive of them. It tags each snapshot by the name of the
action that was about to be executed right before the snapshot was taken.
Once several such snapshots are taken, if you change your mind about the
direction your simulation decisions are going, you can visit this list
of stored snapshots and choose to return the state of your simulation
to match how it was just before the name of the action mentioned in the
list of "Undo" entries. That's it. Note that SuperPro will not
keep the snapshots of your file for everychange applied
to your file. For example, moving an icon is not deemed an important enough
action to justify a new snapshot taken before the move. Since every snapshot
takes space on your storage device, we have choices that limit this amount;
you can specify (choose):
a) the events that are deemed "significant" enough to justify a new record taken, and
b) the number of such records (archives) kept.
The user can modify both of the above options by visiting the File / Application Settings ... dialog (from the main menu) and visit the last tab (Undo/Restore).
If you don't want SuperPro Designer to keep a record after (for instance) modifying the stream elbows, then locate the event in the "Create a Historical Record Before..." list and uncheck it (see green highlight above). If you don't want SuperPro Designer to track any events at all (effectively disable the "Undo"/"Restore" feature), then uncheck the top-right button ("Enable Undo/Restore"). Finally, the "Historical States Recorded" number dictates the depth of history kept by SuperPro Designer in its archives. You can set this value at any number up to 40.
previous releases, once a user included a given unit procedure in his/her
process model and added a sequence of operations in it as well as a set
of streams moving material in and out of the host equipment, the only
way to replace the procedure with another type of procedure (e.g. replace
a "Seed Fermentation" procedure with a regular "Fermentation"
procedure), was to delete the seed fermentation procedure (and all the
operations in it) first. When this was done, all streams attached to the
deleted procedure and all operations within that procedure were deleted
as well. This also resulted in deletion of all dependencies in other operations
within the model that were based on the durations/timing of the deleted
operations. For example, if a downstream centrifugation operation was
set to start as soon as the fermentation operation ended, this dependency
link would have to be deleted once the old seed fermentation procedure
(and therefore the contained operations) were deleted.
Starting with this version, there is a new option under the right-click
(context) menu of most unit procedures: "Switch Procedure".
This entry will present as sub-options, several other procedure types
in the same 'family' of unit procedures as the one we are about to replace,
that can be used in place of the current procedure (see below):
Currently the application recognizes the following "families" of procedures:
The members of each unit procedure family are essentially the members of the corresponding submenu on the main menu's Unit Procedure entry (where one would normally choose the type of a unit procedure before it is inserted in the process model).
Here's what happens when a command is issued to replace a current procedure with another one (in the same family). Let's assume, for example, that we are attempting to replace the seed fermentation (or more formally, "Batch Vessel Procedure in a Seed Fermentor") with a "Batch Vessel Procedure in a Fermentor". As soon as the request is made, the program will first check to ensure that the operations and their settings can be carried over from the current unit procedure (and its host vessel) to the new unit procedure (and its new host vessel). If any difficulties are encountered, the switch will not be enacted and a message will be displayed. For example, if the current procedure has an operation engaging a stream on the 7th input port, but the new unit procedure's equipment has only 5 input ports, the switch cannot happen. Other possible reasons could be that the current sequence of operations may include an operation that can't be hosted by the new vessel. For example, the current operation list may include a heating/cooling operation but the new host vessel doesn't support heating or cooling; or the current list may include an agitation operation and the new host vessel doesn’t support stirring. Once an error message is displayed, the user may opt to delete the operation that cannot be carried over and try switching the procedure again.
For our example above, if the switch to a "Batch Vessel Procedure in a Fermentor" is chosen, then the replacement happens instantly:
that the operations from the old procedure are retained, and the streams
are automatically connected to the appropriate ports of the new procedure.
As an extra bonus, operations carry over most (if not all) of their settings
into the new unit procedure. For example, when switching from a 2-way
splitter (which was set to divert 10% of the flow to the top stream –
see screen immediately below) to a Custom Splitter, the initial setup
of the new operation is aligned with the previous setting (see second
Also, the new equipment host carries over as many features from the previous equipment host as possible. For example, in the above example, the "Fermentor" equipment created to replace the "Seed Fermentor" will have the same height, diameter, design pressure, heat capacity, etc. as the one it replaced. The user of course, can visit the Equipment Data... dialog and modify as necessary.
Please note that in order to facilitate the transition from one member of unit procedure family to another, we have re-designed the icons (size) and port availability (for inputs and/or outputs). For example, all bulk storage procedures in tanks (Blending, Vertical-on-Legs, Horizontal, etc.) and disposable bags now have 7 inputs and 7 outputs. This will make switching from one to the other quite easy. Storage to smaller containers (such as totes, drums, etc.) all have 5 inputs and 5 outputs, once again, making it easy to switch later in the process development, from one to another.
SuperPro Designer has been calculating and reporting emissions since
its original release. However, the calculations involved were based on
formal vapor-liquid equilibrium calculations between the liquid and the
vapor phase in the vessel where the emissions are assumed to originate.
SuperPro Designer allows users to choose from a variety of models when
calculating the V/L equilibrium percentages of each component ranging
in simplicity from ideal mixture (Raoul's Law) to one of several non-ideal
modeling for the liquid and/or gaseous phases (Activity coefficient based
models, to fugacity based models to equation of state based models). However,
so far, SuperPro Designer didn't give the users the option to estimate
and report emissions based strictly on the EPA-MACT guidelines as published
by the EPA and accepted for reporting emissions from running processes.
Starting with this release, we have added this option. A new report can
be generated (see Reports / EPA-MACT
Emissions under main menu). This report will calculate emissions
for VOCs based on one of the following EPA-recommended
models when applicable:
The contents of the EPA-MACT emissions report can be customized. The
following options are currently available:
Users have the option to include controlled emissions (if needed) where
the condenser on the emissions line can have a user-specified setting
(top-right table above). There are several models that can be used to
report "Depressurization Emissions" (Option 1, 2 or 3) and for
Heat Emissions (Option 1 and 2) - all explained in the manual or the online
help facility. The report can also include cumulative HAP and/or VOC values based on the classification of each component
emitted (see below):
Finally, the emission amounts are typically NOT subtracted from the vessel contents (unlike what seasoned users of SuperPro Designer would expect). That is customary when reporting EPA emissions. Furthermore, the application will carry out the calculations without actually changing the M&E balance results showing on the process flowsheet. That makes it difficult for users to double-check the results and visualize the equipment contents that yield the reported emissions. That is why the report presents the option to include in the report the contents of the vessel as used to generate the emissions (since those contents cannot be found anywhere in the current model description). Also, if requested, you can have the emission amounts be removed from the contents of the vessel, before the next operation is simulated (see option at bottom right above).
Since typically a company runs several different recipes in the span of a month or quarter or a year, users may wish to combine the reporting from each process into a comprehensive report that presents EPA emissions from all processes carried out in that time. For that purpose, we have included the option of exporting the EPA-MACT emissions from a process model into a given (pre-existing) Excel file, and in a dedicated worksheet (whose name is a combination of the process file name and the suffice "EPA") in order to make generating such cumulative reports easy. The following option (highlighted in green and blue below) for the Custom XLS report will do just that:
Notice that in order to have multiple process models export their emission data in the same cumulative report, you must:
Check the box at the top right (highlighted in green); this will ensure that the XLS contents will not create a new file every time they are exported, but will instead be inserted as an "EPA-MACT" tab of an existing file.
"Include File Name on Worksheet" (highlighted in blue above);
this will make sure that the exported emission data from each process
file go to a worksheet with a unique name "<Process-File-Name>.EPA"
Then select the Excel file that combines the source
recipe data with some accounting on batch records for a period of time
and that's it. The overall process can be described as follows:
Up to this version, when displaying the component registration dialog,
the application listed all components participating in that process model
by their "Local Name" first (that is the name by which the component
appears in all i/o dialogs and reports); then it displayed the pure component's
'Full Name' as listed in the database where it was retrieved and as the
'unique' identifier to represent that component. It came to our attention
that many corporate users prefer to view the 'CompanyID' instead of the
'Full Name' as the true identifier of the component. Therefore, in this
version, we made the property that uniquely identifies the component on
the second column an option (see highlighted area below the registration
If "Company ID" is selected, then the second column in the table above shows "Company ID"; if "Name" is selected, then the traditional way of showing the (full) name of each component is shown. The other registered component display categories are "Formula" and "CAS Number". Note that these are the exact same options offered when viewing the contents of the component databank (left listing above). When “Formula” is selected, the formula as well as the name are displayed since two (or more) components may have the exact same formula.
with this version, the software will allow you to protect your process
models in two ways:
1. Limit the actions (modifications)
a user can do after opening the file. There can be two limited levels
2. Generate a password that
will be required before a user opens and gains access (full or limited)
to the file.
You can create a protected version of your process model by selecting File / Save with Protection... from the main menu. Then the following interface appears:
Step-1. The first step requires you to specify a location and a filename where the protected file will be saved.
Step-2. The second step (highlighted in yellow above) requires you to specify a "Master Password". This will be used to unlock the file in the future (either by yourself, or anyone else who knows the password) and once again gain full access to the file. You cannot proceed to step 3 until you provide and validate a master password. Once you have established a master password then the options for step 3 open up.
Step-3. In the third and final step, first you decide if you want to require the viewers of the file to provide a password before they even open the file. If you don't, then simply select the top choice ("No Password Required for Viewing, Limited Services (L1 or L2)"; if you do, then choose the second option (highlighted in green above). In this case, you can provide one or two passwords, each allowing different accessibility privileges to the user who opens the file. If the user provides a password that matches the first set (for L1), then the document will open with L1 privileges (in other words, the user will be able to view and modify contents, but not save the file); if the user provides a password that matches your second password, then when he/she opens the document they can only view the contents but not modify anything. Please note that you don't have to specify both passwords.
When generating a Batch Sheet description of your process, a common request has been to be able to add some 'standard' text that informs the operator who reads the instructions for executing a current step, about another step synchronized with the current step. This is a common, scheduling dependency built into a process recipe and viewers of the execution sequence need to become aware when starting one of the two inter-dependent steps. For example, if a transfer out step is timed to be concurrent with a down-stream centrifugation step, as the reader of the batch sheet sees the description of "4.5 Transfer Out" (assuming this was the 5th operation in the 4th UP described), then they need to be notified to start "5.1 Centrifugation", a step that will be described in detail later (as part of the 5th unit procedure following this procedure). The designers of Batch Sheet can now include in the template description of any operation type (such as "Transfer In", "Transfer Out", "Crystallize", "Extract", etc.) a field named OPERATION_TIMING_SF. This will generate a template-based description (instantiated for the parameters of the specific operation) of any non-standard time dependency between the start (or finish) time of that operation and another operation in the batch.
Please note that the four templates used to describe the four non-standard timing dependencies (start-to-start, start-to-finish, finish-to-start and finish-to-finish) can be found in the "BatchSheet\Operations" folder named: "OperationTimingSTS.doc", "OperationTimingSTF.doc", "OperationTimingFTS.doc" and "OperationTimingFTF.doc". Users can customize the wording included by customizing the above templates. Note that any customizing of the above templates will affect the timing dependency description in every operation that engages the time-dependency field.
Starting with this release, we have included an option for automatic numbering of the steps in a batch sheet based on their order of appearance in the document. From the Reports / Batch Sheet / Options... interface shown below you can check the bottom left option to have the numbering included for easy reference.
As a reminder, the above interface can also be used to hide (possibly) entire procedures and/or operations in a procedure if deemed appropriate. Also, from the above interface users can customize the order of unit procedure appearance; it defaults to following the (calculated) start times of each procedure, but from this interface it can be modified (in case of ties, or other reasons known to the user).
Even though the option of initializing the equipment contents of a specific
host equipment in a special way pre-existed this release, starting with
this release we have expanded the set of options to cover just about any
possibility. The general set of options remain as before:
In previous releases of SuperPro Designer, the custom XL report was always generated as a stand-alone Excel file with content that could be customized by the user. Starting with this release, you can instruct the application to deposit the selected content for this report into an existing .xls or .xlsx file, rather than creating a brand new file that overwrites the previous file. This can be very handy if the selected file contains extra user-specified calculations or other modifications because the new content will simply be added, and this new content could even be automatically processed by scripts embedded in the destination file.
Please note that since each "chapter" of content specified in the list on the left above will end up being deposited in a dedicated worksheet with a name matching the name of the chapter, the destination worksheet of exported information for a given file will always be the same. If one desires to export information from multiple .spf files to the same .xls custom report file, with the intention to combine results from different process models, then the "Include File Name on Worksheet" choice (shown above in blue highlight) is very handy. If this option is checked, then each tab (worksheet) deposited in the destination .xls file will have a composite (and therefore unique) name: <FileName>.<ChapterName>. This way, two different files can export (for instance) their "Materials" chapters as separate "Process1.Materials" and "Process2.Materials" tabs. Furthermore, scripts on a separate worksheet could exist that summarize material demands from both worksheets. As process requirements change, a simple update (recreation of the Custom Excel Report) from each recipe can update the individual recipe's data and consequently the summary data. Please note that such an update could be triggered by a COM call as well.
can now store a short description string that they can display (optionally)
right next to their name or on their info tag. To set a description for
a given stream, right-click the stream to open its command menu and select Edit
Labels.... For the stream shown below, the string "Solvent"
has been specified as the "Description" for the "Methanol"
Please note that for the "Methanol" stream, the user opted
to include the description string as part of the info tag whose location
was appropriately chosen to be over the last horizontal segment. The "Reagent"
description was set to the other process input stream "NaOH" (see above). It was, this time, set to be
displayed along side the stream name and separated by '/' . The separator
character can be set from the Name Label options tab of the stream's style
dialog (see below):
Please note that a "Description" field has also been added to the Site Equipment (see below)
... and the Consumable record (as kept in the User DB), see below:
as pure components are often referred to by internal company names (or
IDs) by our users, stock mixtures are also often referred to by company
IDs. Starting with this release, we allow stock mixtures to carry a "Company
ID" in addition to their "Name" (or "Formal Name").
As added convenience and as mentioned elsewhere (Pure Component & Stock Mixture Registration Dialogs Have Added Flexibility to Improve User-Friendliness) when viewing the list of registered stock mixtures, a user can opt to identify stock mixtures registered in a process file by their 'CompanyID' instead of their 'Name'.
users develop a model in pieces or fragments and eventually piece the
whole process together by combining all the fragments. Other times, the
same sequence of steps is used in many different processes (e.g. a standard
chromatography separation that involves multiple cleaning steps, preparatory
steps, and processing steps using a multitude of buffers). Such simulation
needs in the past were tackled by either:
Keeping the fragments in separate files and linking the results using SuperPro Designer's process input initialization options or
Copying and pasting the sequence into the master file.
first option provides accurate mass balances, but it fails to show all
the scheduling information within a single chart; the second option (pasting
the fragment into another flowsheet) will nullify any scheduling dependencies
between operations in the pasted set of procedures. Starting with this
release, SuperPro Designer offers a third, more powerful option: "Insert
File" (under Edit
/ Insert File... of
the main menu). With this feature, users can model a 'standard' process
fragment (like the chromatography step previously described) in a separate
.spf file. Then, while modeling a long recipe that includes this sequence,
they can choose to insert it by selecting the Edit/Insert File...
option. This action will insert all the process steps (procedures) of
the inserted model into the active process model, along with their equipment.
It will also automatically cross-register any objects participating in
the inserted model (like pure components, stock mixtures, heat transfer
agents, etc.) that are NOT present in the receiving (active) process model.
If naming conflicts exist in the list of Unit Procedures, Streams, or
Equipment, the application will attempt to rename them. Note that the
application will give the user a chance to provide his/her own preferred
names prior to inserting the new objects, if desired (see below)
All red-colored names of procedures (P-1, P2, etc.) as well as equipment (V-101, V-102) and streams (S-102, S-104, S-107) already exist in the receiving process file, and therefore SuperPro Designer offers alternative names that are unique and do not conflict with other existing objects. You can accept the suggested names or type over them with other new names. As long as the new names don't conflicts with existing similar-type objects, the new names will be used .
When it comes to resources (Heat Transfer Agents, Consumables, Power Types, Labor Types, and Storage Units), when the inserted model carries resources of the same type and same name, normally duplicates will be generated. However, if the users wishes to merge the two models and allow the existing resources to be substituted for identically-named resources within the inserted file, then he/she can un-check the corresponding boxes in the bottom-left area shown above (highlighted in yellow) to give the application permission to do the substitution. For example, if “Cooling Water” is used as a utility in both models, and the “Heat Transfer Agents” box is un-checked in the screen above, the “Cooling Water” resource from the active process model (along with its specifications such as supply temperature, return temperature, cost, etc.) will be used wherever “Cooling Water” was used in the inserted model (even if the inserted model’s “Cooling Water” entry has different specifications for supply temperature, return temperature, cost, etc.
Since the original release of v9.5 and through this new release of v10,
several new examples have been added to the set of process models supplied
with the software. The new example models are mostly from the domain of
Please note that all examples models that come with SuperPro Designer, are copied during installation in the Auxiliary Folder Location. All of the following example models are located under the "Food Processing" folder (under the "Examples" folder).
1. Beet Sugar: This example
presents an example model to produce sugar from beets. The process consists
of the following steps:
• Beet Preparation (washing, slicing)
• Sugar Extraction (diffusion)
• Sugar Purification
• Water Evaporation
• Sugar Crystallization
• Sugar Drying and Storing
The example simulates a plant that operates 1,920 hours (or 80 days) a year and produces 52.9 MT/h (or 101,507 MT/yr) of sugar by processing 485 MT/h (or 931,200 MT/yr) of beets. There are several byproducts sold for additional income (pulp, molasses, carbonation-lime residue). The carbonation-lime residue can be sold as fertilizer; pulp and molasses are sold as animal feed.
2. Carrageenan: This example captures the production of carrageenans from seaweed. Carrageenans are specialty food ingredients produced in small quantities around the globe. They are found in nature in seaweeds. In the simulated process, the seaweeds are considered the "Raw Material". The most common carrageenans are iota, kappa and lamda. They are macromolecules with unique rheological structures and used as thickening, gelling and stabilizing agents in the food industry.
3. Dextrose: This example considers the production of dextrose crystals from glucose syrup (95%). The glucose syrup is about 29% water and glucose of purity 95% (on dry basis). The remaining 5% of solids are composed of higher sugars (such as maltose, maltotriose, etc.). Glucose syrups are derived from starch hydrolysis and they can have variable compositions, depending on the starch hydrolysis method used. The most common source of starch for the production of glucose syrups and dextrose is corn. However, other cereals (such as wheat) or tuberous roots (such as cassava or potato) may also be used. More information on the properties and production of glucose syrup (95% dry basis) can be found in the Corn Refinery example, which models a corn wet milling plant integrated with the production of glucose and fructose syrups.
4. Sorbitol: Sorbitol is a food and pharmaceutical ingredient produced in bulk quantities around the globe. As a chemical substance, sorbitol is hydrogenated glucose and for this reason it is also called glucitol. Since sorbitol is produced from glucose and glucose is usually derived from the hydrolysis of starch, it is very common for plants that produce starch to also produce sorbitol. The modeling of a process for the production of glucose syrups can be found in the "Corn Refinery" example (added recently in the set of example processes that come with SuperPro Designer). In the sorbitol production process studied here, the raw material for the production of sorbitol is 95% pure glucose syrup (on a dry basis).
5. Mannitol: Mannitol is a sugar polyol with various applications in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Mannitol can be produced from a sugar monomer called mannose through hydrogenation of mannose's aldehyde group. Both mannose and mannitol are naturally occurring molecules. Mannose is present as a free sugar in many foods and as a component of the polymer hemicellulose, while mannitol is found in certain species of seaweed. This example analyzes the production of crystalline mannitol from 95% pure glucose syrup.
The interface for introducing new vendors and manufacturers, as well as edit their current records in the User DB has been revamped. Here's how it looks in this release:
Double-clicking (or clicking on the edit button - top right) will bring
up a dialog with information about the equipment supplier. The dialog
has two tabs. The first tab has contact information and comments about
the supplier (see below):
Note that the supplier can be tagged as a "Manufacturer" (only), "Vendor" (only), or both. The implication of such a designation is as follows: Any equipment spec sheet produced by a supplier tagged as a "Manufacturer" can be used as reference for spec sheets provided by vendors. For example, there may be multiple vendors that supply a particular type of pump; there is, of course, only one manufacturer (for that exact pump model). By allowing all vendor spec sheets to be linked up to the same manufacturer spec sheet (for this pump), they all display the same characteristics. Of course, each vendor may have his/her own price that may depend on his/her location (and markup). Tagging a supplier as "Vendor" will make all of their spec sheets available for allocation to a recipe's equipment resources. In other words, when allocating equipment resources to a specific site, if the needed equipment is not already there (as site equipment) then one may opt to allocate that equipment resource to a vendor equipment (in other words, equipment that can be purchased from a vendor). Note that equipment suppliers who are only tagged as "Manufacturers" (but not "Vendors") will not have their spec sheets listed and available for allocation to a recipe's equipment resources.
On the next tab of a supplier's record, the application now displays any spec sheets associated with this enterprise, but for viewing purposes only. Note that you cannot add or remove spec sheets from this interface. To do that you must visit the interface under Databanks / Equipment / Spec Sheets from Suppliers...
The list can be ordered either by equipment type, or by model number.
Selecting a spec sheet line (record) and then the button on the top-right
(or simply double-clicking) will present information about the specific
item provided by the Vendor or Manufacturer (see below):
Notice once again, that all properties of the selected record are grayed out (in other words, they cannot be edited from this interface).
If you try to delete a supplier from the system, the system will automatically attempt to delete all of its associated spec sheets. However, SuperPro will not allow the deletion of the supplier in the following scenarios:
a) The supplier (selected to be deleted) is a Vendor, and at least one Site Equipment in the database is linked to one of its supplied equipment spec sheets.
b) The supplier is a Manufacturer and at least one vendor's spec sheet is linked to one of the selected-to-be-deleted manufacturer's spec sheets.
If you want to view or add / delete equipment specifications in the user database, you start from the interface under Databanks / Equipment / Spec Sheets from Suppliers... The following interface will appear:
All highlighted buttons above control the content in the interface. Since there may be dozens or hundreds of such entries, it is important to be able to zoom in into the ones that you are currently interested. The top-right drop-down (highlighted in green) allows you to focus on ONE type of equipment at a time. For example, the above selection will only show "Stirred Reactor" spec sheets from all suppliers. The yellow highlighted button allows you to select viewing spec sheets from vendors-only, or manufacturers-only, or both. The blue-highlighted button allows to filter in only data in the user DB (and exclude data records provided by Intelligen, Inc. as 'sample' in the System DB). Finally, the purple button labelled "Apply Filter..." allows to narrow down the viewing list based on values of its size parameter (e.g. Volume or any other of its listed properties):
When a user selects a set of objects (unit procedures and/or streams) and he/she copies and pastes them into another process file, the application typically is trying to carry over to the new host file all supporting objects engaged in the description of the copied entities. For example, if a separation operation is included in the list of copied objects and has specifications for components that are not registered in the receiving file, the pasting action will automatically attempt to register all missing components in a manner that is transparent to the user.
The engagement of storage units is sometimes hidden behind other data
structures. For example, a process output stream may have been assigned
a receiving storage unit:
Or, perhaps one may have assigned a receiving storage unit for the agent waste from some CIP operation:
In releases prior to v10, material storage units that were indirectly involved in the specification of copied objects (like the output stream above or the CIP operation above) were ignored (not copied). Starting with this release, they are not ignored but duplicated in the destination file. Please note that the entire description of the material storage unit will copied over to the receiving file (see below) provided that there's no naming conflict. If the same storage unit exists in the destination file (same name and type, receiving or supply), then the pasted objects will assume the assignment of the pre-existing storage unit (and none will be created).
it was possible to view the evolution of the composition within the vessel
of a receiving storage unit (SU) - during batch modeling - by clicking
on the yellow-highlighted button below. With SuperPro v10, storage units
can also display the environmental properties of the mixture after each
of the designated material sources deposit their contents into the SU.
This interface can appear when you click on the green-highlighted button
For continuous flowsheets, the same buttons will display the contents and environmental properties of the storage unit (but not as function of time, or course).
stream summary table now offers a few more choices to display (optionally):
As always, the above stream properties can be displayed in any one of many different options for units (user-selected).
Besides accessing specific objects (like equipment, operation etc.) SuperPro Designer's COM engine allows you to enumerate of all sorts of lists included in a process model. For example, you can enumerate over all unit procedures, or all input streams, and make tables with properties of your choice.
Starting with this release, we have added two lists that users of the COM engine can now enumerate over:
- List of Consumables (using the consumable_LID identifier)
- List of Storage Units (using the storageUnit_LID identifier)
For details on how to enumerate over lists and access each individual member of the list (and its properties) please consult the application's E-Book or online help.
The COM Engine is an extremely flexible
way for users to access the internal variables of a simulation to either:
Present outputs as their end users prefer to see them (if our built-in reports don't accommodate that view) or,
Set values of key parameters and restart
the simulation to perform 'what-if' scenarios and explore cause-and-effect
variations in key input or output parameters of the process.
There are already hundreds of variables (related to operations, equipment, procedures, streams, and the process itself) that are available to be accessed from other applications (Excel, C#/C++ etc.). Our engineering team regularly re-evaluates what is available and adds more options to satisfy SuperPro users.
In this version, some of the most important additions are:
General Purpose VIDs
For all Equipment Types (to be used with Set/GetEquipVarVal()):
busyTime_VID..................... (Get only) the equipment's busy time (in sec).
occupancyTime_VID............. (Get only) the equipment's occupancy time (in sec).
noStaggeredEquip_VID ......... the equipment's number of extra sets used for staggered operation.
For all Operation Types (to be used within Set/GetOperVarVal()):
powerDissipationFrac_VID....... the percentage of power input (engaged by the operation) that is lost as heat to the process stream (or equipment contents)
The following VIDs are related to the use of either one or two heating/cooling agents. These are agents engaged by the main purpose of the operation selected on either the "Oper.Conds" tab or the "Utilities" tab of the operation's i/o dialog (as opposed to the auxiliary agents displayed in the "Labor Etc." tab). Most operations engage only one such agent to accomplish any heating or cooling needed. We will use the term "primary" agent to refer to that agent's name, duty etc. For some operations (e.g. distillation) two agents are needed: one for cooling and one for heating. In that case, one of them will be referenced as "primary' and the other as "secondary". There's no consistent criterion used to designate one heat transfer agent as "primary" so users need to inquire on a case-by-case basis which agent is fetched with "primary" designation and which is fetched with the "secondary" designation. Here are the related VIDs:
primaryHxAgentName_VID......... the (primary) heat transfer agent's name
primaryHxAgentRate_VID........... (Get Only) the (primary) heat transfer agent's consumption rate (kg/h)
primaryHxAgentDuty_VID........... the (primary) heat transfer agent's provided duty (Watt)
isPrimaryHxAgentHeating_VID...... (Get only) if TRUE, the (primary) heat transfer agent is used for heating purposes.
The same set is also available for operations that have a secondary agent:
secondaryHxAgentName_VID..... the (secondary) heat transfer agent's name
secondaryHxAgentRate_VID....... (Get Only) the (secondary) heat transfer agent's consumption rate (kg/h)
secondaryHxAgentDuty_VID....... the (secondary) heat transfer agent's provided duty (Watt)
isSecondaryHxAgentHeating_VID..(Get Only) if TRUE, the (secondary) heat transfer agent is used for heating purposes.
For all Procedures (to be used with the GetProcVarVal()):
timeUtilization_VID................. The time utilization factor (as a 0-1 fraction) for the procedure.
sizeUtilization_VID.................. The size or throughput utilization factor (as a 0-1 fraction) of the procedure.
All Membrane Filtration Operations (Ultrafiltration, Microfiltration, Reverse-Osmosis and Diafiltration):
maxSolidsConcentration_VID ....... The maximum particle/solids concentration in the retentate (g/L)
solidsConcentration_VID.............. (Get Only) The actual solids concentration in the retentate) (g/L)
All Cloth Filtration operations (Plate and Frame, Nutsche Filter)
removalFraction_VID.................. For each component, removal fraction (as a 0-1 value)
LOD_VID.................................. Loss-on-Drying (as a 0-1 value)
cakePorosity_VID...................... Dimensionless (v/v)
removalFraction_VID.................. For each component as a 0-1 fraction.
particleConcFraction_VID............ Particle concentration in the retantate (dimensionless, v/v).
oilComponentRemovalFrac_VID..... For each component, the removal fraction as oil (0-1 value)
solidComponentRemovalFrac_VID... For each component, the removal fraction as solids (0-1 value)
oilConcentration_VID................... The oil concentration (in the oil stream) (g/L)
solidsConcentration_VID .............. The solids concentration (in the solids stream) (g/L)
angularVelocity_VID ................... The screw's angular velocity (RPM)
exitTemperature_VID.................. The exit temperature (in K)
isSolubilityDataSet_VID.............. Prepares the operation to receive either solubility (TRUE) or loss (FALSE) component data
solubility_VID............................ For each component, the solubility value (g/L)
componentLoss_VID................... For each component, the loss fraction (0-1)
approachToEquil_VID.................. For each component, the approach to equilibrium (0-1 value).
driedSludgeTemp_VID................. The temperature of the sludge (K)
solidsConcentration_VID.............. The solids concentration (as a weight ratio g/g)
airOutTemp_VID........................ The temperature of the air in the outlet (K)
heatLoss_VID........................... Radiant heat loss (0-1 value)
airMoistureIn_VID...................... The moisture of the air at the inlet (g/g)
airMoistureOut_VID.................... The moisture of air at the outlet (g/g)
heatOfVapor_VID....................... The overall heat of vaporization of the material removed from the sludge (J/kg)
For a more detailed list of all available variable ID's (or VIDs for short) for a particular object in a simulation file, please consult the E-Book or the online help. Please note that the manual does NOT cover the topic of COM engine and its options.
When an equipment resource is requested to empty its leftover contents before a prior use and before the next unit procedure starts, the emptied contents are deposited in "local receptacle". The contents of the receptacle can be accessed from the first unit procedure's command menu ( Equipment Contents / Before Reuse / View Receptacle Contents ). In order for a user to be able to programmatically retrieve those contents, we have added a new option in the function: 'GetUPEmptiedContentsVarVal'.
Please note that this function is a rather important addition for users who wanted to balance out all material coming into the process (as input streams and initial equipment contents) and leaving the process (as output streams or final equipment contents and receptacle contents).
For details on how to use this (or any other COM function) please consult the application's E-Book or online help.
are standard consumables used to fill-in chromatography columns. They
can be very expensive and make up a significant portion of the running
cost of a process. Their cost is typically reported on a per volume basis.
However, oftentimes, before they are utilized, resins are 'packed' in
a column. On the other hand, when purchased, the volume that should be
used to order needs to be tabulated as 'unpacked' or before compression.
Typical value for compression factor is around 1.1 or 1.2 but it can vary.
Starting with this release, users can click-and-drag a stream connected to a unit procedure in order to:
a) Re-connect it to another port (without changing sides, in other words, if the stream was an input to the procedure, you can drag the stream to reconnect to another input port but not attempt to connect on an output port).
b) Release the stream from being connected to a unit procedure and, if it's an input stream to the procedure, convert it to a process output (no destination procedure) or if the stream was connected as an output from the procedure, convert it to a process input. Please note that since a stream must have either an input or an output procedure, the last option is ONLY available to intermediate streams (i.e. streams that are currently connecting two procedures).
Please also note that (currently) you cannot drag a process output stream's destination point to a unit procedure's input port and achieve a connectivity (this feature will be included in a future release). Similarly, you cannot drag a process input stream's source point to a unit procedure's output port and convert the stream to an intermediate.
relocating a stream's connection port, any operation in the related procedure
that used to be assigned to engage that stream will be re-assigned the
new port. For example, consider the case of a transfer out operation shown
below as part of P-5 (Fermentation procedure): it is currently assigned
stream "S-110" on output #5 to carry out the contents of the
vessel (see below).
clicking and dragging stream S-110 from output #5 to output #8, the operation's
dialog shows as follows:
This feature is quite handy when attempting to migrate a procedure from one host vessel to another (in other words, transforming the unit procedure from one family member to another). If the migration is not possible due to the fact that the destination unit procedure does not have as many output ports, clicking and dragging a stream to a lower-numbered port (i.e., Port 3 rather than Port 8) will provide a quick way to make the transformation from one unit procedure family member to another feasible.
The current error/warning reporting pane in SuperPro Designer can be
customized to filter out all messages below a certain level. For example,
typically users do not want to see internal warnings or errors generated
by the simulation engine (since those are more geared to diagnosing abnormal
terminations of calculations and may not be as self-explanatory as the
rest of the messages). Also, at times, users may not want to view warnings
but non-severe errors or severe errors alone. In that case, using the
current scheme available users can set the filter level to "Non Severe
Error" (see below) to accomplish that.
Also, at times, users may not be interested in viewing warnings, but may only be interested in seeing the non-severe errors and severe errors. In that case, users can set the filter level to "Non Severe Error" (see below), which will hide all warning messages.
To avoid having to deal with a specific error or warning message, right-click on the message as it is showing in the error/warning pane and select "Add to Blocked Error/Warning List". Notice that this message will no longer appear in the table even though the Warning/Errors count has not changed (3). Another common error that may appear in early development stages of a process model may be occupancy conflicts. Once again right-clicking on one such message and selecting "Add to Blocked Error/Warning List" will stop it from showing.
can unblock a previously blocked message by right-clicking the Warning/Error
pane and either selecting "Empty Blocked Error/Warning List"
(which will remove all previously blocked error or warning types), or
selectively choosing which errors/warnings to remove by bringing up the
error/warning filtering dialog and selecting the types you wish to unblock
For several releases, SuperPro has offered the option of saving the time-profiles of key operating parameters for operations that are integrated in time (e.g. kinetic reactions, kinetic fermentations, batch distillation, etc.) as well as the length-profiles for operating parameters that are integrated in length (e.g. concentrations or heating/cooling loads across a plug-flow reactor). In previous releases, those profiles could be presented in an ASCII-tabular format or be column-formatted and saved into a file of the user's choice. However, if the values changed after a simulation run, the output profiles had to be re-created. Starting with this release, a new feature has been added that allows users to take advantage of SuperPro's "Excel Link" concept and define a link between the tabular output of such results and a destination location in an Excel file.
For example, when right-clicking over a Kinetic Fermentation unit procedure, and selecting the option: Dynamic Data Records / Ferment-1 / Excel Link / Edit...
a dialog is displayed (see below):
From this dialog a user can dictate where to deposit the profile results associated with this operation (i.e., in the example above, the results would be inserted within the Excel file named "KinFerm_Profiles.xls", on the tab named "Profiles", starting at the top-left cell "A2").
This is especially convenient if a user has additional processing code included in a file (e.g., Excel scripts), since the new simulation results may be produced and recorded without the user's intervention. Please note that if check the "Auto-Update Values" flag in the dialog above, then after the simulation is done (and the values of the recorded data have changed), SuperPro will automatically update the chart on your flowsheet.
It is very
critical that equipment resources are utilized efficiently but not to
the extent that they can become critically problematic for the execution
of multiple batches in a campaign. All the important times and indices
associated with the time utilization of an equipment resource are now
shown on the Scheduling tab of the Equipment Data dialog (see below):
For an accurate definition of all the above terms (Occupancy Time, Busy Time, Waiting Time, Idle Time) please consult either the online help or the E-Book of the application.
Since the introduction of a link to PPDS as a source for pure component and binary mixture properties (in v9.5) there has been a mismatch between the number of characters allowed to describe the name of a pure component. DIPPR uses 32, so did our System and User DB, but PPDS uses 64 and sometimes introducing a component from PPDS would force us to shorten its name, opening the possibility of conflicts with others. Starting with this release, all "Formal Names" of pure components (as kept by SuperPro Designer's document and database files) hold up to 64 characters so that we can fit names from all possible sources without any possibility of conflict.
Since some users prefer to see the consumption of buffers and/or other
raw materials in volumetric units (e.g. "gal") per batch or
per year, we have added a new option (under the Reports / Options dialog,
and "Materials & Streams" tab) - see yellow highlight below
Switching the option to "in volume units" will result in several
sections of the Materials & Streams report to account material consumption
in volumetric units (see below):
The actual unit ("gal" or "m3" etc.) used in the
report, is the chosen default volume unit for volumetric stream flows
as set from the dialog that appears when selecting Physical
Units Options... from the flowsheet's command menu (see below):
There has been a set of shortcut combinations for common tasks for some
time now in SuperPro Designer. Keyboard shortcuts are combinations like
CTRL+3 or CTRL+SHIFT+5, or F2 or SHIFT+F5, etc. and for some users they
are an easier (and faster) way to issue a (menu) command. CTRL+0, SHIFT+CTRL+0,
CTRL+1 and SHIFT+CTRL+1 used to be part of the previous set of shortcuts,
but starting with Windows 8, they have been reserved for operating system
operations. Starting with this release we have revised the keyboard shortcut
assignments as follows:
As a new option added to the possible contents that can be viewed when
displaying the host equipment's contents during the execution of one (or
more) procedures, the "Fill %" has been added (see below):
The dialog appears when selecting Equipment Contents/During <ProcedureName>...
The option can be turned on/off from the Edit
When attempting to paste (CTRL+V) a set of objects (procedures, streams, visual objects, etc.) that have been placed on the clipboard from a previous copy operation (CTRL+C), the application attempts to place the copied set such that they fit centered around the last place where the user clicked. If that's not possible without placing objects out-of-bounds of the current drawing area, the application attempts to shift she copied set left-or-right and/or up-or-down, so that when pasted they stay within the drawing boundaries. If that is not possible, then a question will be presented to the user :
If a "No" or "Cancel" is pressed, then the pasting operation is aborted. If "Yes" is selected, then the application will expand the size of the drawing area in the smallest possible amount and enough to fit the pasted objects.
When viewing a list of entities (e.g. pure components or stock mixtures currently registered in the process or in the user database) and after clicking on the row button to select the entire entry, in order to request the deletion of the entity currently user has to click on the button. As a shortcut, now the same request can be made by hitting the "Del" key.
When requesting to view the Stream and Materials Report (SR Report)
for a process, users now can request to view consumption totals in either
mass or volumetric units. Previously, all consumption amounts were reported
only in mass units. A new option has been added (see below) that allows
users to choose:
If the above choice is made, then SuperPro will generate the SR report
and Table 2.2 (Reporting of Total Consumption for the Entire Process)
will be made in volumetric units.
Note that the units chosen are what the process options holds as defaults for streams' Volumes (see below the dialog that appears when selecting Physical Units Options... from the flowsheet's context menu.)
This new option (available under Procedures / Power Generation / in a Fuel Cell) is supposed to model generation of electricity in a Fuel Cell
A new operation and a new equipment type has been created to support the above procedure.
A new operation has been added to model the conversion of a "fuel" 's chemical energy into electricity through the electrochemical (redox) reaction of that fuel with an oxidizing agent in a fuel cell. Usually, the fuel of choice is Hydrogen and the oxidizing agent is Oxygen.
A fuel cell basically consists of three segments: an anode, an electrolyte and a cathode. The fuel is fed through the anode channel on one side of the fuel cell, while the oxidant is fed through the cathode on the other side of the fuel cell. On the anode catalyst, positively charged ions (or waste molecules) are produced together with electrons. On the cathode catalyst, waste molecules (or negatively charged ions) are produced. The electrolyte is a substance specifically selected to allow ions to pass through it, but electrons cannot. The electrons are forced to travel from the anode to the cathode through an external circuit, producing current of electricity. Overall, a fuel cell produces electricity, heat and waste (water and sometimes carbon dioxide).
As an example of a fuel cell, consider a proton exchange membrane (PEM). Hydrogen is fed through the anode an oxygen is fed through the cathode. On the anode catalyst, the hydrogen is converted to positively charged ions (protons) and electrons. The protons travel to the cathode through the electrolyte solution (a proton conducting membrane) and the electrons travel to the cathode through the external circuit. On the cathode, the electrons are reunited with the protons and the two react with the oxygen molecules to form water. The overall reaction is simply water formation.
Here's the i/o dialog of the Fuel Cell Reaction Operation (Oper. Conds Tab):
And, the Reaction Tab:
In actual processes, when a continuous Stripping, Extrusion, Grinding or Shredding takes place, oftentimes a chemical transformation also occurs. Since the application does not support stringing two continuous unit operations within the same unit procedure, such modeling requires the presence of two unit procedures one after the other, which would accomplish the simulation goal, but is not as concise in its visual representation. Also, since continuous procedures can't share equipment, a duplicate (non-existing) equipment resource needs to be engaged. Starting with this release, we have provided the above continuous operations with the option to simulate (besides their main objective) a reaction as well (see below the dialog from Stripping operation):
Checking the option highlighted in yellow above, will introduce another tab ('Reactions') which allows the user to describe a stoichiometric reaction scheme. Please note that the reaction transformation will be applied to the liquid stream and AFTER the original (main) purpose of the operation has been accomplished (in this case, mass transfer). The same applies to the rest of the operations that are now capable of simulating a reaction transformation (Grinding, Extrusion, Shredding).
When introducing a new reaction in a scheme, the user has the choice to indicate if the application should assume that the reaction is to happen 'in parallel' or 'sequentially' with respect to the previous reaction in the queue. The difference is quite significant. Two reactions tagged to happen in parallel, will start with the SAME concentrations of reactants, whereas when in sequence, the 2nd reaction will start with concentrations of components as left (depleted or enriched) from the 1st reaction.
Clearly if two reactions do NOT have any reactants in common, it makes no sense to tag them as "parallel". For example:
A + B à C and
X + Y à W
do not compete for reactants and should NOT be tagged as "parallel". Starting with this release, such a designation will not be allowed. On the other hand,
A + B à X and
A + X à W
do compete for A, and they should be allowed to be tagged as 'parallel'. Please note that in the case shown above, the scheme will proceed and will apply the transformation to the INITIAL state of components (A, B, X), but the 2nd reaction will be allowed to proceed, as long as more X is produced by the 1st reaction than consumed by the 2nd.
Please also note that you can group more than two reactions in a cluster of parallel reactions, as long as at least two are competing for the same reactants. Therefore, the following parallel scheme is acceptable:
A + B à C
A + R à P
R + E à G
Starting with this release, the Cake Wash operation allows for a more realistic calculation of the cake temperature (after the wash) based on a percent of approach to equilibrium (see below).
Previously it was assumed that the washed cake was simply the same temperature as the washing agent.
In past releases, the exiting temperatures of streams from an absorption or stripping column were specified but no formal heat balance was performed. Starting with this release, a tighter control of enthalpy preservation requires a strict heat balance to be performed on the streams entering and exiting the column, therefore the streams' outlet temperatures couldn't be set independently of each other. The user can now dictate how to direct the heat balance calculations (see below):
Any one of the above three options will lead to the calculations of both exiting streams' temperatures in a manner consistent with the energy balance.
The simulation code for performing energy balances on all environmental reaction operations has been re-written so that it is based on enthalpy calculations (and not simply Cp's) in order to be consistent with the chemical and biological reaction counterparts.
Often times users need to simulate a pressure drop across the length of either side of a heat exchanger. The pressure drop may be significant and could have an effect on the state of component at either end of the exchanger.
Also, it may be important for the outlet streams to carry their (reduced) pressure settings to the following step (for instance, a flash drum), where the pressure drop could have a large impact.
In previous releases, the continuous and plug-flow reactions did not display the residence time, working to vessel ratio and working volume in a consistent manner. Starting with v10 this has been corrected. The Volumes tab for a continuous CSTR reaction is shown here:
and the same tab for a plug-flow reaction is shown here:
Please note that the tab maybe slightly different if the equipment is set in 'Rating' mode (i.e. size is specified). In that case, the residence time and the working to vessel ratio cannot be independently set (as they are related through the vessel's volume); so the 'Volumes' tab in that case looks as follows:
Note that the same tab will also appear for a plug flow reaction when its equipment is in rating mode.
The models for the above operations have been reworked for improved stability, even in challenging cases of auto-catalytic reactions.
Starting with this release, the three previously available variations of 'Storage in a Horizontal Tank' procedures:
Storage in a Horizontal Tank
Storage in a Horizontal on Wheels Tank
Storage in a Horizontal with Mixer Tank
are all merged into one "Storage in Horizontal Tank" (Bulk or Continuous, see new menu below).
We can now emulate the previous extra options (plus more) by adding the "Mixer" and "Wheels" as 'Features' on the Horizontal Tank Equipment (see the Equipment Data dialog for the Horizontal Tank below).
Adding or removing "Wheels" or "Mixing" on the equipment will change the icon of the unit procedure, and of course, in the case of "Mixing" will enable the "Stir" operation to become available as an option to be added in the queue of operations.
The separation data for all components (present or not) in a shortcut distillation model are shown in a separate tab (see below). Components are listed by name or increasing/decreasing boiling point. Their relative volatility (at the top, bottom and average) and their percent distribution in the distillate is also displayed in the table for easy reference.
model for the continuous distillation operation uses the overall heat
balance on the column to calculate the reboiler' s duty. More specifically:
Reboiler Duty = Condenser Duty + H(Distillate) + H(Bottoms) - H(Feed)
If, due to inconsistent PS toolboxes specified on the inputs and/or outputs of the column and the feed distribution to the distillate, a negative load is calculated, a proper warning message is displayed. For example, if the feed is specified to be all vapor at 25°C, then the distillate component percentages should be sufficiently high or else the reboiler's duty will end up being calculated negative.
Starting with this release, we have enforced a consistent test for the feasibility of a selected heat transfer agent when needed to carry out a given heating/cooling load and under the (oftentimes calculated) process temperatures and equipment configurations. When possible, a counter-current exchange will be assumed (for most efficiency), unless otherwise specified by the user. If not possible, a co-current exchange will be assumed (e.g. in a jacketed vessel).
Up until now, the program was always using a steam enthalpy calculator (based on tabulated steam properties) to estimate the enthalpy values of steam in this operation (unlike all other components whose properties are calculated using the built-in thermo engine of SuperPro Designer and the standard pure component properties). Starting with this release, users can choose to use either the steam calculator or the built-in engine (see below)
Up until now, the program required the feed to a steam generation operation be (at least partially) liquid. Starting with this release, this requirement has been relaxed to allow for the simulation of a secondary (separately fired) superheater whose feed is typically all vapor .
The corresponding unit procedure (under Unit Procedures / Power Generation / Steam Turbine) has also been renamed accordingly.
The corresponding unit procedure (under Unit Procedures/Power Generation) has also been renamed accordingly.
If the pressure of the liquor stream is less than the ambient pressure, then a pump is assumed to be present that increases the pressure of that stream to ambient. If there are two or more effects, and the pressure of the condensed vapor stream is less than the ambient pressure, another pump is assumed to exist that increases the pressure of that stream to ambient.
To account for boiling point elevation, the temperature of the vapor stream is no longer equal to the boiling point of the solution ("Evaporation Temperature"). Instead, the temperature is et equal to the boiling point of the heaviest volatile component that exists in the feed stream based on each component's boiling point as estimated at the operation's pressure (using Antoine's relation).
options have been added for specifying the drying gas requirement:
a) Available in Stream;
b) Set Relative Amount;
c) Set Volatile Content of Outlet Drying Gas;
d) Calculated Based on Outlet Drying Gas Temperature (Option only available if "Use Heating Agent" is unchecked);
Besides the above options, users can specify whether or not they wish to use a heating agent. If this option is left un-checked, it is assumed that the material is dried by simply blowing dry air (or pre-heated air) through the dryer.
Notice also that the model now calculates the estimated "Outlet Drying Gas Dew Point" at the exit - highlighted in blue above - (based on the LOD data provided by the user). This is calculated by flashing the outlet drying gas stream based on the assumption that Raoult's law applies to all volatile components present in the feed stream. In order for this stream to be entirely in the vapor phase (as it should), its dew point must be below its temperature. If the calculated dew point turns out to be higher than or equal to the specified outlet gas drying stream, a warning is displayed to indicate that the specified evaporation may not be feasible (the specified evaporation percentages of one or more components may be too high, or the amount of drying gas may be too low, or the outlet drying gas temperature specification may be too low).
When visiting the "Utility Tab" of the above operations, you will notice a new "Efficiency" variable has been added. Even though it defaults to 100%, it can be set to a lower level by the user to account for heat losses due to radiation.
The evaporation calculations are based on the liquid/solid portion of the wet feed stream only. Any gaseous phase present in the wet feed stream is ignored and it is simply sent to the vapor stream directly. For example, let's assume 20% of the water contained in the wet feed stream is already in the vapor phase and that the evaporation percentage of water in the dryer is set to 10%. In this case, the program will first transfer 20% of the water to the vapor stream automatically. Then, from the remaining 80% of the water that appears in the liquid/solid phase of the feed stream, 10% will be assumed to vaporize. In other words, another 8% of the water contained in the wet feed stream will vaporize, resulting in a total of 28% of the water contained in the wet feed moving to the vapor stream.
In previous releases, the amount of agent engaged by the operation was calculated based on an experiential factor specified by the user as "Amount of Agent per Unit Evaporated". This is no longer required to be provided by the user, as the program performs a formal heat balance to relate the heating duty and the outlet temperature of vapors and solids. It is assumed, that the solids and the vapors leaving the drum are at thermal equilibrium.
of our users noted that for certain equipment types, the minimum and maximum
working-to-vessel volume properties should be stored as part of the equipment
specifications (for equipment currently residing in a company's production
site). In response, we've added the 'Minimum Working-to-Vessel Ratio'
and 'Maximum Working-to-Vessel Ratio' as a property of the DB Site Equipment
for the following equipment types:
The dialog for specifying a DB-Site Fermentor is shown below:
The minimum and maximum working-to-vessel property is automatically assigned (along with all other DB-site equipment properties) to an equipment resource allocated to that DB-Site equipment, and cannot be changed from the "Equipment Data" dialog of SuperPro Designer.
like several equipment types were given a "Minimum Working-to-Vessel
Volume" property, certain consumables were also given a "Minimum
Working-to-Vessel Volume" property. Those consumables include
Rocking Bioreactor Bag
Stirred Bioreactor Bag
As a sample, the dialog for specifying a new Roller Bottle is shown below:
In previous releases, if the operating pressure for the above operations was not set by user, then it was assumed equal to the feed stream's pressure. Starting with this release, if the pressure is not set by the user, the it is taken as the minimum between the feed stream and the air inlet stream. Also, the pressure of the outlet streams (final solids stream and drying gas outlet stream) is set equal to the operating pressure.
Steam Expansion operation model, which is the main operation in the "Power
Generation in a Straight Flow Steam Turbine" unit procedure, has
been improved in the following ways:
a) In previous versions of the software, the steam expansion was based on a built-in steam calculator estimator for steam properties. Starting with this release, the user may choose between a built-in steam calculator and the (default) analytical isentropic expansion model option in order to perform steam expansion calculations more accurately.
b) In previous versions of the software, the user could check the condenser's "On?" check box in order to specify a condensing turbine. In this version, the user may explicitly select either a "Condensing Turbine" or a "Back Pressure Turbine".
c) The interfaces for this operation (Oper. Cond's tab – below - and Expansion Data tab – second screen below) were extensively redesigned for simplicity and added usability .
The corresponding unit procedure (hosted by the above equipment) has also been appropriately renamed and resides under the Unit Procedures / Power Generation / in a Steam Turbine / Extraction.
The corresponding unit procedure has been removed from the list of options under Unit Procedures / Power Generation. In the near future, a Combustion Turbine Engine will be introduced to subsume its functionality.
The current strategy employed when using "Gradient" elution, was to calculate the amounts of Eluant Buffers A and B such that a target (key) component has a user-specified concentration at the beginning and the end of the operation. An alternative strategy commonly employed is to calculate the amounts of A and B such that the relative percentage of one (say A) is set at the beginning and the end of the operation. Starting with this release, this second option is now available as a set strategy for elution operations. In fact, the elution operation has now a dedicated new tab, just for users to express their elution strategy (see below):
The loading time in a chromatography column used to be calculated based on one of three specifications provided by the user:
A new option has now been added: Empty Bed Contact Time (see below). This is somewhat equivalent to a residence time in a vessel.
Please note that the above option has been added to the "Column
Load" operation in all chromatography procedures (Gel Filtration,
PBA Simplified, PBA
Detailed, etc.). Also, the same option was also added to the MA Flow-Through
operation and the PBA Flow-Through operation.
defining the distribution of a component across 3 or more split streams
(in a component splitter) the application will now allow you to exit the
operation dialog even if a component's distribution percentages are all
0.0 (see below).
This allows the user to skip the specifications for components that he/she does not expect to be present in the feed of the component splitter during simulation. Of course, if during simulation this turns out not to be the case, an error message will be generated. Please note that in order to exit this operation’s dialog, you must either leave ALL of the split fractions as zero OR the split fractions must add up to 100% (for each component).
In order to calculate the power consumption, the program used to assume a specific Cp/Cv ratio for all gases (1.3, which is a good average to use in the absence of a better estimate). Starting with this release, this ratio will be calculated for each gas based on its ideal Cp value and under the assumption of it being an ideal, incompressible gas (hence, Cv = Cp - R), so the ratio is simply Cp/(Cp-R), where Cp is the ideal gas Cp.
Also, the program used to calculate the adiabatic (isentropic) outlet temperature instead of the actual outlet temperature (usually higher due to inefficiencies and departure from isentropic operation). Now a better, more realistic estimate of the outlet temperature is calculated, which takes into account a user-provided isentropic efficiency factor .
When displaying amounts on operations available in the PBA Chromatography procedure or the Membrane Absorption procedure (e.g. Load, Elute, Equilibrate, Wash) are now shown for all cycles (if user has requested more than 1 cycles) and for all simultaneously operating equipment (if there are more than 1) - see below - . These operations used to display the amounts per cycle and per equipment but this is inconsistent with what is displayed in all other operations (e.g. charge, etc.).
When describing the events in a Cone Screw Drying, Sphere-Drying, Double-Cone Drying or Batch Distillation procedure, users can now include an evacuation step to remove volatiles from the host vessel to the vent line. This is an important inclusion esp. for those concerned with EPA emission reporting.
Prior to this release, when viewing the i/o simulation data dialog of a flotation operation, the 'Air Solubility' property was displayed in inconsistent units (and therefore its value displayed was incorrect). It should be displayed in Air Volume/Liquid Volume units of ml/L, not L/L; this has now been fixed.
When solving a gasification operation, the iterative algorithm engaged to solve it used to converge to different solutions depending on which option was set (gasification temperature or carbon conversion). This has now been fixed.
When visiting the Unit Procedure's Dialog, if you decided to set the 'Hold-up Time' to a user specified value (instead of allowing it to be calculated by the program), and then closed the dialog with OK, the next time you visited the dialog the program did not save the "set-by-user" designation (flag). This has now been fixed.
The specific power units for this operation were expressed in units of power (e.g. "kW") per unit mass and per unit length. This is incorrect as they should be expressed in units of power per unit volume and unit length. This has now been fixed.
The program used to display an error message when the condensing temperature of the heating fluid in the first effect was less than (or equal) to the temperature of the feed stream (error E101.5075). This constraint has been deemed unnecessary and has been removed.
If the process time was set to be calculated based on the binding capacity of either of the above mentioned columns (GAC Absorption or Ion Exchange) and the bound material was found to be zero, then the calculated number of units required was set to be an exceedingly high number. This has now been fixed.
When the batch vaporization operation was set to operate in Solvent Switch mode, the replacement solvent volume units displayed on the "Mat Balance" tab of the operation's i/o simulation data dialog were not working properly: selecting new units did not convert the replacement solvent value to the new units and the choice of units was not saved after the dialog was closed. This has been fixed.
When visiting the "Crystal. Tab" of a crystallization operation, and attempting to change the crystallization heat units, an error was generated. This has been fixed.
When solving a batch vaporization operation (in solvent switch mode) and the user had specified the replacement volume for the new solvent, and the fresh solvent component(s) happened to have the same relative evaporation as the evaporated solvent component(s), the mass balance calculations were in error. This has been fixed.
When a stream carrying material out of a vessel was set by the user to have a different PS calculation toolbox from the previous operation in the vessel, the output stream appeared to have the same composition, temperature and pressure as the equipment contents it came from. However, under these circumstances the enthalpies of the vessel and stream contents would have been different since different PS calculation toolboxes were being used. As is the standard policy in SuperPro Designer, in cases of a change in PS Calculation toolbox (between different operations and/or streams), it is the enthalpy that is preserved (at the expense of a temperature discontinuity) and not the other way around. This has now been fixed.
If the user selects isocratic, the eluant "B" input stream composition button is not supposed to be active (since eluant "B" is not involved in the elutions step). This has been fixed.
The specification on the Oper.Cond’s tab which was previously labelled "Overflow Rate" was changed to “Set Throughput” since it is used for specifying the operating throughput for the equipment, and this terminology is more intuitive.
When sizing a fryer, the program used to take the throughput of the 3rd (instead of the 4th) input stream to size the equipment. This has been fixed.
In previous versions, when attempting to visit the continuous storage operation in a Solids Storage Unit Procedure in a Silo, Hopper, Bin, Drum or Tote, the program would crash. This has been fixed.
Due to an error in the calculations, the energy balance was not properly applied on fermentation operations resulting (in some cases, but not always) to inaccurate calculations of heating/cooling loads and/or fermentation temperature. This has been fixed.
Typically, upon starting SuperPro, the application will 'remember' the location and state of all of its toolbars (e.g., Main, Section, Simulation, etc.) as they were left the last time the application was closed (on that PC). Due to a bug, the location of some of those toolbars was not restored when the application was running on a PC under the Win 8.x and Win10 environments. It was performing fine under Win7 and Win Vista. This has been fixed.
When multiple process files are open, and the 'Find Dialog' utility is visible, it is supposed to display at the top the name of the 'active' process file that it will perform the search (if asked). When changing from one file to another the name was not updated. Also, after saving a file under a different name (using the 'Save As' menu option under File), the 'Find' utility failed to update the new name of the file. This has been fixed.
When visiting the dialog that allows a user to define the stoichiometry of a continuous kinetic environmental reaction, the list of registered components was not available under the drop-downs for "Reactants" or "Products". This has been fixed.
In some circumstances the results of the batch rigorous vaporization operation were incorrect. This was only happening under a rare combination of user specifications. This has been fixed.
When calculating the feed quality (percent of feed's volume that is vapor) in a Flash, Condensation or Thin Film Evaporation operation, the results were inaccurate. This has been fixed.
When the user-set pressure for venting happened to be the same as the final pressure of the preceding operation, the venting operation produced inaccurate results. This has been fixed.
Under some combination of user specifications, the purge gas amount calculated by a purge operation was incorrect. This has been fixed.
This has been fixed.
When the duration (process time) of a valve operation is set by a downstream operation (which is simulated after the valve's action is simulated), the simulation engine must revisit the valve and update any process-time related variables (such as throughput) as well as redo the sizing calculations as they may depend on the newly calculated throughput. This was not done previously and it has been corrected.
After creating a custom Excel report (only a Custom Excel report, none of the other reports, in any format) then if the application file was closed or if an attempt was made to save the file under a different name using "Save As" interface, it would lead to a crash. This has been fixed.
When displaying various interfaces related to reactions (batch or continuous, kinetic or stoichiometric) the application used to refer to 'Reaction Extent' as the percent of a key (selected) reactant which was converted into products. The more appropriate term for this percentage is 'conversion', as 'extent' is usually the conversion divided by the stoichiometric coefficient (thus, independent of any chosen reference reaction participant).
When pasting a unit procedure (or multiple procedures) from one process file into another, the program must deal with the possibility that some resources (heat transfer agents, labor types, power types, consumables) may be non-existent in the destination file, or exactly the same, or 'almost' the same. If resources associated with pasted procedures do not yet exist in the flowsheet, SuperPro creates them automatically (e.g., it will add components to the destination process file if they don’t already exist there). However, when a heat transfer agent was found to exist in the flowsheet already (with the same name and type, e.g., "High Pressure Stream" as a heating agent) then if the rest of the properties didn't match (e.g. Supply Temp, or Return Temp, or Price) then it would create a new agent named (always) "Super Hot Steam 02". If another unit procedure was then copied into the flowsheet which ALSO used "High Pressure Stream" as a heating agent, multiple heat transfer agents would be created (all named "Super Hot Steam 02"). This has now been fixed. If consecutive paste actions result in resources "almost" matching the destination process's list, then unique new names are assigned. It is strongly suggested that if you want to avoid having multiple resources generated you should make sure that the names AND properties are the same. The easiest way to accomplish this is to first update the databank image of the agent to have the desired set of properties and then BEFORE copying, make sure that the resources assume the properties from the database record. Also, repeat the same for the destination flowsheet. Then, copying-and-pasting will NOT generate multiple resource objects.
When editing the name of a stream (or the name / description of a unit procedure), after typing a new name, the dialog can be closed by either clicking on the OK button or simply hitting the ENTER key. In the former case, the program would perform 'sanity checks' on the new name to make sure that no name conflicts existed, and that the new name was not an empty string (not allowed). However, if you exited the dialog with ENTER, then the validation step was skipped. This has been fixed.
When selecting to rename a component (that is the "Local Name" or "Tag ID" by which the component is known and reported by your process model), from the Tasks / Pure Components / Rename... menu option, the application used to get some of the other component specifications mixed up (in some circumstances, not always). This has been fixed.
When allowing the model to estimate the relative volatilities of components, in the face of poor thermodynamic data, a relative volatility value less then 1 is a possibility. If this value is used for the light and/or the heavy component, it results to negative values for the estimation of number of stages. This has been fixed and such values are rejected.