With reference to greenfield plant projects, using process simulators similar to the designed plant Human-Machine Interface (HMI) or Distributed Control System (DCS) has become common practice. These simulators represent a “virtual plant” based on process modeling of the circuit chemistry and thermodynamics, and on the physical nature of the plant, including equipment, valves, piping, etc. The virtual plant allows trainees to troubleshoot problems, optimize process variables, react to alarms, etc., all based on the process simulation model.
Performance Associates’ experience is that this complex simulator training is valuable, but only after more in-depth training on the process and control logic. To truly optimize a process plant, prior to simulator training, the control room operators must have detailed knowledge of the following:
Additionally, trainees must be intimately familiar with the applicable fundamental scientific concepts, such as pressure, temperature, heat exchangers, electricity, PID control logic, combustion, etc. With this fundamental and plant-specific foundation, the process simulator can be fully exploited for training.