People Training Together on Simulators

The SimuPACT Platform for Developing Powerful Training Simulators  

While the training simulator was once a tool employed exclusively by pilots, the concept has since been adapted for use in many other disciplines. The workplace is frequently unsuitable for practice purposes, but gaining practical experience is vital for training in many professions. Fortunately, simulations offer a quick and effective way to develop those essential practical skills, and SimuPACT is the perfect tool for developing simulations. More precisely, it is a powerful, integrated software platform that enables the rapid development of high-fidelity process and power plant simulations.

Power plants typically employ a distributed control system (DCS) consisting of a network of interconnected operator terminals, sensors, controllers and actuators. The plant operators supervise its various operations via a human-machine interface (HMI), making necessary adjustments to ensure optimum performance and safety. An engineer can pass data from a plant’s DCS/HMI files to a translation application that will automatically construct an emulation within SimuPACT ready for integration with the process model. It is this feature that accounts for the platform’s exceptionally rapid development cycle. If there should be changes to a plant’s DCI/HMI, updating the simulation will be just as quick and easy.

The platform supports the systems of all major vendors, including ABB, Alstom, Emerson, Foxboro, General Electric, Honeywell, and Siemens. However, it is also possible to develop simulations on this platform manually, if necessary. The process is slower and involves creating drawings of the DCS/HMI screens and the control and visual blocks and signals inside SimuPACT. The manual option offers a means to overcome the lack of an automatic translator when simulating a less common system.

One of the greatest strengths of this development platform lies in its comprehensive collection of libraries and solvers. These are powerful modelling tools that can be used automatically or manually to create the desired simulation. Each library contains components relating to a given assembly or process involved in a plant’s operation. For example, the electrical network library has all the elements required for SimuPACT to reproduce a plant’s reticulation system, including generators, transformers, breakers, busbars and exciters.

Other libraries cover the components of structures, such as turbine shafts, coil, oil and gas burners, valve actuators and equipment for milling coal, to name just a few. Yet another valuable feature of this exceptionally versatile software platform is a facility that allows users to develop and integrate custom libraries and solvers using C# or C++.

Most of the development undertaken by SimGenics to date has been aimed at the power generation industry. However, the SimuPACT platform has proved equally effective at creating simulations in other fields such as materials handling and the operation of desalination plants. Given the exceptional versatility of this platform, it possesses everything necessary to develop simulations for practical training in many other disciplines.

Whatever the industry, one may need to choose between developing a full-scope simulation or focussing on one specific aspect of the overall operation. For example, it may only be necessary to simulate specific emergency procedures that would not be feasible or even safe to perform in an operational plant. When using the SimuPACT platform, developing either a full-scope or partial simulation is just a matter of choice.

This advanced software combines the best features of competing products with some that are unique, creating a tool that is unsurpassed for its exceptional versatility and capacity for rapid development. Not surprisingly, all that power comes at a cost. Consequently, SimGenics undertakes to tackle the development process as a service to its clients. Of course, for those clients with more modest budgets, SimGenics offers the option to purchase one of its many generic simulations rather than a bespoke product. That said, who wouldn’t prefer to train their operatives on a simulator that duplicates their real-life workplace layout in every last detail? Thanks to the SimuPACT development platform, such attention to detail is precisely what SimGenics’ clients can expect. 

If required, the finished simulation can be overseen by a live instructor who can provide instruction and create a more traditional teaching scenario. However, the simulation can also include tutorial content, and the trainee’s performance can be continuously assessed, providing feedback for the trainee and a progress report for the trainer.

To sum up, the versatile SimuPACT software platform offers power plant operators and engineers the most potent training simulators currently available to the industry. To learn more about how your company could benefit from a simulator, contact SimGenics, the industry leader.

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