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New Features in SuperPro Designer v9.0 sub_about_collage.gif - 9824 Bytes
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A brief description of the new features and capabilities in v9 follows below. For detailed information on the subject, please click here to download the "SPDReadMe_v9.zip" file. It is a help-type of file (compiled HTML). You will need to unzip the downloaded file before you can run it. Then click on "What's New in Version 9.0" (in the contents tree on the left) to see the detailed information on the new features in v9.0.  If you cannot see the contents of the file, please right-click on it, select "Properties" and then click the "Unblock" button.

Operation Scheduling Based on Finish Time

It is now possible to schedule operations based on their finish time. This is useful for pre-processing activities that must be completed before other operations that are on the critical path. The mode of scheduling (based on Start or Finish time) is selected using the “Start” or “Finish” option in the Schedule box (top of the dialog shown below). Alternatively, the same can be accomplished through the “Scheduling Dependency Link” drop-down menu at the bottom of the dialog.  In the past, users were forced to use negative “Time Shifts” in order to represent the equivalent of scheduling based on finish time.


 

Quick Scheduling of Slave Operations

In batch processing, it is common to have multiple operations running in parallel. A transfer-in operation in a vessel procedure that represents the eluant collection of a chromatography step is a typical example. The transfer-in operation has the same duration and starts at the same time as its corresponding elution operation. The “same duration” constraint is specified in SuperPro using the “Master-Slave Relationship” option for duration specification in the Oper. Cond’s tab. The “same start-time” constraint is specified in SuperPro through the “Scheduling” tab (see figure below). A new button has been added (Sync. With Master…) to expedite the “Same-Start-Time” specification for slave operations. Clicking on the highlighted button will directly set a 'start-to-start' relationship on the timing of this operation with respect to the (already assigned) master operation. Please note that this button is active for "slave" operations only.


 

Independently Cycling Procedures

In the batch production of commodity biochemicals for which maintenance of batch integrity is not a requirement, it is common to have batch processing steps operating with a cycle time that is not related to the cycle time of the overall process (typically determined by the production fermentors). This is common with chromatography columns operating in SMB (simulated moving bed) mode, membrane filters that need periodic cleaning, rotary vacuum filters that need periodic pre-coating, etc. Basically, this is the case with cyclical units that macroscopically appear to function continuously in a batch process. This mode of operation for a procedure is specified by checking the “Cycles Independently of Main Recipe” button in the Procedure’s Data dialog (see figure below). More information on the subject can be found in the ReadMe files of the Citric Acid and Lysine examples of SuperPro as well as in the manual and help facility of the application.

Procedures that cycle independently display a clock icon on the left of their name (see figure below) that denotes their mode of operation. This icon is part of the procedure’s style and can be hidden by de-selecting the “Independent Cycle Sign” check box in the procedure’s icon style tab (right-click on the procedure’s icon and select Style \ Edit…).


 

Non-Ideal VLE Models Available Everywhere
 

Use of non-ideal models for VLE (vapor-liquid equilibrium) calculations is now available in all streams and unit procedures. In previous versions, that functionality was limited to few selected operations (e.g., flash, condensation, and rigorous distillation). Please note that the old short-cut method (based on normal boiling points) is still the default for most operations and streams. For streams, the rigorous option is specified through the Physical State tab of a stream’s dialog by checking the "Overwrite" box for "Physical State (PS) Calculation Options", selecting the "Rigorous" option and clicking the "Edit Rigorous Toolbox Options" button. That displays the window shown below that enables you to make the specification. It is possible to exclude certain components (e.g., non-volatile solids) from the VLE calculations by clicking the “Exclude Components From…” button and then identifying the non-volatile components. Please note that excluded components contribute to the energy balance calculations.

 

VLE options for procedures are specified by right-clicking on a procedure icon and selecting “Default PS Calc. Options…”. Please note that it is possible to specify the default rigorous VLE options at the flowsheet level by selecting “Edit \ Process Options \ Rigorous PS Calc. Toolbox…”. For more information on the subject, please consult the manual and the help facility of the application.


 

Hear Recovery Through Virtual Integration

It is now possible to match operations
that require cooling at a high temperature (e.g., the condenser of a distillation column) with operations that require heating at a low temperature (e.g., heating of a raw material stream) without using explicit heat exchangers. This eliminates the utility requirement of one of the two operations and reduces the utility requirement of the other. In addition, it is possible to match a hot operation with a heating utility. Virtual integration is accomplished through the "Energy Recovery Opportunities" window (Edit \ Process Options \ Energy Recovery…). This functionality enables users to account for heat integration without creating over-complicated flowsheets (common result of using many heat exchangers) that are difficult to converge and understand. Please note that the matching is done between operations or between an operation and a utility. If the objective is to match a hot operation with a cold stream, a heater (not a heat exchanger) must be inserted in the cold stream and then the heater (which represents the heating of the cold stream) can be matched with the hot operation. For more information on the subject, please consult the ReadMe file of the BioDiesel example of SuperPro as well as the manual and help facility of the application.


 

Miscellaneous Improvements

1

The font used to display the y- and x-axis labels on charts is now user-selectable.

2

The Language Character Set is now user-selectable through "File \ Applications Settings..."

3

Equipment contents can now be accessed by the COM engine.

4

The Utilities worksheet of the Custom-Excel report can optionally display energy demand at the operation level.

5

The Fill Percentage (%) and other equipment information are now displayed on the Activity Overview table of a Procedure.

6

Density Calculation options (for Liquid or Vapor Phase) can be set globally but overwritten locally (if needed).

7

The Stream Summary table can optionally display Stream Classification, Total Enthalpy, Specific Enthalpy and Heat Capacity. Stream composition can be shown in addition to stream flow. Flowsheet sections can be used for filtering streams to be included in the Stream Summary table.

8

Continuous procedures in batch processes have a schedulable start time and can be displayed in the equipment occupancy chart.

9

Resource and Equipment Occupancy charts can be displayed even for continuous flowsheets. This is of value when batch (cyclical) procedures are included in a continuous process which leads to variable demand of resources as a function of time.  The equipment occupancy chart (EOC) displays the batch (cyclical) procedures only.

10

Streams in batch processes can optionally display their averaged continuous flow. This is useful for process models that include batch and continuous parts (e.g., most bio-fuel and bio-material processes).

11

The Executive Summary dialog has been expanded to display additional information, especially in the first two tabs.

New Examples

1

A new thorough example on Lysine production that provides detailed information on procedures that cycle autonomously in a batch process. This example should be of interest to users that deal with modeling of commodity biochemical processes, such as lactic acid, succinic acid and various other amino acids. 

2

Two small examples in the Misc folder explaining how to use the new Gasification unit procedure and the improved Hydrocyclone.

New Unit Procedures

1

A Gasification procedure in the Power Generation group. It can be used to model gasification of biomass, coal, and other fuels. This unit should be of interest to users working on the thermochemical conversion of biomass. The new gasification example in the Misc folder provides information on how to best initialize this unit.

2

A detailed PBA Chromatography procedure available in Bind-Elute and Flow-Through modes. It offers more options for material balances and flowrate / time specifications. The new unit is available in the Chromatography / Adsorption group.

Improvements in Operations

1

Several enhancements and extensions in the Multi-Effect evaporator.

2

Major improvements in the hydrocyclone operation.

3

Improvements in the flash and pasteurization operations.

 

New Features in Version 8.5

Rigorous VLE Modeling
Rigorous VLE modeling capabilities are now available in the context of the new Rigorous Distillation unit as well as in the context of the Flash, Condensation, and Thin-Film Evaporation operations. The following thermo options are available for modeling the liquid and vapor phases:
- Liquid Phase: Ideal Mixture, Soave-Redlich-Kwong, Peng-Robinson, Wilson, NRTL

Monitor the Convergence Progress of Recycle Loops
When attempting to simulate processes with one or several recycle loops (a feature common in bio-fuel and environmental processes), SuperPro enters a sequence of iterative calculations to converge all the tear streams. Until now, users were only presented with the outcome of such calculations (either success or failure). This version offers users a way to monitor the progress (or lack thereof) during successive calculations in those iterative calculations. The simulation engine records in a file the values of all the variables that are being monitored and allows you to inspect them after the calculations ended. You can turn on the recording of loop convergence progress by checking the "Record Convergence Progress" box in the Recycle Loops & Tear Stream Options Dialog (select Recycle Loops & Tear Stream Options... from the flowsheet's context menu). The dialog box is shown below and the corresponding variable is highlighted by a red rectangle. Version 8.5 also supports multiple initialization options for all tear streams (using the options of the "Initial Guess" box).

After running the M&E balances, SuperPro creates an MS-Excel file and records all the variables that are being successively guessed and calculated during loop convergence. The file is saved in the same location as the original document, and will have "_RCP.xls" appended to it. The figure below displays a portion of such a report. The saved book has several sheets. The first sheet contains general information related to the convergence process.  A separate sheet is added for each tear stream that displays convergence progress. The report includes the guessed value, the calculated value and their relative difference. As long as the difference is above the convergence tolerance, the difference is displayed in red; when the discrepancy falls below the specified (relative) tolerance, then it is displayed in blue. Blue relative tolerance for all monitored variables indicates convergence.

User-Defined Cost Models can be Stored in the Database
A user-defined cost model (UDCM) enables users to specify a "power-law" model for estimating equipment cost as a function of size. Earlier versions of the tool supported this capability in the context of specific equipment items of a SuperPro file. Version 8.5 enables users to create and store such models in the User Database. Multiple models can be created for a specific equipment type in order to capture cost for different applications (e.g. fermentors for production of biopharmaceuticals, bio-fuels, etc.). The cost models can be readily associated with the equipment units of a SuperPro process model and used instead of the built-in cost functions of the tool. The figure below displays such a model for estimating the cost of fermentors utilized for production of bio-fuels.

Main Equipment are Allowed to be Utilized Across Batches
Earlier versions of SuperPro allowed use of auxiliary equipment (e.g., CIP skids) across multiple batches, but not main equipment. That occasionally resulted in situations where a main piece of equipment (e.g., a buffer preparation tank of a biopharmaceutical process) was identified as the cycle time bottleneck, but in reality it was not a bottleneck. This new feature is turned on (it is off by default) for a specific equipment by checking the "Allow Use Across Batches" variable on the 'Scheduling' tab of the equipment dialog (see highlighted variable on the figure below).

The two charts below highlight the value of the new feature. The top chart corresponds to the case where equipment use across batches is not allowed. Under such conditions, NFD-101 is the cycle time bottleneck and the minimum cycle time of the process is 49.2 h. The bottom chart corresponds to the case where equipment use across batches is allowed (the first use of NFD-101 in batch #2 is before the last use of NFD-101 in batch #1). Under such conditions, R-101 becomes the bottleneck and the new cycle time is 40.h 7, which is equivalent to a 17.3% reduction.

Display of Main Equipment Conflicts on the Equipment Occupancy Chart
The use of main equipment across batches may lead to equipment conflicts. The figure below displays such a situation where NFD-101 is utilized by two different unit procedures (belonging to different batches) that overlap in time (activities in the red rectangle). SuperPro highlights conflicting equipment by displaying their name color in red (on the y-axis). The [+] and [-] boxes next to the conflicting equipment name allow users to expand / collapse the activities of the chart that correspond to that equipment. Such conflicts are resolved by changing the cycle time of the recipe (by right-clicking on the white area of the chart and selecting 'Edit Recipe Scheduling Info') or by altering the equipment allocation. The 'Edit Recipe Scheduling Info' dialog also includes a "Cycle Time Calculator" that guides users to estimate cycle times that do not lead to conflicts.

Information Tags on Streams can display Enthalpy-Related Properties
The info-tag boxes of streams can optionally display total and specific stream enthalpies. Stream enthalpy information is useful for modeling of biofuel and related processes for which energy balances and cost of utilities are very important. In soon-to-be-released follow up builds, SuperPro will be able to display those properties on the stream summary table as well.

Miscellaneous Improvements
- The Selling Price of a Stream can be specified on a per-component Basis (as an option).
- Expanded options for the Custom Excel (XL) Report.
- Equipment Occupancy Charts display more feedback as a flyby tool tip text.
- User can set the threshold for omitting a component from the flow listing on streams.
- Rate of Failure may be (optionally) applied to all reference rates.
- Emission outlet's stream pressure is set based on lowest contributor.
- Operation Gantt charts command moved to charts menu.

New Unit Procedures
The following new procedures have been added:
1) New Storage / Mixing units that utilized disposable bags.
2) A new Stirred-Bioreactor that utilizes disposable bags.
3) A Membrane Adsorber for biopharmaceutical applications.
4) Design Specification Controller for stream temperature.
5) A Peristaltic Pump unit.

Improvements in Existing Unit Procedures and Operations
1) Major improvements in the multi-effect evaporator leaching, and absorption/stripping.
2) Important improvements in Custom-Mixing, Pull-In, and Equilibrium Reaction.
3) Various improvements and bug fixes in reaction / fermentation, shredding and vessel cooling operations.
 

New Features in Version 8.0

Rigorous VLE Modeling
Rigorous VLE modeling capabilities are now available in the context of the new Rigorous Distillation unit as well as in the context of the Flash, Condensation, and Thin-Film Evaporation operations. The following thermo options are available for modeling the liquid and vapor phases:
- Liquid Phase: Ideal Mixture, Soave-Redlich-Kwong, Peng-Robinson, Wilson, NRTL
- Vapor Phase: Ideal, Van Der Vaals, Redlich-Kwong, Soave-Redlich-Kwong, Peng-Robinson, Virial

VLE Charts for Binary Mixtures
After making a selection of a VLE model, the application can generate any of the following VLE charts:
- Txy (for a set Pressure, Temperature versus x- / y- composition of binary mixture)
- Pxy (for a set Temperature, Pressure versus x- / y- composition of binary mixture)
- xy at T (for a set Temperature, x- vs y- at equilibrium)
- xy at P (for a set Pressure, x- vs y- at equilibrium).

Process Explorer for Easy Viewing and Editing of Resources
The Process Explorer is a new multi-tabbed floating (or docked) toolbar that presents in each of its tabs different resources of a process. The displayed resources include: materials (pure components and mixtures), main equipment, auxiliary equipment (CIP skids, etc.), utilities, labor,  consumables, and material storage units. The Process Explorer facilitates easy viewing and editing of any of the above resources.

Target Concentration Calculator
This new utility facilitates composition specifications for mixtures and input streams. The user has flexibility to specify the known information in a variety of ways and the system calculates the mixture composition. If the problem is underspecified or over specified, appropriate warnings guide the user.

Error Output Pane
The Error Output pane displays all error messages and warnings generated during simulation of a process. In this manner, all error outputs are presented at once and the user can focus on any one of them that he or she wants. Each error or warning is presented in a 3-column table: the first column presents a bitmap that indicates if the announcement involves a severe error (that prevented the simulation from finishing), a non-severe error or a warning. The second column shows a short description of the object (e.g. operation, procedure, equipment, chart, report, etc.) that the error originated. Finally, the last column displayes a description of the error. Moving the mouse over the third column shows (on a tool tip) the entire error if it can’t fit in the available space. Finally, clicking on the ‘?’ button displayed at the end of the line presents a related help topic from the application’s help system with more information on the error (what caused it and what to do to correct the situation).

Supply and Receiving Storage Units
Storage units calculate and display the inventory and demand/generation of selected input and output materials.

Multiple Power Types and Power Generation
The new gas and steam turbines units can generate electricity which can be sold. Also, the user can now introduce multiple power types to represent either multiple types of power utilized by a process (e.g. high-voltage vs regular voltage) or to distinguish between power consumed and power produced by a process.

CIP Skid Report
A new report is available that provides information on volumes of material and flowrates utilized by CIP operations. The information is useful for sizing CIP tanks and pumps.

Price for Materials in Flexible Units
In previous versions, the price of materials was always specified on a per-kg basis. The application now offers the flexibility to specify prices on a user-selectable reference set of units that can be either per mass or per volume.

Renaming Registered Components and Mixtures
A new utility is available that allows the user to change the local name of a registered pure component or mixture.

New Unit Procedures
The following new procedures have been added:
1) Rigorous Distillation column that utilizes the new VLE capabilities.
2) Single and Multi-Stage Steam Turbines that can generate electricity and steam of intermediate qualities.
3) Single and Multi-Stage Gas Turbines that generate electricity.
4) Burner-Boiler for steam generation.
5) Material Washing for cleaning bulk materials and discrete entities.
6) Stoichiometric Environmental Reactions for Well Mixed BioOxidation, Plug Flow BioOxidation, Anaerobic Digestion, and Anoxic Reaction. The kinetic versions of the same became available in earlier versions.

Improvements in Operations
This release also includes numerous improvements in existing operation models and several bug fixes.


New Features in Version 7.5

A description of the key new features and capabilities in SuperPro Designer v7.5 follows below.

Visualization of Equipment Conflicts
If multiple CIP operations that utilize the same skid overlap in time (in the same or across multiple batches), the application creates multiple lines for the conflicting equipment (e.g., see CIP-Skid-1 in the figure below).  The new view enables the user to easily identify such conflicts and clearly see the extent of conflict. Such conflicts are typically resolved by spacing apart the overlapping operations (e.g., by specifying nonzero "Start Time Shift" values through the "Scheduling" tab of an operation's dialog) or by assigning some of the overlapping operations to other CIP skids.

Three new interface elements have been added to the Equipment Occupancy chart to allow for the presentation of such conflicts to become more explicit.  Note that you can hide/show conflicts for a specific equipment resource by clicking on the +/- control showing next to equipment resource names that exhibit such a sharing violation. There are also two more interface elements (buttons) added to the toolbar of the chart that will either expand (show) or collapse (hide) all equipment sharing violations in extra lines. 

An Excel Report with Fully Customizable Contents
A new report has been added. This report is created only in Excel (xls) native format. Other reports can be created in a variety of formats (Adobe/.pdf, Word/.rtf, Explorer/html, etc.). This new report is only created for Excel because its contents are organized in "chapters" that map directly into workbooks in the Excel terminology. Within each chapter, users may choose to include (or leave out) any one of several "paragraphs", and for each paragraph users also can choose to include (or leave out) any one of several "items". Items can be either single-valued parameters (e.g. batch size, cycle time etc.) or a table (e.g., the contents of a specific equipment, or the stream summary table) or a chart (e.g., the ingredient consumption chart for a given component, or the Operations Gantt chart for a given number of batches).

Auxiliary Equipment (CIP & SIP) Demand Chart
For processes with a large number of CIS operations users may wish to view the demand for CIP skids during the execution of single batch or multiple batches. Such a chart will indicate time windows of a recipe where possibly an unfortunate choice of scheduling imposes an unrealizable demand for CIP skids.

Protection of Files Shared by Multiple Users (Opening a File in ‘Read-Only’ Mode)
When multiple users attempt to open the same "spf" file, the application now prevents the 2nd or 3rd user to open the same file (already open by a user) with write privileges. In other words, the 2nd user can open the file, but the buttons (and commands) for saving the file with the same name and in the same location are disabled. Please note that a file opened in ‘read-only’ mode still allows users to modify any of the parameters in the design case file and it will allow the user to save the file under a different name (or in a different location) by using the File / Save As… command.

Tree-like Presentation of Resource Amounts & Rates and Breakdown to Consumption Points
Resources like Materials (Pure Components and/or Stock Mixtures), Labor, Heat Transfer Agents, Power etc. are consumed by various operations. A detailed accounting has been part of SPD’s ICR report for several versions. Also, the interface of SPD reports the totals (command under flowsheet’ s menu, Ingredient & Inventory Data, Heat Transfer Agents, Labor, Consumables...) However, oftentimes when a single consumable dominates the operating cost, it is important for a user to quickly identify the consumption points that are mostly responsible for the high demand for that consumable. For this reason, starting with this version, we introduce a new interface that presents in a tree-like breakdown of the consumption of all such resources. All new interfaces can be viewed by selecting the View / Resource Demand Breakdown / Materials… (for material consumption), View / Resource Demand Breakdown / Heat Transfer Agent.., etc. 

Itemized Report (Materials): Consumption May Be Grouped by Origin (Raw Materials, Cleaning Agents, etc.)
Since materials can be consumed for any one of several reasons or origins (as a raw material, as a cleaning agent, etc.) sometimes grouping the consumption of each material by such intended purpose of use can provide good insight on evaluating alternatives that may reduce or altogether eliminate such use (if so desired). Starting with this version, we have added this option in the itemized cost report:

Unit Procedures Can Display an Information Tag (like Streams)
Just like streams can display in a dedicated ‘tag’ information about its state, unit procedures now have the same feature. You can turn a unit procedure’s tag on by visiting the unit procedure’s style dialog: from the command (right-click) menu of the procedure select Style / Edit… ).

More Bitmaps Around Unit Procedure Icons To Indicate Shared Equipment Resources, Multi-Unit Equipment Resources, Multi-Cycle Procedures
Besides having a direct visual indicator that shows the employment of staggered equipment, we have now added three more such indicators: 1) Indicating a shared equipment resource (by multiple UPs), 2) Indicating an equipment resource with multiple number of units, 3) Indicating a multiple-cycle procedure. You can turn on/off the above indicators for a specific procedure by bringing up the unit procedure’s style menu (select Style/Edit… from the procedure’s command menu). To activate this feature for all unit procedures in a flowsheet, please visit the default unit procedure style dialog by selecting Preferences / Default Styles / Procedure Icons… from the flowsheet’ s command (right-click) menu.

Linking a Table (like the Stream Summary Table or the Equipment Contents Table) to an Excel Area Can Now Optionally Carry Over Any Existing Styling Effects
In previous versions of SuperPro, any styling applied to the following tables: Equipment Contents, Stream Summary, Procedure Activity Overview or Custom Component Properties would be lost when exporting (or linking) the table to an Excel file. We assumed that users would apply their own formatting using Excel’s user-interface. Starting with this version, you can (optionally) carry any formatting applied to the table on the SuperPro side, over to the Excel side. You can turn on/off this feature by checking the last option shown in the "Link Options" section of the Excel Link Edit dialog.

Consistent Presentation of Procedure and Equipment Order in All Interfaces (Trees and Charts)
There are several interfaces that present information in a table and/or a chart about the unit procedures included in a process. Up until now, the order by which the procedures were presented was decided (locally) in each interface, making it cumbersome to make sure that you always view the procedures in the same order. Starting with this version, there’s a central place where you can view and edit how you prefer to see the unit procedures ordered when appearing in a table and/or a chart. To view this interface, select the Preferences / Procedure Order… option from the flowsheet’s command (right-click) menu. Note that from the same interface you can also choose (if desired) to omit a procedure from any scheduling-related charts/tables. The same principle applies also for the list of equipment. The corresponding interface can be viewed by selecting the Preferences / Equipment Order… option from the same menu.

Revised COM Library Classes (Designer.Application, Designer.Document); Expanded API
We have re-written the core code for the COM library of ProDesigner so that it is easier (and much clearer) to connect to it and perform many different operations by code. Furthermore, it is now possible to utilize other programming environments (like C# or C++) and write full-blown applications that are COM clients to ProDesigner’s COM library.

New Interface for Viewing Multiple Open Design Case Files ("Workbook Mode")
Starting with version 7.5, the interface for viewing multiple open design case files has been changed to be similar to how MS-Excel® shows multiple workbooks in an xls file. The new viewing mode will be called ‘tabbed view’ or ‘workbook view’ . In this view, the workspace area is maximized, in order to provide the maximum possible working/drawing area for the user. Users can switch viewing from one open file to another by means of the tabs showing at the bottom of the workspace area. Open files cannot be minimized. If you prefer the old style (floating) view for multiple open documents, then you can switch back by visiting the File / Application Preferences dialog.

Customizable Colors & Appearance (‘Skin’) for Main Interface and Toolbars
Starting with version 7.5, the color and appearance (look or ‘skin’) of the interface is now fully customizable. The options available can be accessed from the Application Settings dialog (File / Application Settings…). The ‘default’ coloring scheme is the scheme that the application uses ‘out-of-the-box’. Selecting "Classic" will apply the colors and appearance that versions prior to v7.5 used to have. Selecting the ".Net" option, will apply a flat-look, steel color face; finally, the "XP Skin" option, will enforce whatever skin choice is currently the skin selected by the operating system (Windows XP and later). Note that you can access the skin choice of your environment by right-clicking on your workspace, then selecting "Properties" and in the ensuing dialog, go to the "Appearance" tab.

New Emission Reporting Content (Options)
The contents of the emission report have been significantly extended. Our motivation has been to provide users with enough information that will accomplish two goals: (a) Pinpoint any emission violating operations, and (b) Provide enough numbers / tables that can be used in filing emission reports where required. Towards this goal, we have introduced the following four sections: (1) Component Amount Totals (per Procedure, per Batch), (2) Operation-Averaged Component Rates (per Procedure, per Operation), (3) Procedure-Averaged Component Rates & Totals (per Procedure, per Operation), and (4) Time-Averaged Component Rates

Edit the Recipe Scheduling Parameters (Cycle Time, Number of Batches Per Year, etc) from any Scheduling Chart
In versions prior to this, users could access all of the operating and scheduling parameters of the procedures, operations and equipment from the chart by right-clicking on the time bars that represented them. This feature essentially empowers users to treat the chart view as an alternative way to view and improve the process. Any changes made to the operating and/or scheduling parameters of an operation / procedure / equipment, can be applied to the whole recipe and then reflected in the new drawing of the chart by simply clicking on the "Update" button on the chart’s toolbar (or the main menu). Starting with this version, we also allow users to access the recipe-related scheduling information, such as recipe cycle time, slack time or number of batches per year. You can bring up the dialog, type new values, then have them be applied to the recipe by clicking OK and then on the "Update" button. This will redo the scheduling calculations and refresh the chart to reflect the effects of the new values.

Heating Emission Calculations Have Been Improved to Conform With EPA’s Recommendations
The heating emission calculations have been modified to conform with EPA’s article § 63.1414 guidelines entitled: ‘Test methods and emission estimation equations, EPA 40 CFR Ch. I, 7-1-04 Edition’. Rather than considering just the initial and final temperature of the vessel contents during a heating operation, a step-wise approach has been implemented that better approximates the dependence of VOC vapor pressure dependency on temperature. More specifically, a single temperature interval is assumed if the final temperature is lower than 50 degrees Kelvin below the contents’ estimated boiling point. If that is not the case, then the calculations are done at the initial temperature, the Tb-50 temperature, and the remaining range is broken up to 5 degree intervals. The emission amounts are then added up from all single point calculations.

Equipment Order in EER is Customizable
The order in which equipment items appear in the Economic Evaluation report (EER) is now customizable through the "Economic Evaluation" tab of the Report Options dialog.

Tree-View Presentations of Database Sites, Equipment, Agents, Consumables and Equipment Spec Variables now Allow for All Actions to be Performed by Toolbars in Addition to Right-Click Commands
In versions prior to v7.5 the interfaces that presented the database sites (and their resources like agents, labor types, etc.), allowed for actions to be performed only by right-clicking on node and then selecting the desired action (e.g. Addition of a new sub-site, or definition of a new labor type in a site, etc.). Since many users found this interface not so user-friendly, we have added toolbars over each tree view that users can employ to initiate such actions.

New Unit Procedures
New procedures have been added for cell culture "Bioreactors" and Batch & Continuous Storage of Solids and Liquids in Intermediate Containers (Totes).

Improvements in Operations
This release also includes numerous improvements in existing operation models and several bug fixes.

New Features in Version 7.0

A description of the key new features and capabilities in SuperPro Designer v7.0 follows below.

New and Updated Examples
Version 7.0 includes a new monoclonal antibody (MAB) example that explains in detail how to model, analyze, and debottleneck contemporary biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes. Advanced topics covered include: a) Modeling of buffer preparation and holding activities, b) Cycle time reduction with staggered equipment, c) Representation of transfer panels and delivery lines, d) Correct modeling of consumables, e) Thorough cost of goods analysis, f) Advanced modeling of chromatography steps, etc.

A BioDiesel example has been added that analyzes the production of biodiesel from degummed vegetable oil. It includes technical as well as cost analysis of the process. The model was initially developed by scientist at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, PA 19038-8598, USA. You may download a copy of their paper from the literature page of our website.

The SynPharm example that focuses on manufacturing of pharmaceutical APIs (small molecules) has been considerably upgraded with new material on cycle time reduction and debottlenecking.

Finally, two new COM examples have been added that demonstrate some of the new COM services (see below). Users who are interested in exploiting the new COM interface of SuperPro should go over those examples carefully (COM5.spf and COM6.spf).

New and Updated Operations
A "Flush" operation has been added in the context of membrane filtration procedures. A "Leaching" operation has been added in the context of a new leaching unit procedure. A new "Composition Control" operation has been added in the context of a new Design Spec procedure. It allows the user to select a target concentration value for a component or a selected group of components together in a stream, along with another stream whose flows will be adjusted by the program in order to meet the user’s target (if possible).  In all stoichiometric reaction operations the user can specify whether the reaction proceed sequentially or in a parallel. Numerous other small improvements and bug fixes have been implemented in operation models.

Consistent Vapor – Liquid/Solids Modeling
Starting with version 7.0 SuperPro Designer adopts a more consistent and uniform modeling approach to identifying the state of a component in a stream or in a state (equipment contents) inside a procedure. Also, the vapor phase of vessels is tracked more consistently and calculated more accurately. Furthermore, additional flexibility has been added for calculating and specifying the density of streams and equipment contents.

Currency Specification Applies to All Monetary-Related Values
SuperPro employed the notion of different currencies in previous versions. However, a user’s selection mainly applied to calculated cost values as seen in the various reports generated (Economic Evaluation Report or EER, Itemized Cost Report or ICR, etc.). Starting with this version of SuperPro Designer users can select a new currency (other than US$) to be associated with their project, and from that moment onward, all prices or cost-related items are going to be accepted in that currency and results (operating cost, capital cost, etc.) in charts as well as reports will be presented in the selected currency.

New Zoom Toolbar Available to All Time Charts
We have added a new toolbar to all charts that allows users to easily customize the zooming factor.

Enhanced Properties of Heat Transfer Agents: Associate a Material, Flexible Cost Reference Options and Revamped Properties Interface. You may now associate a true material (e.g. Water, or Brine, etc.) with a heat transfer agent. This association enable SuperPro to calculate the "Mass to Energy Factor" which previously was an exclusive responsibility for the user to provide. It also offers you the option to keep track of the consumption of materials utilized for generating heat transfer agents (e.g., WFI consumption for generating Clean Steam).

Stock Mixtures May (Optionally) Calculate Their Liquid/Solid Density
In previous versions users had to always specify the the density of a stock mixture (or its correlation parameters). Now, as an added option, users may simply request SuperPro to compute the liquid/solid density (or its correlation parameters) of a mixture from its composition and the properties of its ingredients.

Expanded Back-Propagation Routes
In versions prior to v7 SuperPro would not allow back-propagation lines to pass through procedures sharing equipment. The reason was that if any of the shared procedures concluded with a non-zero amount that was to be inherited to the next procedure sharing the equipment, a forward disturbance would be created and that is not allowed when back-propagating an amount request. Starting with v7, this connectivity is allowed provided during simulation it is recorded that the shared procedures leave the tank empty. Note that this type of connectivity is relatively common when simulating buffer preparation tanks and their distribution network.

Tool Tip Information Displayed for Icon Ports that Are of Special Purpose
When the mouse moves over a port of a unit procedure’s icon that has a special designation (e.g. vent port in a vessel, or retentate port of a membrane filter) SuperPro will now display this information in the form of a tool tip 

A New Bitmap May Be Displayed Indicating Staggered Employment of Equipment Resources
Starting with v7, SuperPro will display a new icon at the bottom left of the unit procedure’s icon, when the associated host equipment resource has been assigned multiple sets of equipment to operate in a staggered mode. Notice that as the mouse hovers over this bitmap (if visible) SuperPro will now display the names of the associated staggered equipment resources. Please note that the names of the staggered equipment resources are editable (visit the Equipment Data dialog, and in the "Staggered Mode" box click on the Names… button to supply your own names for the staggered equipment.

More Advanced Features Available to Flowsheets With Multiple Recycle Loops
The tear stream identification algorithm has been revised to allow for extremely complex recycle schemes with several loops and a large possible set of tear stream set options. Under such circumstances the previous algorithm used to fail to find a "non-redundant" set of tear streams. A set of tear streams is called "non-redundant" if it does not tear any of the existing process loops more than once. When such an identification fails (practically it may take a very long time to complete so the system would appear to freeze), the user can now help SuperPro and instruct the algorithm to compromise by settling for a "redundant" set of tear streams. The consequence of such selection is that the convergence of such a flowsheet may be somewhat inferior; however, often times this does not lead to any significant delays in the overall convergence.

User Can Select Which Procedures To Exclude from the Gantt Chart and Can Overwrite SuperPro’ s Order of Appearance in the Chart. SuperPro now allows you exclude any procedure that you wish from the Gantt Chart (if that is convenient). This can be accomplished by visiting the procedure’s dialog (select Procedure Data… from the procedure’s right-click menu) and checking the box next to "Omit from Chart". Alternatively, one can accomplish the same for all unit procedures (in a list) by visiting the Equipment Occupancy chart’s style dialog and clicking on the "Order / Include / Exclude Procedures… " button.

The Color Map Used in Multi-Batch Equipment Occupancy Charts is Now Saved
When displaying a multiple batch equipment occupancy chart the user has the option of selecting his/her own color scheme to be used for each of the batch times (boxes). SuperPro now saves the user’s selection so that they will be applied on all consequent multi-batch chart displays.

Expanded COM Server’s Programmer Interface
Since v6, SuperPro makes available a COM library that allows client programs to remotely control some of its operations. For example, users who know how to write small scripts in VBA for applications from Excel or Word, can have SuperPro Designer load a design case file, change flow values of a stream or an operation, re-run the simulation and fetch the value of a critical output parameter (e.g. the annual operating cost). As promised by the release of v6, this interface will be enriched from version to version based on feedback received by our customers. In this release, we have added the following functionality to the COM interface: 1) Set/fetch several report generation options (e.g. format, header and footer text, number of decimals for certain parameters included in the report, etc.). 2) Generate and save the reports in the default location or a location of user’s choosing. 3) Generate most of the program’s charts (Gantt, equipment occupancy, utility consumption, etc.) and either copy them to the clipboard (so that they can be later pasted in a document of their choosing) or save them into a file (as a ‘wmf’ metafile format) so that they can be later inserted in a document of their choosing. 4) Set/Fetch the Excel-linking information related to the tables mapped to Excel areas (Stream Summary Table, Equipment Contents Table, Operation Sequence Table and Registered Component Properties Table). 5) Trigger updates for all the spreadsheets in the program that have a customized Excel linked area. For example, the contents of an equipment resource can be linked to an Excel spreadsheet area (or range). This customization can be done interactively from SuperPro (without any VBA programming). Later, using the COM interface of ProDesigner, and presumably after some COM calls have set new input values to certain parameters of the process, the flowsheet is re-solved and the equipment content information can be updated in the Excel flowsheet As mentioned elsewhere, similar Excel-linked spreadsheets exist also for each unit procedure’s operation sequence (see the right-click menu of a UP and select Operation Sequence…), or the Registered Component Information Table (under the main menu View / Component Properties…).

New Features in Version 6.0

Generate a Fully-Customizable Batch-Sheet (SOP)
Starting with v6.0, users of SuperPro Designer can generate automatically (as an output) a new, fully-customizable process description commonly referred to as "batch sheet". The report is put together by using as blueprint a 'master' form created with MS-Word. By including certain keywords, you can direct the batch sheet generation engine of SuperPro to include descriptions of the operations, the materials they utilize, their demand for utilities, etc.  Each operation is described using its own (custom) MS-Word created form that contains filled-in fields specific to each operation. Users can customize those forms for each operation-type to fit their company's standards. The final output can be used either for process documentation purposes or as a manual for instructing operators how to execute a batch.

OLE / COM Server Library
Starting with this version we introduce a COM / OLE server library that can be installed on your Windows environment and allow other applications (e.g., MS-Excel) to communicate with SuperPro Designer. Using a language like VBA, users can request SuperPro to load a file, change some operating parameter (e.g., the yield of a reaction), perform the M&E balances and cost calculations, retrieve certain calculated outputs, etc. With this feature, users can now perform parametric (sensitivity) studies as well as carry out stochastic modeling (Monte Carlos simulation) with Crystal Ball, which is an Excel add-in.

Virtual Links between Process Files with Input Stream Auto-Initialization
Process inputs are expected to be initialized by the user. Starting with v6.0, you can create a link between the input of one process with the contents of another stream in the same or a different process file. The contents of the source stream will be used to initialize the input stream before each simulation, or upon user's request. This is very useful in cases where users simulate a long sequence of process steps, each in a separate file, but they need to guarantee that stream compositions are safely copied from one process step to another.          

Stream Properties Can Be Automatically Displayed on the Flowsheet
Users can request to have key information of streams shown directly on the process flowsheet in the form of "info-tags". The content, location and shape of those stream info-tags can be chosen by the user.

Copy-and-Paste Operations between Procedures
This feature has been requested by many of our current users and it was long overdue. You can choose to copy into an existing procedure one (or more) operations from another procedure. Also, you can use the same interface to re-initialize existing operations by the values of other (same type) operations.

Several New Unit Procedures for Secondary Pharmaceutical Manufacturing as well as for General Formulation and Packaging Processes
The list includes a new Dryer & Granulator, a new Tablet Press, a Tablet Coater, a Nano-Mill, as well as units for storing bulk solids and discrete entities (e.g., bins, drums, trays, racks, etc.).  

MISCELLANEOUS IMPROVEMENTS
-       A Perfusion Fermentation operation model
-       Enhanced interface for specifying stoichiometry of reactions
-       Ability to edit the names of staggered equipment
-       Many other smaller improvements and bug fixes.

New Features in Version 5.5

1) New Reporting Engine that generates reports with enhanced styling, highly customizable content and in a variety of file-formats (RTF, PDF, HTML, XML, Excel, etc.). Also, two new reports have been added that provide detailed info on equipment and cash flow analysis.

2) Support for multiple units (e.g., Metric, English, etc.) for practically every variable of a flowsheet.

3) Database of Consumables for storing information on chromatography resins, membranes, disposable equipment, etc.

4) Database of Currencies and capability to generate cost analysis reports in various currencies.

5) Several new unit procedure models for inoculum preparation, drying, centrifugation, mixing, frying, storage, etc.

6) All batch reaction operations can have Fed-Batch functionality.

7) Several improvements related to Gantt charts, reconciliation of equipment databases,  etc.

New Features in Version 5.0

The new database capabilities are the major thrust of version 5.0. SuperPro users may now store information related to manufacturing facilities and their assets (e.g., equipment, utilities, labor) in database format (MS Access) in a way that can be shared through corporate networks and utilized by SuperPro for process modeling, cost analysis, and technology transfer. All parameters related to capital and operating cost estimation that are process and region specific can now be stored in the database and accessed by any company employee. This can greatly facilitate standardization of methodologies and assumptions for cost analysis. The new capabilities also greatly facilitate technology transfer projects. When a new product is ready to move from development to manufacturing, one can quickly perform process fitting studies for the various alternatives sites. More detailed info on the new database capabilities follows below.

New Database Capabilities in Version 5.0

The figure below shows the new "Sites & Resources" dialog through which the user can create in the database new manufacturing (or R&D) sites and assets associated with them. Please note that the term “Site” is used to denote entire industrial sites as well as facilities at any level of detail (e.g., building, suite, room, etc.). The terms “site” and “facility” will be used interchangeably in this document.

The ChemTech facility, shown below, has two sub-facilities (Suite A and B). Three labor types (Dryer, Filter, and Reactor Operator) and a stuff member (George Smith) were defined at the ChemTech level. These labor resources can be utilized for activities at the ChemTech level as well as the Suite A and B levels. In general, labor and utility resources defined in a site are available in that site and all its children sites. Similarly, the heating and cooling utilities were defined at the ChemTech level so that they can accessible in Suite A and B. For each resource, the user can specify availability limits, cost data, and other parameters.

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The equipment items were defined at the suite level. For instance, the figure below shows the two filters (NF-101, 2) and the three vessels (V-101, 2, 3) defined in Suite A. These equipment items can only be utilized for processing activities taking place in Suite A. Activities in Suite B and in ChemTech have not access to equipment in Suite A.

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Double clicking on a piece of equipment brings up the following dialog through which the user can view and modify the properties of an equipment item. The "Specs" tab provides info on size, dimensions, and vendor. The "Cost Data" tab provides info on purchase cost and operating cost parameters. Through the "Extra Specs" tab, the user may associate extra variables with an equipment so that it can be described in greater detail (e.g., variables representing the color of the equipment, the finishing of the internal surface, the number of manholes, etc.). The user may also create new specification variables. And since all this info resides in MS Access format, one can create professional looking forms for detailed equipment specification sheets.

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The "Picture" tab displays a picture of the equipment (if available). See figure below for a sample. This is useful for documentation purposes, but it also has educational value (for our academic users).

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Double clicking on a site brings up the following dialog window. The "Identification" tab displays the address and other contact info. The "Capital Investment" tab displays the multipliers and other parameters that affect estimation of capital investment. The "Operating Cost" tab displays parameters that affect the estimation of operating cost (also knows as Cost of Goods - COGs). Finally, the "Picture" tab displays a picture of the site (if available).

The flexibility to save cost related information in the database enables companies to standardize on cost analysis assumptions made throughout the corporation. A company may create template sites in the database representing different types of manufacturing facilities for various parts of the world (e.g., production of citric acid in Brazil, production of API's in China). These database facilities may not represent actual manufacturing facilities. They are simply template facilities that can be associated with a process for the sole purpose of performing cost analysis and utilizing appropriate process and region-specific parameters.

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The database also includes info on Equipment Vendors and Manufacturers and Equipment that is sold by vendors. If you regularly solicit info from equipment vendors, you may store that data in the SuperPro database and make it available to your colleagues throughout your organization. The data may be accessed through SuperPro or through MS Access. The SuperPro database also comes with advanced querying and filtering features that enable users to quickly and efficiently locate information of interest (e.g., cost for a specific vessel type that has a size in a specific range).

Utilizing the Database Capabilities in Process Modeling

In SuperPro v5.0, a flowsheet (recipe) section can be associated with (allocated to) a database site. The figure below shows how the allocation is accomplished. When a section is allocated to a site, it gains access to its equipment and resources.

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A flowsheet (recipe) section is a group of unit procedures that are put together with a certain goal in mind. The figure below shows the "Product Synthesis" section that was allocated to "Suite A". It consists of two unit procedures, P-1 and P-2, that utilize vessels R-101 and R-102, respectively. The green lock icon in the lower right corner of the equipment icons denotes the allocation of those equipment items to equipment items in the database. The attributes (e.g., size, dimensions) of an allocated equipment cannot be modified through the flowsheet because that represents a "real" equipment specified in the database. However, the attributes of that equipment can be modified through the database interface (if that equipment item had been created by the user).

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The operations of allocated sections gain access to the labor and utility resources that are available in that site. The allocation is done globally at the section level or for each operation individually.

Allocated sections also gain access to the cost parameters of their database sites. The figure below shows the "Capital Investment" parameters of the "Product Synthesis" section. When a section is allocated to a site, these parameters come, by default, from the database. However, the user also has the option to overwrite them locally by deselecting the "Use Site Data" check box.

Similarly, parameters for operating cost estimation come by default from the database and the user has the option to overwrite them locally.

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For additional information on how to take advantage of the new database capabilities for facilitating cost analysis and technology transfer, please click here (Size = 284 kb). You will download the ReadMe file of a special case of the SynPharma example that explains in greater detail the new database features. The entire SynPharma example is part of the Evaluation version of SuperPro that can be downloaded from our website free of charge.

Other Improvements in Version 5.0

New Unit Procedures

1) Cooling Tower. This procedure simulates the cooling of water in a cooling tower. Water and air (flowing continuously) are brought in contact in a cooling tower and the partial evaporation of water results in a temperature drop of the down-flowing water.

2. Storage in Plastic Bags. This procedure handles storage of material in disposable bags and other plastic containers. Storage in plastic bags is quite common in bio-processing when small amounts of material harvested over a period of time are processed at a later point. Typically, the harvested material is frozen in the bag and kept refrigerated until the time comes to be processed. At that point, the material is thawed and the contents of several bags are combined to create a lot for downstream processing).

3. Valves (gate, globe or butterfly) for adjusting the flow and pressure of liquid and gaseous streams.

4. Mixture Maker. This procedure can simulate an intelligent mixer that automatically adjusts the flow of its input streams (up to 5) in order to meet a user-specification describing the output composition and flow.

New Operation Model

Pull-In Operation. This operation is similar to the Charge operation, except it allows the amount being charged to be determined based on a variety of user specifications.

Improvements in Operation Models

1) Batch Heating / Cooling in a Vessel. The heating/cooling operations can now also account for the heat capacity of the vessel. Furthermore, the heating/cooling time also can be estimated from the heat transfer coefficient and the heat transfer area.

2) Cake Wash. It is now possible to account for product loss during cake washing (due to solubility of the product in the wash solvent).

3) Reaction Operations. A new button ("View Reaction Stoichiometry Details") has been added to the Reactions tab of the dialog of all reaction operations. Clicking on the button brings up a dialog that displays stoichiometry information in a much friendlier and richer format. The user may also fix the stoichiometry through the same dialog.

4) Nutsche Filtration, Basket Centrifugation, and Plate & Frame Filtration. Two more input and two more output ports have been included. This provides extra flexibility for using up to four different wash solvents and for sending the mother liquor up to four different tanks.

5) Small improvements in Bead Milling, Spray Drying, Rotary Drying, Fluid Bed Drying, Sludge Drying, Custom Mixing, Belt Filtration, GM Filtration, WM Aerobic Biooxidation, PB Adsorption, Neutralization, Wet-Air Oxidation, and Incineration.

For additional information on new features and improvements in version 5.0, please download the Evaluation Version of SuperPro, open the README file of the application (that comes with the Evaluation version), and click on "What's New in This Version (v5.0)". The README file of the application is a help-type of file that runs by itself.

New Features in Version 4.9

Master-Slave Relationship Improved. You can now accurately match-up the duration of an operation to the duration of another operation, even if the procedures that they belong to have a different number of cycles per batch. For instance, if you transfer material out of a tank to load a chromatography column and the column handles a batch in three cycles, the duration of the transfer out operation in the tank will span the interval between the beginning of the first load to the and of the last load operation in the chromatography column. You can also match the duration of an operation to the duration of a string of operations.

Export Scheduling & Resource Data to MS Project. SuperPro Designer allows you now to export all the scheduling related information on operations, procedures and equipment occupation times to MS Project 2000 or later. The exported scheduling information retains the dependencies (such as start-to-start, start-to-finish, etc.) between operations so that if any changes are made in MS-Project, those constraints are still satisfied. Moreover, the exported file contains information on resource consumption, such as raw materials demand, heating and cooling utilities, power, and labor.

Scale Up / Down Interface Improved. We have revamped the interface that allows you to increase or decrease batch size and plant throughput. Now users can view the outputs of the throughput analysis and can request scale up/down amounts as well as factors that do not exceed the projected upper limits in batch size and plant throughput.

More Flexibility in Recipe Scheduling Calculations. A distinction is now made between the annual available time and the annual operating time. This allows more options for the user to specify or have calculated the number of batches and the recipe cycle time.

Improved Process Documentation Capabilities. You may now associate a description string that captures the functionality of an operation, procedure, section, and branch. The description string currently can be displayed as part of the Gantt chart and in a follow-up release it will be displayed in a dedicated report (similar to a batch sheet or SOP). Note that operation descriptions contain operational data (e.g., amounts charged, durations, operating conditions, etc.) and can be based on either built-in templates or user-supplied test. Furthermore, users can associate comments with an operation, procedure, stream, equipment, section, and branch. The text is contained for bookkeeping and documentation purposes. Currently, it is only viewed through dedicated interface dialogs, but in a follow-up release users will have the option of including it in a customizable report.

Built-in Printing Support for All Charts. The Gantt chart, Equipment Utilization chart, Resource Consumption & Inventory chart, etc. can now be previewed and printed directly from SuperPro Designer.

More Options for Stream Tags and End Points. The stream tags can now be moved to several locations depending on the shape of a stream. Furthermore, when editing the elbows of input and output streams, users can now relocate the end points.

The Full Manual in Electronic (PDF) Format. Starting with this release, text contained in the hard-copy of the manual as well as the entire documentation for unit operations and equipment currently supported by SuperPro Designer is now available in a collection of PDF documents that are equipped with bookmarks for easy navigation.


Click here to view a description of the key features of SuperPro and EnviroPro Designer.