Cost Analysis and Project Economic Evaluation
SuperPro and EnviroPro Designer perform thorough Cost Analysis and Project Economic Evaluation calculations and generate two pertinent reports. The reports are generated in Text and Spreadsheet formats. The list of calculated items includes:
- Equipment Purchase Cost
- Fixed Capital Investment
- Operating Cost
- Profitability Analysis
- Cash Flow Analysis
Samples of the key tables (in Spreadsheet format) that appear in the two reports follow:
Economic Evaluation Report (1st Report) Tables
Equipment Purchase Cost Table
SuperPro is equipped with built-in functions that estimate equipment purchase cost based on size, material of construction, and other characteristics. The user has the option to specify his/her own equipment purchase cost or provide his/her own parameters (in power-law format) for estimating the cost. Starting with version 5.0, the user may create an equipment database (in MS Access format) and store equipment-related info (including cost data) in a centralized and easily retrievable way.
Fixed Capital Investment Table
The estimation of the fixed capital investment is done using multipliers. The “Installation” multiplier is equipment specific. All other multipliers are process specific. The user has the flexibility to modify all the multipliers. Starting with version 5.0, all the fixed capital investment multipliers are stored in the database as part of the definition of a Manufacturing Facility. Associating a recipe (process) with a manufacturing facility in the database enables the user to use all the cost parameters of that facility for the cost analysis of that process.
Labor Cost Table
The labor demand is estimated by summing up the labor requirement of each operation. Again the user has the option to override what the program calculates. The labor unit cost and the multipliers for fringe benefits and supervision are specified at the Section level. A Section is a set of unit procedures that can represent an identifiable part of a long process. For instance, the flowsheet from which the following table was extracted was divided into four sections (Product Synthesis, Isolation and Purification, Final Purification, and Crystallization).
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…).
Raw Materials Cost Table
The amount of raw materials is calculated based on the material balances. The unit cost is retrieved from the component database. The user has the option to override the unit cost (purchasing price) in the component database.
Annual Operating Cost Summary Table
Other Operating Cost Tables
The software also generates tables for the cost of Consumables (e.g., for periodic replacement of chromatography resins and membranes of membrane filters), the cost of Waste Treatment and Disposal (distinguishing between solid, liquid, and vapor emissions), and the cost of Utilities (e.g., heating, cooling, power).
Profitability Analysis Table
The profitability analysis table includes info on capital investment, annual production, unit production cost, revenues, profit, gross margin, return on investment and payback time.
Cash Flow Analysis Table
The cash flow analysis table provides financial data for the entire life of the project. Based on the Net Cash Flow, the program calculates the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) before and after taxes and the Net Present Value (NPV) of the project for three different values of discount interest (that can be specified by the user). The same report includes info on the breakdowns of capital outlay and loan payment (if part of the fixed capital investment comes from borrowed money).
Itemized Cost Report (2nd Report) Tables
This report focuses on breakdowns of operating cost per flowsheet section and item. As mentioned above, a section is a set of unit procedures that can represent an identifiable part of a long process. The table below for instance displays the cost associated with the “Product Synthesis” section. The various cost items are listed on the left-hand-side and the costs are provided in $/kg MP (MP stands for main product that defines the scale of the process), $/Batch (or $/h for continuous processes), and $/Year.
The table displays a summary of the operating cost for the entire process (flowsheet).
The table provides breakdowns per flowsheet section and item. Each column represents a section and the “%” contribution of each section is shown on the bottom row (bluish background). For instance, the Synthesis section is responsible for 37.23% of the overall operating cost. By looking at this table, one can quickly identify the economic “hot-spots” of a process, which are the expensive parts of a process.
The last table of this report provides a breakdown of raw materials cost per section and per item.
Sensitivity Analysis Studies
After a model for the entire process is developed in SuperPro Designer, the user can use the tool to ask and readily answer “what if” questions and carry out sensitivity analysis with respect to key design variables. For instance, the figure below shows the unit cost of a therapeutic monoclonal antibody as a function of product titer in the broth (100, 250, and 500 mg/L) and as a function of production rate. The results of such analyses can assist in project selection and R&D planning.