Aspen Multi-Case Supports Better, Faster Modeling

January 26, 2021

If you’re a design engineer in the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) sector, you need a high-performance tool on your side. A time-and money-saver that can: 

 

  • Rapidly analyze alternate design configurations
  • Factor in variable operating conditions
  • Leverage high-performance computing to run multiple cases simultaneously

 

Can your Excel spreadsheet do all this?

Without the help of a high-powered design tool, your process is probably pretty cumbersome. It usually goes something like this:

Let’s say I’m an engineer in an oil and gas refinery. I want to design a new separation drum and I need to prove that this drum will support feed rates of anywhere from 200,000 to 400,000 barrels per day. Without Aspen’s Multi-Case tool, the modeling process was tedious and repetitive. First, I’d create a base case simulation with a feed rate of 200,000 bbl/d. I’d run the simulation and save the results to an Excel spreadsheet, save the simulation file and copy it. Then I’d start the process all over again: create a new simulation to run at 250,000 bbl/d and repeat this step 5 times until I got to 400,000 bbl/d. This operation could take an hour or two, depending on the time required to solve each individual simulation file. 

Using this method, I can reasonably determine if my new drum will work in my process. 

But then I remember: We use different processes in summer and winter months. And sometimes, the composition of our feedstocks change. Soon my list of files grows into something like this

 

 

And an exercise that took only an hour or two has turned into a multi-day project. 

With Multi-Case, this exercise is a thing of the past. 

 

Aspen Multi-Case Streamlines the Modeling Process 

Using the Aspen Multi-Case tool, I set up my base case process and open a web app that connects to it. I can set the parameters I want to vary—the feed rate, different operating conditions for summer and winter, and various feedstocks. I input the ranges and steps I want to evaluate into Multi-Case and select RUN one time. The tool processes each of these cases automatically. 

The time savings from this workflow alone are huge. I can run all these simulations without opening and closing HYSYS files, without copying results into another program and without needing to reset the parameters for each run. 

Even better, I can utilize the extra processing power of a high-performance computer for even greater time savings. In a fraction of the time required to run individual cases, I can run thousands with Multi-Case—resulting in better design outcomes and a higher confidence in the design. And since I can run multiple simulations so easily, I don’t have to rely on “guesstimating” or judgement calls. 

Once I’ve run all these cases, I can easily analyze and visualize the results in the Multi-Case tool with built-in pivot tables and advanced graphics. 

 

 

These tools help to quickly identify optimum designs or areas of concern.

Ultimately, Multi-Case provides greater confidence in the final design of a process. For owner-operators, running more options means more assurance that a new design option will work across all typical or atypical operating conditions. For EPCs who frequently warranty the results of their design, using Multi-Case permits the design to be vetted under more conditions, resulting in less warranty work or earlier customer sign-off—both of which boost the bottom line. 

 

Learn more about what Aspen’s Multi-Case tool can do for you - register for our live webinar here.

 

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