EC: SimSci APC 2014

Software — Applications: SimSci APC 2014 software helps to easily build and maintain advanced process control applications, cutting implementation and commissioning time so producers can run much closer to operating limits, improving process profitability and energy efficiency. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice finalist.

By Control Engineering October 20, 2014

SimSci APC 2014 software from Schneider Electric address the needs of a transitioning industrial workforce. Designed to improve operating efficiency for the process industries, the software features a contemporary graphical user interface and is structured around an enhanced, natural workflow. This includes full support for model case file development and a connection wizard for faster integration to any distributed control system and programmable logic controller, including Schneider Electric’s Foxboro I/A series DCS and Foxboro Evo process automation system.

SimSci APC 2014 software greatly extends the capabilities of traditional APC offerings. Director, a powerful new feature, allows the control engineer to build custom calculations or add custom supporting controller functions that augment the user’s experience. Natural workflows speed up model building, configuration and deployment. The software can be used for a complete APC project implementation, cutting implementation and commissioning time by up to 50%.

Developed with the end user in mind, SimSci APC 2014 helps achieve better and more sustainable control of the process. A built-in auto-discovery wizard captures the specific syntax of any DCS for faster buildup of tag connections; its automated testing feature means faster, more flexible configuration; its new, tablet-ready click-and-drag functionality allows users to select the best models from many scenarios; and customizable user-defined functions address changing process conditions. These updated feature are aimed at the next-gen workforce, which expects advanced graphical user interfaces and intuitive/natural workflows.

Advanced process control can result in dramatic improvements in plant efficiency, throughput/performance and energy efficiency, but it is largely underutilized, in part because some potential users find it too much of a challenge. Peter Reynolds of ARC Advisory Group says, "Making optimization easier will empower both seasoned APC users and the next generation of engineers and operators to address a wider range of process conditions and business challenges."

Schneider Electric,