(595a) CAPE OPEN Interface at BASF

Authors: 
Blagov, S. A., BASF SE
Drewitz, W., BASF SE
Van Baten, J. M., AmsterCHEM


Since the beginning of the CAPE-era BASF has intensively developed its own tools for process simulation and analysis parallel to the use of commercial applications. Nowadays, all these tools are integrated in an environment ProcessNet, where self-developed Chemasim and Chemadis form the basis for steady state and dynamic simulations, respectively, in process development.

A prerequisite for the successful use of process simulators is a powerful and robust thermodynamic library. BASF has over the years also developed such a library for commonly used models. On the other hand, steadily increasing numbers of general and special thermodynamic models as well as various modifications of standard unit operations also require interfacing with third party thermodynamic packages in order to provide engineers with most flexible process simulation tools. However, until now such an integration of external software components in ProcessNet has generally not been straightforward as each component needed particular interface routines.

Realizing this, BASF is full member of the CAPE-OPEN Laboratories Network (CO-LaN, http://www.colan.org/) with the objective to develop and maintain general standards for interchangeable thermodynamic and unit operation software components that can be easily combined within any simulation environment even if developed by different vendors. Today, CO-LaN provides well-developed standard specifications based on COM-technology for a number of most important interfaces for thermodynamic servers, unit operation models, reaction servers, etc.. Implementations based on the CO-LaN interface standards are used throughout the world.

We will present a successful implementation of a CAPE-OPEN based thermodynamic client-server interaction. A library for accessing third party CAPE-OPEN compliant thermodynamic servers has been developed by AmsterCHEM. This library can be employed by ProcessNet applications in a simple and transparent way; the ProcessNet application developers do not need to deal with technical aspects of CAPE-OPEN, such as the ins and outs of COM. We will indicate how some aspects in different conceptual approaches between ProcessNet and CAPE-OPEN were encountered and solved.

The test results of the developed CAPE-OPEN based thermodynamic library were very promising; significant performance gains have even been achieved compared to older in-house interfaces. Process engineers started to use third party thermodynamic via CAPE-OPEN in their daily work, thereby opening perspectives for further implementation of other CAPE-OPEN interfaces, like Unit Operation and Reaction interfaces.

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