On April 20, 2010, the CAPE-OPEN Award 2009 was presented to SolidSim Engineering GmbH in Hamburg for the successful development of a novel simulator for solids processes based on the CAPE-OPEN standards.

COAward 2009 ceremony

SolidSim is a Microsoft Windows® based flowsheet simulation software for complex solids processes which can be used, time- and cost-efficiently, to predict the performance of a processing plant and to simulate plant extensions, modifications or designs. A SolidSim flowsheet consists of unit models (hydrocyclone, crusher etc.) that are linked by means of material and energy streams. SolidSim provides the framework to arrange the flowsheet and the algorithms to solve the material and energy balances.

The benefit for users of SolidSim is that established methods in the field of fluid process simulation can now also be applied to processes which involve solids. With SolidSim it is the first time that a flowsheet simulation tool applicable to a wide range of solids processes is available. Users of SolidSim have the opportunity to predict plant behaviour using a personal computer and can time and cost efficiently investigate changes of process parameters or plant design. Furthermore, computer-aided process optimization is only possible using tools like SolidSim.

SolidSim was first developed by the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH). Between 2003 and 2005 the Federation of Industrial Research Associations “Otto von Guericke” (AiF) funded a project for the development of a flowsheet simulation tool for solids processes. Within this project, which was coordinated by the Institute of Solids Process Engineering and Particle Technology, the SolidSim simulation system was created as a joint effort of eleven German university institutes. Support by several companies ensured the validity and the industrial usability of the unit models and the simulation systems. After the end of the AiF project an industrial consortium was established in 2006. The IK SolidSim supported the further development of SolidSim until the end of 2008. The aim was to obtain a robust software tool that can be used in the industry. Since October 2008 SolidSim is marketed through the SolidSim Engineering GmbH.

Within the scope of the SolidSim project the CAPE-OPEN standard has been proven to be highly beneficial for fast and efficient software development since it allows the reuse of proven concepts and reduces development efforts. At the same time it enables interaction of the simulation environment with standard CO compliant liquid/gas simulators. Also a SolidSim flowsheet may be embedded as a CAPE-OPEN Unit Operation in another CAPE-OPEN compliant process simulator. As a further result of the project, a solids extension to the CAPE-OPEN 1.1 standard was developed providing necessary enhancements (e.g. to cover continuous type descriptions of solids properties such as particle size distribution), hopefully a valuable advancement of the CAPE-OPEN standard.

Werner Merk presented the Award on behalf of CO-LaN Management Board.