The CO-LaN Management Board has recently reviewed the charter of the UNIT Special Interest Group and has approved its plans and deliverables for 2010. Within CO-LaN, the UNIT Special Interest Group (UNIT SIG) is in charge of developing, maintaining and promoting the unit operations interface specifications.

The key responsibilities of the UNIT SIG include the maintenance and management of the existing interface specifications, including revisions to improve design, performance and robustness especially based on user input. Under this responsibility as well as under its responsibility of prioritization of registered issues and release of recommendations on how they may be resolved, the UNIT SIG will start in 2010 the approval process for the updated Unit Operation interface specification (new document version 6.0). This version will be a comprehensive review of the standards. It will also contain guidelines on energy and information ports, missing from version 4.0 currently in use. Work on this updated version is well underway.

Another key responsibility of the UNIT SIG is to assess and prioritize expansions of interface specifications. Under that heading the UNIT SIG plans to start in 2010 the approval process of the dynamic unit operation interface standards. Also the UNIT SIG will prioritize potential extensions to the standards in areas such as equation-orientated unit operations, refinery reactor units, termination, tracing, reporting and interrupts.

The UNIT SIG has another responsibility which is to promote and support the use of the CAPE-OPEN interface for Unit Operations. The UNIT SIG has recently received approval from the CO-LaN Management Board to fund the development of Unit Operations source code examples that will come as additional help to developers. These examples will be distributed together with the updated Unit Operation interface specification document.

The UNIT SIG is currently under the leadership of Dr Richard Baur from the Projects and Technology organization within Shell. The UNIT SIG current members are representatives from AmsterCHEM, Heat Transfer Research Inc., RSI, ProSim SA and Process Systems Enterprise.