Project Synopsis

Develop and teach a course on advanced process simulation techniques using CHEMCAD, MS Excel, and Visual Basic programming. Learn more…

Project Summary


Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was contacted by the client (Chemstations), a developer and seller of commercial computer process simulation software, to build a training course that emphasized certain functionality of their simulation software program (CHEMCAD).  These functions were developed to enhance process engineering productivity and efficiency.  The client believes that many elements of its software are not utilized to the fullest extent due to user unfamiliarity or the user not fully understanding how to effectively use these productivity functions.

The course covered two major topics:

  • Use of CHEMCAD’s sizing functions to integrate actual unit operation physical information into a process flowsheet (actual pump curves, control valve curves, heat exchanger geometry, column packing geometry, etc.)
  • Use of CHEMCAD’s and Microsoft Excel’s Visual Basic Environment to transfer data between CHEMCAD and Excel so that Excel can be used as an interface to CHEMCAD flowsheets.


PROCESS performed the following tasks in support of this effort:

  • Developed a course outline of topics that included –
    • Hydraulic analysis using Pumps, Piping, Nodes, and Control Valves.  Emphasized sizing using vendor performance curves so pumps and compressors on the flowsheet calculations reflect the performance of actual equipment.
    • Converging and sizing packed columns using the mass-transfer or non-equilibrium models.
    • Designing and rating heat exchangers using CHEMCAD’s Heat Exchanger Design Software CCTHERM.  Emphasized integrating the actual heat exchanger geometry into the flow sheet so that flowsheet calculations reflect use of actual heat exchanger.
    • Utilizing Excel Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) and the CHEMCAD VB Server to build interface connections so that Excel operates as a user-interface for CHEMCAD with CHEMCAD operating in the background.
    • Building a user-specified unit operation that calls Excel subroutines and functions to incorporate user Excel files into a flowsheet.
    • Building a user-specified unit operation that uses CHEMCAD’s VBA environment.
  • Developed the course material as PowerPoint modules and CHEMCAD example problems.
  • Presented/taught the material to client customer groups in multiple three and one-half (3.5) day training sessions.

Industry Type

  • Industrial Process Simulation

Utilized Skills

  • Technical course development
  • Advanced simulation techniques
  • Process engineering productivity optimization

Contact Us