More than 40 years ago, Chemical Processing inaugurated the Vaaler Awards to honor products and services that have dramatically improved the operations and economics of plants in the chemical industry. The awards are named after John C. Vaaler (1899-1963), chairman of Chemical Processing’s Editorial Board from 1961 until his death. He became editor-in-chief of Chemical Processing in 1946, after 24 years in the chemical and related industries.
Achieving and then maintaining efficient operations always has posed challenges for chemical plants. Today, concerns about the cost and availability of feedstocks, energy and water, as well as initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and boost sustainability add even greater complexity to the task. Fortunately, plants don't have to grapple with the challenges alone.
Leading companies in the chemical processing industries continue to introduce innovative offerings that address key issues which Chemical Processing Magazine honors every two years at the Chem Show. The biennial Vaaler Awards are bestowed by Chemical Processing in a variety of categories. An independent and impartial panel of technical professionals drawn from the chemical industry chooses the winners. These judges evaluate each entry for the significance of the contribution to chemical plant operations; its novelty or uniqueness; and its breadth of application.
EPCON Process Innovator™ is this year’s Vaaler Award winner for Software and Internet Technologies (simulators, web-based services, etc.). EPCON Process Innovator™ can create a process flow diagram, size process equipment, and accurately simulate flows and pressure drops throughout a process or utility system. Equipment can also be sized in detail and simulated to confirm proper design and operation including pumps, compressors, blowers, heat exchangers, control valves, and flowmeters.
EPCON Process Innovator™ was developed by chemical engineers for use by chemical engineers to model, simulate and analyze pipe distribution systems to identify and correct root cause problems. EPCON Process Innovator™ allows chemical engineers to quickly diagram a process or utility system in a PFD (process flow diagram) format. Common process equipment symbols can be placed at each inlet and outlet in the flow distribution systems including columns, reactors, boilers, compressors, tanks, vessels, etc.
Once the PFD is drawn, just enter equipment and piping specifications and select Simulate to display flows and pressures throughout the system. Select Analyze to review how all equipment and piping in the system conform to design specifications. The PFD model documents these systems and provides simulation and analysis capabilities in one software solution.