Simulation of control systems in power plants can be achieved in a variety of ways. nHance offers a broad scope of DCS HMI emulation, hard-panel emulation, and control logic simulation software tools and services to the process and utility industries. These tools capture the “look and feel” of the actual display/input devices while operating on cost-effective PCs using Windows NT/200/XP. In addition, they provide the ultimate efficiency for interacting with the simulator’s plant model with instructor features such as snapshot, run, freeze, save, initialization, backtrack, and time scaling that permits faster than real-time operation.

Depending on the control system and cost constraints, nHance Technologies can offer multiple solutions, including:

  • Functional Emulation — The plant control system is programmatically coded through an automated translation process.  While the system may not have all the tools and utilities that would be normally available, the controls function just as they would in the plant.  This is a very cost-effective solution and guarantees interoperability between the controls and process model. nHance has extensive experience in developing automatic translators for a variety of Distributed Control Systems (DCS) and PLCs.  Please contact us today if you are interested in a quote for one of our off-the-shelf translators, or if you need a cost-effective custom translator developed.
  • Virtual Package — The plant control system is provided as its own software by the original vendor.  The look and feel is identical to the actual control system in the plant.  This is usually more expensive and requires an interface between the virtual package and the process model, but this ensures users of the control system will see identical software in the simulation and in the plant.  nHance has developed NetSim virtual control package for Woodward and integrated several virtual packages into the Modular Modeling System.  Please contact us if you are interested in a quote for a virtual package, or need to discuss simulation options and prices.
  • Simulation — The plant control system is entirely duplicated.  This is rarely needed, but communication protocols are in place for MMS and hardware-in-the-loop.

In most cases, the control logic and the HMI (Human Machine Interface) can be a mixture of these categories.

In older plants, hard panels are commonly found, and these can also be emulated through soft screens to ensure maximum trainability.