SIMBAX is premium material flow software for batch and semi-batch plants from AICOS Technologies, Switzerland

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Integration of the software with the possibility to integrate with Control Systems/SCADA


The various problems faced by process and chemical engineers in charge of process development, process optimization or production can be grouped into four categories, depending on:

  • their scope (a single device, a process or a whole plant);

  • the nature of the parameters involved (physico-chemical or logistic);

  • the term during which the corresponding decisions will have an impact (long-term or short-term).

  • These four categories are presented in the table below: 

    Problem category


    Parameter nature

    Decision term

    1. Technical process optimization (e.g. of a unit operation)

    single device (reactor), possibly several devices

    physico-chemical (e.g. temperature, concentration)

    long-term (process changes)

    2. Process cycle time analysis

    single process with multiple stages

    logistic (e.g. operation duration, number of devices of each type)

    long-term (process and/or plant changes)

    3. Plant capacity analysis

    multi-product, multi-purpose plant

    combinatorial / logistic (e.g. number of devices of each type, production schedule)

    (the plant equipment changes)

    4. Operational production planning & scheduling

    multi-product, multi-purpose plant

    combinatorial / logistic (production schedule)

    short-term (the operation schedule of an existing plant changes)

     Methodology and software overview

    The problems arising in each of the four categories presented above can be tackled using one or several corresponding simulation and/or optimization methods that have been developed on purpose. Furthermore, several software tools which implement these methods are available on the market from Nor-Par a.s.

    Problem category


    Software tools



    1. Technical process optimization (e.g. of a unit operation)

    steady-state simulation



    dynamic simulation



    2. Process cycle time analysis

    single-product batch recipe simulation

    SIMBAX (mainly logistics oriented)

    AICOS Technologies

    3. Plant capacity analysis

    multi-product material flow simulation


    AICOS Technologies

    4. Operational production planning & scheduling

    scheduling algorithms & combinatorial optimization

    Other program will be offered later in 2008

    AICOS Technologies

    5. Integration

    integration with plant SCADA systems and Historian/SAP interface

    by Nor-Par


    Nor-Par Online


    The diagram below highlights how problems, methods and software tools fit together in a common framework that can be used for tailor-made solutions for the client:

    Simulation activities of AICOS Technologies and Nor-Par

    AICOS Technologies has know-how in Applied Mathematics and Software Engineering with more   than 10 years of expertise in the field of material flow simulation for the process industries. On this basis, they have developed the material flow simulation software SIMBAX which is mainly logistic-oriented and can deal with both single-product and multi-purpose plants. Referring to the problem classification above, SIMBAX covers the logistic-oriented issues of category 2 and all issues of category 3.

    AICOS Technologies has solutions for schedule optimization which facilitates the use of SIMBAX for capacity analysis in large multi-purpose plants (i.e. for category 3). AICOS has a separate solution for the category 4.

    Nor-Par has know-how in plant process simulation and its collaborators have more than 10 years of expertise in the field of process simulation. Nor-Par sells and uses as the Engine the steady-state and dynamic simulation software CHEMCAD/CC-DYNAMICS which can address in detail all issues related to technical process optimization. Referring to the problem classification above, CHEMCAD/CC-DYNAMICS cover thoroughly the issues of category 1 and technical-oriented issues of category 2.

    Collaboration between AICOS Technologies, Nor-Par and Nor-Par Online

    AICOS Technologies and Nor-Par/Nor-Par Online together provide to plants and engineering companies a unique tailor-made suite of user-friendly simulation software tools (CHEMCAD/CC-DYNAMICS + SIMBAX) that enables them to solve in an integrated way the problems of categories 1, 2 and 3. AICOS has a separate solution for the category 4.

    Typically, engineers dealing with process development before addressing scale-up and product transfer into the plant would first solve physico-chemical issues with CHEMCAD/CC-DYNAMICS, then transfer the data needed to SIMBAX and tackle there the cycle time and capacity analysis issues1. On the other hand, should the logistic analysis show that technical process changes need to be considered, unit operations of the production recipes could be analyzed in detail calling CHEMCAD routines from SIMBAX. The integration is based on comprehensive Excel data transfer interface.

    Currently, an integrated solution suite as considered above hardly exists. Engineers who need to tackle logistic issues use SIMBAX or, in the worst but common case, analyze extremely roughly a few solutions with Excel. The most advanced people use a variety of tools and have designed own solutions for data transfer between them.


     AICOS Technologies and Nor-Par offer to their customers a solution of broader scope by recommending them the tailor-made integrated software tool

     Nor-Par in Nor-Par's sales area:

  • has the possibility to rent out CHEMCAD/CC-DYNAMICS and to sell related training services to operating plants or engineering companies

  • has the possibility to rent out SIMBAX and to sell related training services to those chemical or engineering companies that use CHEMCAD / CC-DYNAMICS

  • makes SIMBAX presentations to interested companies

  • delivers SIMBAX to the clients

  • provides to the customers license acquired from Aicos Technologies

  • provides together with by Aicos Technologies training/consulting in use of SIMBAX

  • offers training and model building in CHEMCAD/CC-DYNAMICS

  • provides Training Simulator, Production Improvement & Optimisation System and integration with client's own software systems to industrial users

  • provides tailor-made integration between CHEMCAD/CC-DYNAMICS and SIMBAX

  • provides tailor-made software and solutions according to clients' needs.

  • For more information, please read the paper "Tracking Down the Bottlenecks".