AspenTech users group opens in Boston with focus on process optimization

By Billy Thinnes
Technical Editor

BOSTON -- Every two years, AspenTech hosts its users group, called Optimize. The gathering brings all of the company’s constituent groups together, be they customers, board members or investors. This year’s event is taking place in Boston. At the Optimize opening plenary session on Tuesday, AspenTech CEO Mark Fusco announced there were 525 registrants from 44 countries in attendance. The global breakdown of attendees was approximately 51% from North America, 20% from Asia, 20% from Europe and 9% from the rest of the world. Over 233 companies are being represented at this year’s users group.

After Mr. Fusco’s welcoming remarks, he yielded the floor to Manolis Kotzabasakis, AspenTech’s executive vice president of products. Mr. Kotzabasakis’ presentation was an overview of new technology developments and improvements to a variety of AspenTech software products. His remarks and demonstrations focused specifically on the new aspenONE, a web-based user interface that allows process industry professionals to work with aspenONE software anytime, anywhere. Working from one display, users can work with AspenTech products as easily as accessing a web page and with the simplicity of multi-touch gestures. Enterprises can now empower the broadest range of users to use the software without specialized product training or desktop installation.

Mr. Kotzabasakis also discussed the aspenONE Exchange. This content marketplace provides a one-stop shop for engineers to source equipment data, third-party content and AspenTech resources directly from Aspen Plus and Aspen HYSYS for faster, more accurate process design. Using aspenONE Exchange’s search capability, engineers now have one location to search to find the right information at the right time to build more detailed models earlier in the design process.

Pivoting from there, Mr. Kotzabasakis also announced refinements to Aspen PIMS Platinum. This software provides refinery planners with an intuitive, web-based interface that allows planners to evaluate multiple scenarios quickly. Version 8.2 of Aspen PIMS Platinum adds the ability to run planning cases and modify data directly in flow sheet views to easily identify market opportunities. Planners can now visualize constraints, evaluate economics, and see the immediate impact of adjustments to the plan to make more profitable decisions.

Finally, advances in aspenONE engineering software were parsed. The latest product enhancements include expanded solids modeling capabilities in Aspen Plus software for specialty chemicals and agro-chemicals industries; new “plant view” functionality to allow engineers to select specific real-time information and visualize how those plant variables have performed over time for better decision support and troubleshooting; and enhancements to Aspen Economic Evaluation software that allow engineers to ensure designs comply with API RP 14C safety requirements for more accurate economic evaluation of oil and gas assets from conceptual design to detailed cost estimation.

During Mr. Kotzabasakis’ remarks, he also paused intermittently to allow people from different companies that use the AspenTech products to share testimonials. Individuals representing Saudi Aramco, Dow Chemical, SABIC, BP, Bharat Petroleum and Alon USA spoke about how AspenTech products were used in their respective workplaces.

“In just a short time using Aspen PIMS Platinum, I’ve seen several areas of benefit – from better insight into feedstock balance to secondary processing units to more effective management of process streams,” said A Sathiyanarayanan, manager of supply chain optimization for Bharat Petroleum.“Aspen PIMS Platinum also provides a common language for analyzing and sharing the plan effectively. Its flow sheet view makes it easier to determine the quality of the process streams both technically and economically.”

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