Simulation has been proven time and again to cut cost and reduce risk of physical operations, as well as increase the confidence in engineers’ and scientists’ recommendations.
When it comes to electrolyte simulation and water chemistry challenges, the potential rewards become even bigger. That’s because electrolyte behavior is often non-intuitive, and a wrong answer is worse than no answer at all. The known complexity of phase change behavior is a compelling reason to use simulation for water chemistry and to stop estimating based on experience and ‘rules-of-thumb.’
How you bring electrolyte simulation into your organization matters! The temptation for cost-conscious buyers is to use the just-in-time inventory principle and wait for a project to come that will justify the software for as short a period of time as possible. However, based on years of observing this type of rationale versus a more committed approach to simulation, we can give five reasons for the committed approach:
1. Take advantage of the economy of scale
Yes, it is less expensive to bring simulation software to one engineer or one group for a given project. However, the value of bringing a TEAM network to all potential users across groups and locations is a much more economical approach. The money saved on the one project that got the benefit of simulation is small compared to the opportunity lost to have others use the software on less important or less visible, albeit more frequent, questions that arise about water chemistry
2. Decouple purchasing from use
In today’s world of procedures, terms & conditions, due diligence and contracts, there is strong case to removing this hurdle from when your engineers actually need an answer. There is often one afternoon when writing a proposal, or one morning when a client calls to ask a follow-up question that the software could easily answer (but may not be activated).
3. Increase your engineers’ water chemistry expertise effortlessly
OLI software provides a myriad of data as part of the equilibrium calculation. What kind of viscosity will that stream have? Will all of the chloride have a tendency to vaporize in that unit? The answers to these questions bring knowledge and understanding about details of your process that would be difficult to assimilate in another way. Using the software freely and often is an education in electrolyte thermodynamics that will increase the value of your employees
4. Get the most value from your simulation dollars
Usage models are notorious for premium pricing. They must be, in order for the companies who offer usage models to stay in business. A corollary is that pricing of a short-term license is significantly more expensive than a longer-term license. Finally, short term, a-la-carte licenses do not usually bring with them the important, there-when-you-want-it access to the training, applications consulting and support start-up packages that give you free access to OLI simulation experts. When services are left behind, partly because there is no time for them and partly because this one project likely won’t need anything special, the amount of value you also left on the table is significant.
5. Organizationally, embrace simulation
A startling 87% of executives say that ”…firms that don’t embrace digital will lose their
competitive edge and possibly face extinction” according to the World Economic Forum Report “Digital Transformation Initiative: Chemistry and Advanced Materials Industry.” OLI is the foremost leader in virtual R&D of water chemistry behavior. How can you afford NOT to adopt OLI as your strategy?
OLI is the first to admit that there is an initial investment required in electrolyte simulation in terms of learning a software interface and, more importantly, in learning the skill of interpreting simulation results. Understanding what to look for to explain and understand a trend that results from a change in temperature, pressure, or concentration becomes easier with time and practice. Knowing how to formulate questions and how to find and support is critical to long term success with any tool.
Finally, a steady investment in OLI simulation will reap years of benefits. The OLI Systems framework for electrolyte thermodynamics is a proven delivery vehicle for many different types of studies, as varied as the chemistry of the periodic table or the number of processes across all market sectors that benefit from water chemistry analysis. There is literally no other company in the world who shares this position with OLI Systems. We are the only simulation company with the talent and capabilities to tackle the water chemistry systems we do.