OLI Systems’ Cloud Enables Digital Transformation Through Automated Chemistry Insights

Lisa Williams

Vice President of Operational Excellence Solutions

Peter Reynolds

Analyst and Consultant for the Energy and Chemicals sector - ARC Advisory Group


OLI Systems recently briefed ARC about how their cloud-enabled automated chemistry insights are helping industrial companies on their digital transformation journey, by democratizing complex electrolyte thermodynamics analysis and water chemistry simulations. OLI’s 50 years of experience in water chemistry simulation is now enabled as a cloud solution service to integrate with real-time data, thereby accelerating productivity and operations efficiency with automated chemistry insights. The OLI plat-form-independent cloud APIs are built as modern RESTful APIs to deliver access to the OLI Engine for chemical stream analysis, mineral scaling, aqueous corrosion, and process simulation of industrial chemical applications, thus democratizing scientific research and simulation. Scalable implementation leverages modern cloud technology to meet demands for processing capacity. Classic OLI customers who leverage the electrolyte models through the Cloud APIs successfully democratize insights anywhere, anytime across any application to drive improved operational decisions, while striving towards autonomous closed loop control with partner ecosystem solutions.

Key findings from our briefing include:

  • Traditional organizations that restrict the access to simulation and analysis of electrolytic behavior and related phenomena to R&D groups either create significant delays in bringing value to operations or miss this opportunity altogether.
  • Automation of insights from company approved and validated simulation models delivers valuable insights with a high degree of integrity.OLI’s combination of domain expertise and consulting services enabled by cloud-based capabilities help democratize electrolyte chemistry and simulation to unlock significant business value.

Traditional Water Chemistry Insights

Industrial companies fully understand the importance of water chemistry in-sights and the influence of electrolytes. These insights are critical to predict and improve operational efficiency, reliability and sustainability. The behavior of electrolytes and water dictates the effective design and operation of equipment and processes, resulting in optimized material selection, im-proved asset reliability, enhanced process yield, improved product quality, elimination of hazardous emissions, toxic contaminants and reduced carbon footprint.

Common industry challenges involve analyzing chemical streams, measuring and predicting mineral scale formation, and corrosion, and optimizing process design. This often involves utilizing rigorous thermodynamic and kinetic models with property databases to deliver accurate chemistry and process insights for the most complex environments.

The traditional methods of analysis of electrolytic behavior use a combination of manual data gathering, extensive lab testing, often employing freeware and extensive use of excel or open-source tools, often by siloes de-sign/simulation and R&D groups. These approaches introduce long delays (usually weeks and months) in understanding the integrity of process piping, vessels and other industrial assets, and difficulties sharing water chemistry insights. Further, process optimization, activities, work processes, software and technology related to industrial water chemistry insights are perceived as low-level and not receiving adequate attention from digital transformation programs, often led by strategic business units or IT.

A Comprehensive Cloud-enabled Water Chemistry Portfolio 

OLI Systems brings a comprehensive electrolyte chemistry solution to the market with over 80 elements of the periodic table with a database of 6,000 species, thermodynamic model for simulation and comprehensive electrolyte solution. OLI’s deep expertise and use cases support asset owners’ central engineering groups or R&D organizations by providing first principles modeling for prevention of scaling and corrosion and maintaining accurate water chemistry.

The simulation capabilities of OLI Flowsheet: ESP along with OLI Studio: Stream Analyzer, OLI Studio: ScaleChem and OLI Studio: Corrosion Analyzer can now be accessed through Cloud APIs by users as robust SaaS offering. Additionally, the OLI team has created a web-based application that provides ubiquitous access to OLI Flowsheet: ESP simulation capabilities in the form of simple, easy to use applications using the new OLI Cloud Application Builder and OLI Cloud Applications. OLI’s trusted engine containing the property database, thermodynamic models and numerical solvers is wrapped in the modern secure framework for quick integration with customer infrastructures.

OLI Cloud APIs allow customers to integrate powerful simulation results into other applications and platforms to build on analytics and machine learning technology. Users can consume cloud-based insights and more easily share results across the enterprise, manage a larger quantity of results completed without manual interaction for each run, and quickly address long-term storage constraints typically found with on-prem solutions.

The OLI Application Builder allows users such as Field Engineers, Operations and non-experts in chemistry, to access a powerful platform for running simulations in the form of custom curated Cloud Applications; an intuitive, easy to use user interface to support OLI’s trusted Flowsheet: ESP models with a limited number of inputs, calculations and outputs.

OLI’s cloud-centric approach is designed to align with the objectives of industrial Digital Transformation (DX) programs by adding near real-time insights, mobility capability, sharing results in context, minimizing training and democratizing electrolyte chemistry modelling for Operations.

Other features include:

  • Visibility into chemistry insights during walkdowns with the OLI Cloud Applications.
  • Easy, rapid integration with existing storage and visualization tools with Cloud APIs to enable sharing of actionable information.
  • Predictive insights by combining OLI simulation results with existing tools.
  • Direct integration of OLI model predictions to any central data reposi-tory.
  • Powerful visualization with enhanced content from OLI simulation.
  • Deeper insights through advanced analytics by merging simulation data insights with real-time data.

According to OLI, the Cloud APIs are well suited for use with a central data repository for sharing calculation results across the enterprise. This automation allows a larger quantity of results completed without manual interaction for each run. Long-term storage of results is done at the customer site. OLI offers value-add services to help customers with data integration of the OLI Cloud APIs and visualization tool development. Given a standard set of inputs such as off gas or naphtha temperature and pressure, the OLI engine can provide first-principles based predictions that are codified into actionable alerts and performance indicators. These out-puts can also be turned into integrity operating windows to provide safe operating envelopes and protect asset integrity.


The value proposition for OLI’s enhanced electrolyte chemistry cloud solution goes well beyond traditional water chemistry analysis. The near real-time cloud-enabled approach will undoubtedly help process manufacturers keep operations working efficiently with integrity operating windows. More importantly, this will contribute to asset reliability and help operations ex-tend major turnaround schedules, increasing asset availability – which is often a key component of industrial digital transformation. OLI’s domain expertise and consulting services enabled by the cloud will democratize electrolyte chemistry and simulation. Users can take complex analysis and model building normally reserved for subject matter experts (SME’s), R&D groups, and larger central engineering organizations and place this in operations’ hands. Through workflow automation, the OLI Cloud allows operations to consume chemistry insights in real-time, optimize the process within integrity windows, and meet or exceed the operational plan. Operations can push for higher profitably, longer runs or higher feed rates with confidence in “the chemistry” to not compromise reliability or the longevity of industrial assets.

The behavior of electrolyte and water chemistry governs industrial chemical process performance. OLI Systems makes it possible for casual users with limited chemistry expertise to deeply understand these behaviors to drive effective and efficient equipment design and process operations. OLI is moving beyond traditional simulation by transforming corrosion and scaling behavior into process variables to enhance asset integrity and reduce down-time. With early beginnings in numerical modeling, OLI’s offerings evolved to chemistry for design excellence across thousands of applications and expanded into sustainability insights and digital transformation tools for operations excellence that use real-time operations data. OLI has been a pioneer in understanding the behavior of electrolytes and water chemistry across a broad range of industrial applications. When simulating complex chemistries in highly concentrated environments, OLI can deliver rigorous and accurate predictions.

OLI has strong partnerships with leading process engineering simulation companies and represents the foundation in chemistry and software. With OLI’s proven experience in helping clients address design and operations challenges, OLI is poised to enhance renewable energy, clean technologies, air and water quality, carbon footprint and CO2 capture with valuable in-sights—anywhere, anytime. The company is also expanding from offline analysis to online approaches to improve decision making, eventually closing the loop by automating chemical controls.

Republished with permission of Original copy produced By Peter Reynolds

For more information about how OLI is helping its clients to automated water chemistry please view this presentation from the The 26th Annual ARC Industry Forum.