There’s this great piece of engineering software that I have been using now, on and off, for about a year. It’s amazingly complex and intuitive at the same time. A better description of what it does from it’s official site:
SuperPro Designer facilitates modeling, evaluation and optimization of integrated processes in a wide range of industries (Pharmaceutical, Biotech, Specialty Chemical, Food, Consumer Goods, Mineral Processing, Microelectronics, Water Purification, Wastewater Treatment, Air Pollution Control, etc.). The combination of manufacturing and environmental operation models in the same package enables the user to concurrently design and evaluate manufacturing and end-of-pipe treatment processes and practice waste minimization via pollution prevention as well as pollution control. (in Intelligen.com)
I used it last year, along with my work group, to project an industrial plant capable of producing Vitamin B. From raw material through all the different processes involved right down to the final product and all calculations needed in between.
This year, I’m starting it up again and we’re planning out a Cephalosporin C industrial bioprocessing plant. Calculations are done on the side using Microsoft Excel and a little brain power and the information is then introduced into the program and we go from there.
I’ll most probably spend some more time explaining my experience with this great application in the future, but for now I’ll just leave it up to you to check it out at Intelligen‘s website.
Oh! Yeah… it’s extremely expensive (~13k!) for a students pocket change but luckily we have it running on some computers at the university, even though it is an older version… (we’re using v4.9 and the latest release is 6.1 I think…)