CIVS Has Made Significant Economic Impact to Industries through Partnerships

The Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) has established strong partnerships with industries to solve many real world problems.  Such partnerships have not only provided great experiential learning opportunities to our students but also made significant economic impact to industries.  The following are some examples:

NIPSCO engineer shows a scaled down 3D model of their facility to three students.

CIVS helps NIPSCO Bailly save $1.9 million annually

When NIPSCO Bailly realized they had a problem with their boiler exhaust air ducts, which caused reduced operating capacity and thus overall energy production and revenue, they partnered with CIVS to troubleshoot the problem.   Using computational fluid dynamics CFD and virtual reality (VR) visualization technologies within the CIVS facility, flow restrictions were identified, and an optimized design of the exhaust duct using multiple turning vanes was generated and installed, which resulted in operating at full capacity.  According to Tim Wright at Nipsco, “When the vanes were installed, the derate went away. Using rather rough estimates, the result is an estimated $1.9 million in annual savings if the unit continues to operate in this manner.”

Multimillion Dollar Savings for Steel Industry

CFD and VR visualization technologies have been applied to solve a number of problems in steel industry.  The following are some examples of impacts:Industry collaborators of CIVS gathered with 3D glasses on for a presentation.

A project on the pulverized coal injection in a blast furnace  made “a real paradigm change in operating philosophy and with this process change provided a savings of 15 lbs/NT hot metal was realized and $8.5 million yearly cost savings avoidance”, according to John D’Alessio, Manager, Blast Furnace Engineering & Technology, U.S. Steel Canada Inc.

According to David White, the Director of Process Research Global R&D – East Chicago, ArcelorMittal, a project on a Reheating Furnace generates new practices brought out by the simulation and saved about $30,000 per year. The simulation of a Sinter Cooler helped to solidify their decision to revamp the existing cooler rather than build a new one, resulted in approximate $20 million cost avoidance.

The newly developed Virtual Blast Furnace has been used at U.S. Steel and will be used at ArcelorMittal for training engineers and operators in blast furnace operation.