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Impress Update

I have recently had some spare time and chose to use it updating impress adding some new features.

For anyone who has not heard me talk about impress: it is a simple mass balance tool designed for chemical engineers to use during the early stages of design. This application is simple and allows the user to generate approximate flowrates of different components through different streams. It is particularly useful when a number of recycle streams are used.

The main new feature added is a semi-natural language parser for new process descriptions. When generating a new process, the user first inputs all the components, then is directed to the 'new process description' page. Here the user enters a text description about the process layout. Below the text, an image of the process layout is automatically updated.

Example: "A and B to C to D to E and F"

"A and B to C to D to E and F"

Example: "Main-feed and Recycle mix, react separate to Product-stream and Recycle"

"Main-feed and Recycle mix, react separate to Product-stream and Recycle"

The application will look for text such as 'mix', 'react', 'separate', 'split' and use this information to identify the type of unit. Any word that is capitalised is converted into a unit name. Once the form is submitted, the units and associated streams are automatically generated, allowing the user to continue to input the extra information such as Component feed flowrates and reactions in reactors. This new feature allows for faster process generation.

There has also been the introduction of many more smaller updates that should make the overall experience smoother including changing the default flowrate units to Kg/hr or Kmol/hr and adding JavaScript interactivity to the new component page.

Unfortunately as part of the update, there were difficulties with the database and as the previous version was considered alpha, it was decided to wipe the database and start again. I believe these new features should make the application more usable and welcome any feedback on any areas that still need improvement.

http://impress.thatscottishengineer.co.uk (link is dead, contact me if you wish to try it out)

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I would love to know what you think. To comment on this article, send me an email

  • Hee Uk Lee
    said on: 06 Jan 2015 at 00:41

    Hi, my name is Hee Uk, Lee, a chemical engineer in south korea.

    I feel that you are very talented and enterprising person in both area of chemical engineering & programming. I have much interest in programming skill.

    I like to try IMPRESS. could you give me permission?

  • Alistair
    said on: 06 Jan 2015 at 09:26

    You are welcome to it. If you just want to play with it, an old version is available at http://impress.ecosse.org/

    It is open source and the code can be downloaded from https://launchpad.net/impress and you can run it on your own server.

    Please note: This is an old project. I have not updated it in 5 years! There are several improvements I would like to make to the program if I had time. In it's current form, it is difficult to build a process layout. I have a few ideas how to improve this. I would also like to improve how the process is exported into a spreadsheet.