Interactive design and visualization of a chemical plant

Amit Bhandwale, Thenkurussi Kesavadas, Ken English, Christina Bloebaum, Kemper Lewis, Kevin Chugh

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper describes a Virtual Reality (VR) based environment for conceptual design that allows the generation of an entire plant design along with an accurate cost estimate. The use of visualization coupled with advanced design and optimization methodologies help to rapidly investigate competing plant designs. The software is composed of two modules; the Optimization Engine or Optimizer and the Graphical User Interface (GUI) or Visualizer. The Optimizer comes up with various layouts (designs) along with a cost estimate, which the Visualizer uses to give a 3-D model of the plant. The Visualizer operate in three different modes; (1) Virtual Reality mode with advanced interface to visualize on a CAVE type large display systems, (2) Web viewer designed to be used in conjunction with a distributed design environment and (3) a PC desktop mode for quick design review with additional functionalities over a Web based system. To allow a seamless integration between the Optimizer and the Visualizer an efficient XML based data transfer has been developed. XML provides a robust, non-proprietary, persistent and verifiable file format for the storage and transmission of text and data. As XML data is to be manipulated from within a programming language, the Xerces XML parser, written in a portable subset of C++, has been used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes
Event2003 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress - Washington, DC., United States
Duration: Nov 15 2003Nov 21 2003


Other2003 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington, DC.


  • Layout Design
  • Optimization
  • Virtual Environments
  • XML

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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