Using Manufacturing Simulation to Validate and Optimise Plant Design


  • Validated campaign philosophy and design capacity.
  • Validated process and material handling bottlenecks.
  • Optimised equipment sizing.
  • Identified most impactful areas to focus process improvements. 


Since 1925, Croda have been the name behind the high-performance ingredients and technologies in some of the biggest, most successful brands in the world: creating, making and selling speciality chemicals that are relied on by industries and consumers everywhere.


Croda were conducting a front-end engineering design study to scale a dedicated production line for one of their popular products and wanted to examine and validate some of their design decisions before moving to the next stage of the project.

Leveraging PS56s’ expertise in simulation allowed us to validate assumptions and make design improvements in the design phase, rather than having to make costly respective modifications post commissioning. Looking forward to future projects – Thanks for your efforts, guys.

Adam Crenell, Lead Engineer


  • Validate Campaign Philosophy: The original campaign philosophy and design capacity was based on static calculations carried out for a single scenario, the aim was to verify the original calculations and provide a means to quickly reforecast.
  • Forklift truck (FLT) traffic density: Fork-lift truck movements were required for the majority of the material handling and the proposed site layout included FLT traffic from other operations. It was unknown if the traffic density would cause delays to production and cause high risk traffic hazards to operators working in the vicinity.
  • Process improvement: There were many areas where improvements to the process could be made but it was difficult to identify which ones would have the greatest impact on overall plant throughput.

The Solution

Production Support 56 created a manufacturing simulation of Croda's plant design. This enabled the Engineers to define the operational parameters such as process cycle times and gave them a test bed to experiment with different parameters, effectively optimising the process early on in the design phase. The information used to construct the model was readily available in the form of process flow diagrams, batch papers and material balances which ensured an accurate representation of the design and the process.

The Benefits

Validated Plant Design

Provided confirmation and confidence in the data and calculations for the plant design and campaign philosophy.

Design Capacity

Speeded up the whole process of reforecasting allowing the engineering team to immediately understand how new information would impact the design.

Target Process Improvements

Running different scenarios on the model allowed them to identify process improvements that would improve throughput and not just move bottlenecks up or downstream.

Remove Bottlenecks

The model identified and quantified production and material handling bottlenecks. Allowing operational improvement to be made in the design phase.

Find out how Simulation for Factory Design can help you