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Operator Training Simulators towards Industrial Biotechnology
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biotechnology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Biotechnological processes are carried out by applying advanced and demanding process strategies. Thus, fundamental understanding and knowledge about the applied microorganism is required to achieve high productivity and profitability. Therefore, computer-based simulation has been integrated into training methodologies for supplementing and expanding academic education and industrial operator training, in order to provide more effective as well as cost- and time-efficient training.

Operator training simulators (OTS) are computer-based training tools that represent the real laboratory or plant within an interactive, virtual environment. Trainees can learn about cause-and-effect relationships during the virtual process to improve process understanding. Also, trainees and operators get the opportunity to develop, maintain and improve their operational skills. The virtual environment allows delayed operational actions and operational faults, as they are not interfering with the real process. Acceleration of the simulation speed makes training more effective. For instance, different procedures such as start-up and shut-down can be trained in a limited period of training time. Incident and trouble-shooting training can be realized in a safe, virtual environment without exposing the operator to potential risks. So far, OTS are mainly used in military, aviation, medicine and chemical industries. However, there are only a few examples where OTS are applied in biotechnological process applications.

The aim of this thesis is to expose the benefits of using OTS for biotechnological process applications in academic education and industrial operator training. For this purpose, the feasibility of developing and applying OTS was investigated and discussed. Three OTS for the production of bio-ethanol and recombinant protein production were developed in order to investigate the benefits and their requirements as well as to assess the training effectiveness of these. To visualize the technical system including equipment and distributed control system (DCS), graphical user interfaces (GUIs) were designed, allowing the user to interact with the simulator. Mathematical models were developed and implemented in the OTS to ensure dynamic simulation of the process, where cause-and-effect relationships are realistically described. The essential part of an OTS for biotechnological process applications is the embedded sub-model which describes the biological production system. It is important that the cell growth behaviour within a bioreactor can be  simulated with sufficient accuracy in order to ensure high training effectiveness.

In the assessment of the training effectiveness in academic education, it was observed that the students’ capability of understanding and controlling complex biotechnological processes improved after OTS training. Students showed better performance in laboratory experiments after participating in OTS pre-training. Moreover, the development of an OTS for an industrial, large-scale bio-ethanol plant illuminates the needs of OTS in biotechnological process industries. It was shown how the conceptual design methodology can be applied in designing an OTS, based on training needs from the industrial user perspective. Also, construction of the OTS including the formulation of mathematical models, the model structure which is embedded in the OTS and the design of the GUIs is covered in this thesis. Whether the use of the OTS will become cost-effective and assure maximum transfer of training depends on long term evaluation. However, application and evaluation of the developed OTS reveal the benefits and training effectiveness of these systems. The findings of the thesis might considerably facilitate the introduction of OTS into academic education and industrial operator training for biotechnological process applications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. , 43 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1683
National Category
Bioprocess Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121476ISBN: 978-91-7519-031-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-121476DiVA: diva2:855525
Public defence
2015-10-15, Planck, Fysikhuset, Campus Valla, Linköping, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-09-21 Created: 2015-09-21 Last updated: 2015-10-13Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Virtual bioreactor cultivation for operator training and simulation: application to ethanol and protein production
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Virtual bioreactor cultivation for operator training and simulation: application to ethanol and protein production
2013 (English)In: Journal of chemical technology and biotechnology (1986), ISSN 0268-2575, E-ISSN 1097-4660, Vol. 88, no 12, 2159-2168 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUNDDuring recent years several computer-based operator training simulators (OTS) have been developed that are suitable for the virtual training of operators and other professionals. In the field of bioprocess engineering OTS are rarely used. Furthermore, the effects of using training simulators in bioprocess applications have not been evaluated. less thanbrgreater than less thanbrgreater thanRESULTSThe OTS BioProcessTrainer was applied to bioreactor operations for two biological processes, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, for ethanol production, and recombinant Escherichia coli, for production of green fluorescence protein (GFP). The simulator used a multi-shell model platform that described the biological and physical conditions of the bioreactor for the two bioprocess systems. The simulator enabled the user to plan, operate and control the processes in real or accelerated time. The training resulted in improved ability to manage the whole bioreactor procedure for the two processes. less thanbrgreater than less thanbrgreater thanCONCLUSIONThe study showed that the simulator can be an efficient tool for training of operation, optimization and control of bioprocesses. The mathematical model framework of the simulator can be adapted to a variety of industrial bioprocesses. Thus, it appears likely that this type of OTS may serve as a useful resource in industry for training and continuing education of plant operators and engineers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
WILEY-BLACKWELL, 111 RIVER ST, HOBOKEN 07030-5774, NJ USA, 2013
Keyword
operator training simulators, bioprocess models, bioengineering training, educational benefit
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-102072 (URN)10.1002/jctb.4079 (DOI)000326462900005 ()
Note

Funding Agencies|Linkoping University||

Available from: 2013-12-03 Created: 2013-11-29 Last updated: 2015-09-21
2. Operator training in recombinant protein production using a structured simulator model
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Operator training in recombinant protein production using a structured simulator model
Show others...
2014 (English)In: Journal of Biotechnology, ISSN 0168-1656, E-ISSN 1873-4863, Vol. 177, 53-59 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Model-based operator training simulators ( OTS) could be powerful tools for virtual training of operational procedures and skills of production personnel in recombinant protein processes. The applied model should describe critical events in the bioprocess so accurately that the operators ability to observe and alertly act upon these events is trained with a high degree of efficiency. In this work is shown how this is accomplished in a structured multi-compartment model for the production of a recombinant protein in an Escherichia coli fed-batch process where in particular the induction procedure, the stress effects and overflow metabolism were highlighted. The structured model was applied on the OTS platform that virtually simulated the operational bioreactor procedures in real or accelerated time. Evaluation of training using the model-based OTS showed that trained groups of operators exhibited improved capability compared with the untrained groups when subsequently performing real laboratory scale cultivations. The results suggest that this model-based OTS may provide a valuable resource for enhancing operator skills in large scale recombinant protein manufacturing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014
Keyword
Training simulator; Recombinant protein production; Cultivation; Modelling
National Category
Bioprocess Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-106511 (URN)10.1016/j.jbiotec.2014.02.022 (DOI)000333811200007 ()2-s2.0-84896536648 (ScopusID)
Available from: 2014-05-12 Created: 2014-05-09 Last updated: 2015-09-21Bibliographically approved
3. Operator training simulation for integrating cultivation and homogenisation in protein production
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Operator training simulation for integrating cultivation and homogenisation in protein production
2015 (English)In: Biotechnology Reports, ISSN 2215-017X, Vol. 6, 91-99 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Operating training simulators (OTS) are virtual simulation tools used for training of process operators in industry in performing procedures and running processes. Based on structured mathematical models of the unit operations of a bioprocess an OTS can train a process operator by visualising changing conditions during the process, allow testing operator actions, testing controller settings, experience unexpected technical problems and getting practice in using prescribed standard procedures for a plant. This work shows the design of an OTS where two sequential steps of a recombinant protein production process, a fed-batch cultivation and a high-pressure homogenisation, are integrated. The OTS was evaluated on a user test group and showed that the OTS promoted and developed their understanding of the process, their capability to identify parameters influencing process efficiency and the skills of operating it.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015
Keyword
Training simulator, Recombinant protein production, Cultivation, Homogenisation, Integrated process
National Category
Bioprocess Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121472 (URN)10.1016/j.btre.2015.03.002 (DOI)
Available from: 2015-09-21 Created: 2015-09-21 Last updated: 2015-10-15Bibliographically approved
4. Conceptual Design of an Operator Training Simulator for a Bio-Ethanol Plant
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Conceptual Design of an Operator Training Simulator for a Bio-Ethanol Plant
2015 (English)In: Processes, ISSN 2227-9717, Vol. 3, no 3, 664-683 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Conceptual design methodology for the configuration and procedural training with an operating training simulator (OTS) in a large-scale plant for commercial bio-ethanol production is described. The aim of the study is to show how the methodology provides a powerful way for finding the best configuration and training structure of the OTS before constructing and implementing the software of the OTS. The OTS principle, i.e., to use a computer-based virtual representation of the real process plant intended for efficient training of process operators, has long since been applied in aviation and process industries for more efficient and flawless operations. By using the conceptual design methodology (sometimes referred to as bio-mechatronics) a variety of OTS configurations with this capacity was generated. The systematic approach of for targeting the users’ (i.e., the plant management and process operators) needs resulted in better understanding and efficiency in training of hands-on skills in operating the plant. The training included general standard operating procedures for running the plant under normal operation conditions with different starch materials, handling of typical frequent disturbances as well as acting in situations not described in the standard operation procedures and applying trouble-shooting

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MPDI Open Access Publishing, 2015
Keyword
Conceptual design; systematic design; bio-refinery; bioprocess engineering; bio-mechatronics
National Category
Bioprocess Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121473 (URN)10.3390/pr3030664 (DOI)
Available from: 2015-09-21 Created: 2015-09-21 Last updated: 2015-10-15Bibliographically approved
5. Operator training simulator for an industrial bio-ethanol plant
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Operator training simulator for an industrial bio-ethanol plant
2015 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The development of a software-based operator training simulators (OTS) for an industrial bioethanol plant is described. OTS are used in the process industry for training of process operators since several years but few examples are reported for their use in biochemical and biotechnological industry. This study describes the implementation of an OTS at a large-scale bio-plant producing ethanol. The study includes the implementation of models and graphical user interfaces of the OTS as well as the experience of the operator training with it. The OTS encompasses the whole process, i.e. the sections for hydrolysis, fermentation, separation and distillation. The implementation was carried out on the commercial process control software WinErs. The graphical user interfaces, including all essential distributed control systems of the plant, show high fidelity with the real system. Dynamic process models were able to efficiently train operators in running and controlling the process under standard, start-up, shut-down and critical conditions. The models show a sufficient accuracy and robustness at different simulation speeds. Experiences of applying the OTS in the industrial operator environment of the large-scale plant implies that the OTS can be a useful tool for making operator training more time- and cost-efficient in the biochemical and biotechnological industry.

Keyword
Training simulator; Recombinant protein production; Cultivation; Modellin
National Category
Bioprocess Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121474 (URN)
Available from: 2015-09-21 Created: 2015-09-21 Last updated: 2015-09-21Bibliographically approved

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