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ProcessLog – A Logging Program for Chemical Process Lines

August 2, 2009
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This program has to show each step of a chemical process flow to the operator of Process Lines and logs it when it’s done. However the next step of the flow is not always fixed but depends on whether the previous step was successful or not.

The flow of process is defined as flow charts and controlled by the external client companies. The process flow were already complex enough to implement with fixed hardcoded logic. On top of that, these specs can be modified from time to time by the clients. This was a perfect example of Windows Workflow Foundation application in hindsight but when I had to develop this, WWF was not very mature technology yet.

To implement the application as flexible as possible, I designed a database table in which rows are lines of a program code similar to BASIC and each line corresponds to a step in the chemical process flow chart. They even have a ‘GO TO’ and branching statements.

The process engineers define and modify their ‘program codes’ for the chemical process through this web application and it shows each process step to workers in real-time as defined in the ‘program codes’. The engineers liked this creative approach and it worked perfectly.

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