Below is a brief summary of some of the main features of the RCS software. Browse through each of the sections within this page to view additional details and specifics on the various items mentioned below.
After the data input is complete, work can begin on the calculations. RCS starts with nailing down the boundary conditions for the exchanger, which includes tubes, cylinders, heads, and cones. These are the major components that must be set before further calculations such as flanges, floating head, tubesheets, etc. can be performed. RCS performs standard required thickness calculations for each of these components, as well as cone reinforcement calculations for internal and external pressure per appendices 1-5 and 1-8.
After the boundary conditions are established, the next step is adding nozzles to the design. Nozzles can be manually added, and this is the typical approach for auxiliary nozzles, but the preferred entry method for the main process nozzles is with the "Fast Input" feature. This option establishes the flow direction, number of inlet and outlet nozzles, and TEMA configuration to locate the nozzles. It will automatically offset nozzles if necessary, based on the number of tube passes. This feature ensures that process nozzles are located properly.
RCS can handle all types of nozzles: WN, slip on, LWN, stubs, and forged necks. In addition, reinforcement pads can be added as needed. Nozzles can have any desired projection, and can have elbows and reducers. RCS employs a series of algorithms to arrive at an appropriate nozzle design, first incrementing the nozzle thickness, then adding a pad, then increasing weld sizes, then moving up to a LWN, and lastly moving to a forged neck. Users can let RCS run this design logic, or manually select a particular type (for example, if the customer requires LWN nozzles). RCS will also select an appropriate nozzle flange rating, but this can also be manually changed by the user.
In addition to all of the standard nozzle calculations, RCS can also perform nozzle loadings per Werco Bulletin 107, and recently has added the ability to run UG-44(b) calculations for reduced equivalent pressure due to nozzle moments and loads. All of these calculations can be generated for any desired nozzle.
After the initial boundary components are set, RCS can begin designing the remainder of the exchanger. There are multiple steps involved in this process. The first is what RCS refers to as a "batch run", where RCS will go through a lengthy series of calculations to arrive at a preliminary design. For estimators, this process is often enough to arrive at a design that is suitable, but engineers will likely want to further customize their design by going into what RCS calls Menu Mode, and making additional changes to their design.
Batch Execution Process:
The batch execution process includes the following steps:
Each set of calculations performed during the design process is retained and saved as part of the RCS Print File. This file can be viewed at any point during the design process. When calculations are complete, the entirety of the calculations can be printed, or any individual section can be printed at any point. Calculations can be displayed in both English and Metric units. In addition, RCS has the capability to edit the format files that generate these printouts, as well as editing the units used to generate the printouts. This gives an incredible level of detail and control to the printout generation. For example, in English units, length is displayed in inches, and in Metric units, length is in cm. If the user prefers to use mm for Metric printouts, they can alter the unit system so that all calculations will display mm instead of cm.
In addition, there are two different version of the printouts: The standard printout and the extensive printout. In the standard printout, input data is shown, then calculated variables and results are displayed in a relatively concise fashion. The extensive printout expands on the calculations and results, referring to Code paragraphs at times, and displaying formulas, etc. Again, both the standard and extensive formats are available in English or Metric units.
Lastly, any individual component from the print file can be printed independently of the others, or they can all be printed. This image shows some of the options available when printing calculations. Grayed out options are items that do not exist for this particular design.
In addition to generating tube layouts, RCS also has a CNC drill program that will automatically generate drill files based off of the tube layout. These drill files can be generated in a variety of different formats for many different drill types, and manufacturers can create their own custom drill file format if none of the standard templates are compatible with their CNC drills.
Another useful graphical tool is the Interactive Graphics Editor. This utility has a variety of features, but is primarily used to obtain a clean and accurate outline or setting plan drawing. The current exchanger is shown in a format similar to that appearing on a standard setting plan drawing. The user has the ability to pictorially arrange things, such as moving and duplicating nozzles, changing support locations, altering the length of the front and rear channels, etc.
Perhaps the single most useful graphical tool within RCS is the 3D model. RCS generates a complete set of detail drawings, but they are not to scale. The 3D model, on the other hand, is 100% to scale, and is a very useful tool for double-checking any design for any potential problems with nozzle location, nozzle to nozzle interference, support locations, baffle spacing, or simple mistakes that were made during the design process. RCS can generate both an external or surface model, and an internal model complete with all exchanger components. In addition, users have the ability to pick and choose various components to view. One common example is to select all bundle components so that a complete removable bundle can be viewed by itself.
Example of a surface model of a BKM style kettle reboiler:
Example of a 3D internal model of a BFU unit with stacked supports. Note that the 3D model can be rotated, zoomed in and out and viewed from any angle. Also note that only the periphery tubes are drawn in this example, but all tubes can be shown, or none at all if preferred.
Example of an AES style exchanger:
The final graphical tool available within RCS is a pair of graphical input screens for entering flange and floating head dimensions. This is a very handy tool for quickly specifying geometry, particularly in cases where a duplicate or replacement of an existing unit is desired. Rather than using an RCS designed flange or floating head, users can specify the exact geometry and RCS will simply calculate whether it is good or not. The flange input screen is shown below:
One of the main selling points of the RCS software is the ability to create a complete set of detail drawings for any design. This is particularly useful for fabricators and can be a tremendous time saver for their CADD department. All of the RCS drawings are available in two different formats: a native drawing format that can be viewed as a sketch directly within the RCS software, and as a DXF file, which can be opened directly within any CADD program. The drawings can be customized in several ways, such as changing from English to Metric units, changing how some of the dimensions are displayed, customizing of the title block, and a variety of other features. The image below shows a list of all of the drawings that can be generated within RCS, and the following images are samples of several of the different drawing types.
Sample Outline or Setting Plan drawing:
Sample Front Channel Drawing:
In addition to the mechanical design and drawing generation, there are numerous other features within the RCSWin software:
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