When a customer purchases a TRAX simulator, the product will be comprised of five major components:

  1. Instructor Station

  2. Process Models

  3. Control Logic

  4. HMI

  5. I/O

Together, these items produce a high-fidelity simulator that truly represents plant operation.

Instructor Station

The ProTRAX Instructor Station acts as the control center, coordinating all elements of the simulator and running the simulator models. The user can display simulator data, monitor student performance, and control simulator operation. Instructor Station features include:

  • Selectable, pre-programmed training scenarios

  • Unlimited, programmable malfunctions

  • Operator proficiency with performance scoring

  • Operator action capture

  • Display of DCS operator graphics

  • Automated running of dynamic analyses

Process Models

Models are built using the ProTRAX simulation software, providing high-fidelity, engineering-grade models. ProTRAX uses an extensive library of components, or modules. Each simulator is configured to exactly match the simulated plant, as are individual components of a model. The process models include the main thermo-hydraulic processes and systems, as well as associated electrical buses and auxiliaries as required for the specific operation of the plant.

To be a “high-fidelity” model, three items must be true:

- Equations describing component behavior are based on conservation of mass, energy, and momentum (first principles) along with well-accepted constitutive equations for heat transfer and flow.

- The plant model accurately represents the configuration of the actual plant.

- Each component’s parameters accurately represent the corresponding component in the actual plant.

Control Logic

The most common type of simulator is a virtual system.  In a this type of system, TRAX exactly duplicates the controls in the plant using the DCS supplier’s virtual control system.  The plant files are downloaded to the simulator with no manipulation, translation, or special interfaces required.  With this configuration, the control logic executes on a standard computer instead of the hardware controller used in the plant, resulting in the exact same functionality.

TRAX also offers emulated simulators.  TRAX’s fully emulated systems use a translation of the plant control logic and graphics into the simulator environment. This translation is sometimes performed with an automatic translation program, and sometimes TRAX will manually build the control logic in ProTRAX.


In a similar fashion, the HMI graphics used in the plant are either loaded directly onto the simulator (virtual) or translated to the simulator (emulated).  The HMI on the simulator is a precise reproduction of the HMI in the plant, in both functionality and appearance. Operational skills learned through TRAX simulator training are fully transferable to the plant.

TRAX ensures control room hard panels are also represented in the simulator. These emulations combine realistic photo-quality screen displays with dynamic functions.

In addition, TRAX provides local operation screens that allow the operator to perform remote operations. This replicates open/close or start/stop devices that are operated by a roving operator.


TRAX prepares an interface model to represent the DCS field I/O connections between the control system and the simulated process models. This model provides operator feedback for I/O signals.