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TOPIC: Some ideas for improvement

Some ideas for improvement 9 months 3 weeks ago #256

  • gdierick
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First of all, thank you for developing this application.

I'm a water engineer and we deal frequently with studies concerning complex water networks in production plants. These networks need to be reconciled based on the available data. Once we have the base case (current flow diagram), we can look for process optimalizations to reduce water use, ... .
STAN looks to be the ideal tool to tackle this. Previously we used Excel but things can get quickly messy.

A few suggestions for further improvements:
- changing multiple shapes at once: currently, one can select multiple shapes or flows but changing the properties (e.g. color, ...) only changes the last one selected. Changing multiple shapes at once would make it a lot quicker to get a consistent look on a diagram;

- more default properties for shapes: at present, only the default size of the process block can be changed, it would be handy to allow all default shape/flow properties to be changed (either via options or use settings of the last changed shape;

- flow labels with non-transparant background: the current flow labels have a transparant background, the flow arrow shows through the label (e.g. with vertical arrow, ...), one can change the position manually but sometimes there isn't enough room. Would it be possible to make the label non-transparant (or optionally), so it can always be positioned on top of the arrow?

- export values without units: currently, exporting values in excel results in a value-unit text string (e.g. "125 t/a") which cannot be used for further processing (graphs, sorting, ...), one needs to use search/replace to get rid of the unit, also the decimal indicator does not get recognized here ("," as decimal indicator in Belgium), can again be tackled with search/replace in Excel. Is it possible to export the values as value only? The units could be exported either as a separate legend with the field names or as a separate column for all flows;


Best regards,
Geert
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Some ideas for improvement 9 months 2 weeks ago #257

  • adminST
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Dear Geert,
thanks a lot for your feedback. I put your comments on our wish list.
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Some ideas for improvement 9 months 2 weeks ago #258

  • adminST
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Find attached VBA code for Excel that transforms the exported text from STAN (value + space + unit) into a value with the unit attached to the cell as user defined format.

Instructions:
(1) Press ALT + F11 to open the VBA editor in Excel
(2) Import "SplitValueUnit.bas" via "File > Import File"
(3) Select the cells on the Excel sheet to be transformed
(4) Press CTRL + m

Please, let me know if this works on your side.
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Last Edit: 9 months 2 weeks ago by adminST.
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Some ideas for improvement 9 months 2 weeks ago #259

  • gdierick
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Hello admin,

Thank you for the quick response.
This Excel macro works like a treat, nice piece of code!
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Some ideas for improvement 9 months 2 weeks ago #260

  • gdierick
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I'm working on a water/wastewater network for a plant (water optimization study).
In total, I'll have 150-200 streams, a lot of these have flow measurements, other gaps can be estimated.

The ability to use sub systems in STAN is a very good feature, as it allows to manage these complex networks.

Working with a large number of flows however makes it more challenging to keep track of them.
Good indexing becomes important.

I had some other suggestions for improvements to STAN:

Numerical index for flows and processes: at present, a new flow gets the ID "F00", with 00 an incremental value. These ID's are strings however and they can't be sorted by value ("F10" sorts before "F8", ...). Workaround is to manually change the ID to "00" format ("08" and "10" sort properly). I would suggest to use as default ID the index "00" or even "000", they can still be strings but sort OK and will make it easier to handle a large number of flows. I would suggest using the same for processes, the ID's are in different tables and can't be mixed.

Subsystem reference: unless I missed something, I can't find a reference or ID for the main system and subsystems. If every system (main and sub) could be referenced (ID + name), the system ID could be added as extra column to the flows (and processes) table, making it easier to navigate from the table back to the diagram (the other way is easy with a sorted flow ID). It would also allow to isolate the flows from a subsystem (e.g. for post processing in Excel). Problem however would be the import/export flows to the subsystem, since these are present on both parent and child system. These might have to be repeated for parent and child system?
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Some ideas for improvement 9 months 2 weeks ago #261

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Thanks for your additional suggestions!
Oliver
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