Getting Started

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Navigation: User Guide ➔ Getting Started

Getting Started and Installation Training Tutorial Guidelines and Examples
Getting Started Download
Training Information Training Preparation Tutorial Overview Tutorial Videos Modelling
Example Projects Example Reports Example PGM Files FAQ

Latest SysCAD Version: 19 March 2024 - SysCAD 9.3 Build 139.35102

Related Links: Features, Applications, SysCAD Structure, Tips and Tricks


SysCAD is a powerful and versatile plant simulator that can be used to simulate the simplest processing circuit through to complex full plant operations.

Downloading SysCAD Software / Update

When a new client joins the SysCAD community, they are provided with TWO websites: Button Small 1.png to Download SysCAD and Button Small 2.png to Exchange Files with the SysCAD team.

These websites are:

Please take note that these two websites have DIFFERENT Usernames & Passwords.
Button Small 1.png SysCAD Download Website:
This is the SysCAD website, the "SysCAD User" area is designated for:
  1. Downloading SysCAD installation software, updates to SysCAD program files, example projects and other documentation such as supplementary tutorial files and so on.
  2. Users will also be able to download the client add-ons to which they are entitled.
  3. Please see Downloading SysCAD Software and Updates for more information
  4. Each client account has one main "admin user", the "admin user" can add or remove users in their group.
Button Small 2.png File Sharing site:
This site is set up for file sharing purposes between users and the SysCAD team.
  1. Each user has their own unique username & password. The SysCAD team needs to invite each user to the basecamp site.
  2. This website is OPTIONAL, some clients may not be able to access this website due to country/company internet policies.
  3. For information on how to upload/download shared files, please see File Transfers (Basecamp)

SysCAD Software Installation

Administrator or Local Administrator rights are usually required to install SysCAD and are required to install the SysCAD Crypkey licensing service software.

The steps to follow for a new installation:

  1. To install SysCAD run "SysCAD 9.x Install Build13X.yyyyy.exe" from the downloaded files.
  2. Follow the on screen instructions, usually accepting the default options.
  3. As part of the setup process, SysCAD will install the Crypkey Service required for licensing.
  4. Installation Complete.

A start up icon for SysCAD will be installed on your desktop and Start menu.

For more information please refer to SysCAD Installation Instructions.


To start SysCAD, double click on the SysCAD icon:

SysCADIcon139.png SysCADIcon.png
For Build 139 and later For Build 138 and earlier

Multiple copies of SysCAD can be started on the same computer with a single stand-alone license; however, each instance of SysCAD can load one project only. With a multi-user network license, each copy of SysCAD started will use one of the available licenses.


Without a valid SysCAD License, SysCAD will operate in Demo mode with restricted functionality. You can only build small projects and you will not be able to load most projects.

Requesting a Software License

  • If you are an existing SysCAD user with existing SysCAD license, but would like to request for a training license, please see this topic first: Training Preparation
  • If you have downloaded trial version of SysCAD, and would like to request for a trial license, please see this topic: Trial User
  • If you are a new SysCAD user with no existing SysCAD license, to obtain a short-term software SysCAD license:
  1. With SysCAD started in demo mode, <menu command> “License\License Authorisation”
    License Authorisation.png
  2. You will be shown a dialog box with a Site Code.
  3. If using Build139 or later, please press the EmailSiteCodebutton.png Button Small 3a.png button to auto-generate an mail (may depend on email setup and IT permissions) and send it to SysCAD license.
    If using Build138 or earlier, or if EmailSiteCodebutton.png fails, please press the LicenseCopytoClipboardbutton.png Button Small 3.png button and paste the information into an email, send this to [email protected].
    Sample information given below:
    SysCAD Version:SysCAD 9.3 Build:139.28242
    CrypKey Version:8.0 NGN Build:8058
    Current License:Not Licensed
    License Info:Demo Mode
    License Location: C:\SysCAD139\License\
  4. Within 1 business day, the SysCAD License Team will email back a Site Key (this is not auto-generated).
  5. Once the site key is obtained, paste it in the license authorisation dialog box and press “Validate”Button Small 4.png.
  6. When this is completed successfully, the SysCAD license files are stored in the license location folder.
  7. Please note that each site code is unique, the corresponding site key is good for single use only. The site code will change when a license is issued (and again when a license expires).

Opening and solving a SysCAD Project

Many example projects are included as part of the SysCAD install. For a list of these example projects, please see: Example Projects

To open and run these example projects, users must have a valid SysCAD license (can be trial or full license). Some example projects may require additional add-ons and licensing options, such as energy balance, size distribution or species and thermodynamic model add-ons.

An example of how to open and run the ..\SysCADxxx\Examples\03 UnitModels\High Pressure Autoclave Leach Example.spf is given in the SysCADGettingStarted.pdf document, this document can be found in the SysCAD installation folder, e.g.: ..SysCADxxx\Tutorial folder. NOTE that this example project requires the Energy Balance Add-on.

The SysCADGettingStarted.pdf document gives a brief introduction on how to open and run an existing SysCAD project. The summary workflow is as follows:

  1. From the Project menu, choose Open Project and then find the appropriate "project" in the SysCAD Examples sub-folder, in this case, it is \Examples\03 UnitModels\High Pressure Autoclave Leach Example.spf
  2. To open the project, click on the project.spj file located within the required project folder.
  3. SysCAD will then load the project. A SysCAD project normally consists of many windows as shown by the image, (Please see Windows for full view of the picture with descriptions.)
    These include:
  4. You may change any of the appropriate parameters in the Access Window
  5. You may solve the project by pressing the Run icon Runbutton.png on the toolbar. The solver will stop when the project is solved (for a steady-state project) or reached its specified duration (for a dynamic project).
    Alternatively, the user can manually stop the solver by pressing the Stop icon Stopbutton.png on the toolbar.
  6. The model results can be exported to MS Excel for further analysis.

For full instructions of the above, please see the SysCADGettingStarted.pdf document.


SysCAD cannot be shutdown if it is busy solving.

To Shutdown SysCAD:

  1. If a project is being run, press the Stop icon Stopbutton.png on the toolbar (Or under Actions Command, select Stop).
  2. Choose Exit under the Project menu.
  3. Before exiting, SysCAD will prompt you whether to save the current project (Yes or No) or Cancel the exit request. If the project is marked as Read Only, you will need to save any changes using the Save As command before using the Exit command.

Next Step - SysCAD Tutorial Documentation

For more detailed instructions on how to use SysCAD please refer to the SysCADIntroductoryTutorial.pdf (found in the SysCAD installation folder, e.g.: ..SysCADxxx\Tutorial folder). This document is a step-by-step guide to assist the user when learning to build a SysCAD project. This is also a useful reference document for all SysCAD users.

This document covers many topics, including the following:

  1. Creating a new project
  2. Configuring and running the SysCAD Model
  3. Adding a new species to the SysCAD project
  4. Adding Reactions
  5. Adding different types of control
  6. Making changes to an existing project
  7. Connecting flows between flowsheets
  8. Creating Stream data reports

Please see topic Tutorial Overview for more information on the available tutorial files.