Simulation can play an important role in the design, optimization and control of complete industrial processes, the most appropriate method depending on the particular application. Most commonly, process models or simulators are means of representing the process which are either purely mathematical or physical. Mathematical models, however, almost invariably need to be based to some extent on experimental data or require experimental verification before they can be used with confidence. Ways in which experimental and mathematical modelling techniques can be combined to best effect are discussed, with reference to the simulation of iron ore induration and direct reduction processes. A novel method is presented for the simulation of direct reduction shaft furnaces. Small scale apparatus has been developed in which ore or pellet samples are subjected to the changing environment of the industrial process. The time dependent conditions (solid temperature and gas compositions) are provided by a mathematical representation of heat transfer and the conservation of mass and energy in the process Simulated.