The detailed dynamic simulation of coupled process units in chemical plants is gaining an increasing importance as a useful tool in plant engineering and operation. The outline of the program package DIVA (Dynamische Simulation verfahrenstechnischer Anlagen) which is currently under development is presented in the following. The dynamic plant equations and the corresponding Jacobian matrix are generated automatically. The full exploitation of sparse matrix techniques in combination with stiff ODE (ordinary differential equation) solvers allows an efficient solution of all the equations simultaneously. The possibilities offered by the simulator are demonstrated by the simulation of two laboratory plants.