More and more plant and machine manufacturers as well as production companies of different branches go beyond using the digital twins just once during virtual commissioning for system configuration and successfully rely on simulation-based engineering.
This consistent, profitable use of ISG-virtuos as „dynamic specification sheet“ allows remarkably higher software quality with unchanged man power in shorter time. The automation of plants and machines starts at a very early stage. Connecting systems to superior control systems can also be shortened considerably by virtually connecting them in advance. Risks in project management as well as commissioning at the client’s premises can be reduced significantly thanks to the virtual FAT.
For producers using different control systems, the verified functionality of the main control can be transfered and fully tested on the other controls systems, even when the real system is not available. Basis for this are mechatronic solutions: The respective components are modelled, verified and accepted in mechanics (including the 3D visualization) and in behaviour (electrics, pneumatics, hydraulics etc.). In the end, they are filed for reuse in the module libraries of the simulation system.
Stages of simulation-based engineering
Concept and development, Product and performance optimization, Commissioning
Using original engineering data, the requirements of all involved parties (client or different company departments) are from the very beginning developed, tested and optimized on the virtual system. The virtual system is connected to the real control via real fieldbusses.
Already existing CAD data and electrical configurations are imported directly. During the virtual commissioning, the virtual system is first put into operation and then - in terms of a virtual factory acceptance test (FAT) - approved. Finally, the accepted control functionality is directly transferred onto the real system. Thanks to the software design specialized on control realtime, this transfer can be effected on a 1:1 basis - without any further adjustments. The real system is then ready for production without rectification work.
Production monitoring, service and support
During production, the virtual system is used profitably as a digital twin:
- New machining sequences, production processes, collission detection, … are tested and optimized without putting the real system at risk or disturbing the running production
- Clients’ reports regarding performance or failure situations are tested on the simulation system. Corrections / optimizations of the real system are effected via remote access or the usual personnel at site
- Modernization and retrofitting of existing systems are effected on the simulation model using the real control technology. Change-over and down times of the real system are reduced significantly
- Training of operating and maintenance personnel is effected on the real control connected to the digital twin. For training purposes, operating errors and failure situations can be generated.