To put it in a nutshell: HOMAG Group AG has achieved its goal of simulating a factory in its overall process, as it were, and thus significantly reducing the amount of work and the time required for commissioning on the construction site. This was made possible by a virtual commissioning of the plant as hardware-in-the-loop simulation in real time on ISG's platform and an automated test of the control software based on this.
No off-the-shelf plant
No Homag system is like any other; they are all unique and individually designed to meet the respective customer's needs. For this reason, each system must undergo extensive testing before the operator can run it at full capacity. Two years ago, Homag decided to invest in virtual simulation of its plants and components in order to further optimize its engineering processes in-house during project planning and during commissioning at the customer's site. The reference project was a fully automated woodworking plant for a Chinese customer, which in terms of its size and vertical range of manufacture can already be equated to a factory.
From zero to full load without parameterization
Homag checked the functionality of the individual control programs and the overall control system with its several thousand interfaces in advance in the digital world of the ISG-dirigent test automation and adjusted them to the optimum. In addition, all components, component groups and the overall system were virtually commissioned on the simulation platform with the help of its digital twins and the plant was thus developed to maturity. On the one hand, this made it possible to deliver the components directly to the construction site, which simplified logistics and ultimately also reduced costs. After all, transporting and assembling a plant the size of a soccer field is no child's play. On the other hand, there was no need to parameterize the plant on site because the control software was immediately ready-to-go. Homag was able to keep to the rather sporty schedule: The plant went into full-load operation in the shortest possible time.
Better integration of component suppliers' know-how
The consistently positive experience with the pre-simulation of such a complex plant has now prompted the Homag Group to roll out the simulation technology across all engineering orders. It has therefore - also with the help of the experts from ISG Industrielle Steuerungstechnik - enabled its suppliers to create the digital twins themselves on the ISG-virtuos platform and to use the simulation possibilities for quality assurance. Homag, in turn, benefits from the fact that its own specialists are relieved of this task. With the twins provided, they can now design the plants on a component basis.
The Dürr Group, to which Homag belongs, has expressly recognized the extraordinary achievements of ISG Industrielle Steuerungstechnik in the field of virtual commissioning. In 2019, it has therefore presented it with the "Dürr Group Supplier Award 'Smart & Digital'" as one of its best suppliers.