Setup and use of a virtual test setup
Source: VDMA Virtual Commissioning Guide
Virtual commissioning requires executable simulation models of a component, machine or plant. The simulation models represent the following relationships, among others:
- Process logic
- Material flow
- Physical effects
- Seonsors and actuators
- (Bus) communication
The control system is not integrated into the simulation model, but linked to the simulation. The virtual test setup, i.e. the linking of the simulation model with the control system, is called an X-in-the-loop system (XiL system). With the use of XiL systems, the following advantages are achieved compared to a real test setup:
- Lower costs during setup
- Less effort for continuous reconfiguration
- No use of physical resources (e.g. assembly or hall space)
- No wear and tear and no damage to operating equipment
The characteristics of XiL are differentiated based on the type of control in:
- Model-in-the-loop (MiL): the control software is mapped in a model language.
- Software-in-the-loop (SiL): the control software runs in an emulation.
- Hardware-in-the-loop (HiL): the control software runs on the real hardware of the controller.