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Virtual Commisioning

Significant time and cost saving through virtual commissioning

 The planning and implementation of new production lines, the retrofitting of an existing line or even the installation of new products and fixtures to existing robot cells are increasingly complex. One of the challenges is to better synchronize and parallelize the mechanical engineering and PLC software development in order to reduce the project timeline, and to shift error detections to earlier project phases.

The PLC validation and virtual commissioning of robot cells transfers a major part of the real commissioning procedure into the digital model world. FASTSUITE Edition 2 allows you to design and build a digital twin that acts like a digital copy of the real cell, including all its signals and behaviours. With this digital twin you can define, test and safeguarded all the functions in a virtual environment, even while the real robot cell is not installed yet or unavailable due to a running production. Unlike traditional robot simulation methods, the virtual model of FASTSUITE Edition 2 can be connected to the real control system, and communicates with the controller software with signals, similar to what the physical cell is doing. This enables users to validate and optimize all PLC functions as well as the robot codes in a safe simulation environment. 

PLC Validation and Virtual commissioning with FASTSUITE Edition 2 offers benefits for end users and for system integrators:

  •  Validation of the PLC programs by 3D simulation provides the PLC programmer with a better understanding of the overall process.
  • High PLC program quality already in early project states
  • Total engineering time and prototype waste are reduced
  • Errors are less expensive to correct
  • Faster real-world shop-floor set-up
  • More speed, more productivity
  • Reduced shop-floor commissioning time
  • Earlier production starts

 

 

Simulating plant changes leads to fewer startup issues and faster implementation.

 Anything – from single systems (machine, robot) up to entire digital factories - can be represented as a 3D simulation that pictures the system behavior on a 1:1 basis. This enables the system engineers or even the end users to see how the system actually behaves through interactive 3D visualization, not just variables in the control programs. Compared to common more primitive testing of the control software the interactive visualization is a big advantage, since such tests are usually made just with code or manually setting inputs or outputs according to the programmer’s understanding of the real machinery. Also, tests that are difficult or even impossible to execute in reality without risking damage to the machines or the personnel can be executed in the simulation, resulting in better software quality and, most importantly, increased safety.

The simulation model needs to accurately emulate the real system’s behavior, but it is also crucial that the same exact control system and control software can be used with both the simulation and the real automation system. In practice, this means that the same PLC or robot controller hardware or software selected for the real system should be used for virtual commissioning as well.

CENIT's FASTSUITE Edition 2 offers a scalable simulation solution for this problem, which is based entirely on the concept of the digital twin. The robot programs and plant models created and simulated with FASTSUITE Edition 2 are applicable directly for PLC program validation or virtual commissioning of the plant. A standardized interface is available for connection of external control systems with OPC-UA.

FASTSUITE PLC validation solution allows you to clean up PLC code errors in a virtual environment before the codes are loaded onto a real system. Virtual simulation and validation of the automation equipment ensures that the devices function as expected. In addition, you significantly reduce the time it takes to boot the system. 

PLC Validation and Virtual commissioning with FASTSUITE Edition 2 offers benefits for end users and for system integrators:

  • Validation of the PLC programs by 3D simulation provides the PLC programmer with a better understanding of the overall process.
  • High PLC program quality already in early project states
  • Total engineering time and prototype waste are reduced
  • Errors are less expensive to correct
  • Faster real-world shop-floor set-up
  • More speed, more productivity
  • Reduced shop-floor commissioning time
  • Earlier production starts

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