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Siemens Virtual Commissioning for Machines

Parmley Graham
By: Parmley Graham
04th October, 2018

 

Reducing the time to go from an idea to a real machine by up to 30%

Introducing a multi-disciplinary approach to machine design that breaks down barriers between electrical, mechanical, and automation engineers.

1) Prepare a mechatronic model based on you existing 3D data that enables you to map the physical and kinematic properties of the machine.

2) Create a simulation of electrical and mechanincal behavior with SIMIT which enables comprehensive real-time simulation.

3) The virtual model is the linked to the Virtual PLC using PLCSIM Advanced which allows comprehensive simulation of functions during configuration and engineering with STEP 7 (TIA Portal) without the need of physically hardware.

Combining these models, results in a Digital Twin of the real machine that helps to simulate, validate, and optimize its behavior. All insights obtained and errors discovered can be used for optimisation purposes before the real production begins. This reduces the time, risk, and costs involved in actual commissioning.

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Commissioning a machine at a customer’s facility is the decisive moment: Are extensive corrections needed, or does everything go as planned? To reduce the risk and effort associated with the actual commissioning, virtually commissioning the machine using PLCSIM Advanced in the TIA Portal offers an efficient alternative. This approach even makes it possible to simulate and optimize the interaction between individual components of entire production lines in a virtual environment.

Saving time and money with Virtual Commissioning!

As a general rule, the later an error is found, the more expensive it is to eliminate. For machine builders and plant operators, this means that it’s especially important to start troubleshooting as early as possible in the development process. The objective is to minimize the number of errors that occur during the actual commissioning and ensure that no faults occur. This is now possible thanks to virtual commissioning in the project planning and engineering phases. During this process, planning data like the control program or visualization are validated and optimized in a virtual environment. This approach saves both time and money.

 

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Faster Commissioning

Instead of using the actual machine on-site at the plant operator’s facility, virtual commissioning can be implemented in a digital development environment in the office. Extensive tests during machine simulation make it possible to identify and eliminate design and function errors. This approach significantly speeds up the actual commissioning process.

Improved Engineering Quality

Because virtual commissioning can be performed in parallel with engineering, the findings gained from the simulations and tests can also be used to improve engineering quality. Tests of the actual PLC program using virtual controllers increase the certainty that the control system will function as anticipated by the customer during actual commissioning.

Reduced Costs

Less time on site, reduced risk of errors, shorter commissioning time: Thanks to in-depth testing in advance, only minor corrections are expected during actual commissioning, which significantly decreases development costs.

Less Risk

During virtual commissioning, everything can be tested risk-free and without the customer’s plant personnel. Extensive troubleshooting significantly reduces the risk of errors and even defects in the actual machine. 

 

Virtual Commissioning in the TIA Portal

With STEP 7 and the Totally Integrated Automation Portal (TIA Portal), you can use PLCSIM Advanced to simulate and validate controller functionalities without the actual controllers. In addition, interfaces can be used to simulate interactions with the other components of cells or lines. This highlight video shows you all the benefits below:

 

 

Virtual Commissioning for every requirement

From a controller to an individual machine to extensive production lines: Our range of virtual commissioning solutions enables machine builders and plant operators to achieve the desired results faster and more reliably.

 

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Validating PLC code and HMI

You can use PLCSIM Advanced – the virtual controller for the SIMATIC S7-1500 controller – to simulate and validate the PLC code. The simulation includes communication, knowledge-protected function blocks, safety, and a web server. Support is also provided for multiple and distributed instances in order to simulate multiple controllers on a PC or in a network. A documented interface is provided for the data exchange.

Validating Automation

With the NX Mechatronics Concept Designer, machine builders can simulate and test the mechanical components of their machines in a virtual environment. PLC programs and visualizations are simulated and validated with PLCSIM Advanced and the TIA Portal. Depending on the requirement level, the behavior of active components like drives and valves is mapped in another PLCSIM Advanced model or with the SIMIT simulation software. This combination supports both the preparation and a smooth commissioning. 

Simulating and Validating Production Lines

The virtual commissioning of robot cells or entire production lines takes place using TECNOMATIX Process Simulate and PLCSIM Advanced. OPC UA, the standardized communication protocol, is used to exchange data between robots, machines, and the plant to ensure that all processes, material flows, and similar activities can be simulated and optimized prior to the actual commissioning.

 

 If you're interested in learning more about Siemens Virtual Commissioning. Don't hesitate to contact us!

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