How does a digital twin help secure complex production systems with virtual commissioning? Virtual commissioning significantly reduces downtimes and project life spans

Due to increasing complexity in production, commissioning of new production lines has become a highly time-consuming process. In addition, it is only possible after the line assembly has been completed. If an existing plant is to be modified for a new product, a production stop is required for the commissioning.

Virtual Commissioning

Virtual commissioning can significantly shorten the down times and the project life spans. For this purpose, a "digital twin" of the line is constructed. All functions are defined, tested and safeguarded in this virtual model. As opposed to traditional simulation, however, the virtual model is connected to the real control system and reacts identically to the real plant due to integrated behavior models. This enables safe simulation and optimization of robot programs on the computer, as well as validation of the system control unit (PLC program simulation). Without virtual commissioning, the PLC validation would only be possible after construction of the real line and potential programming errors could result in expensive collisions and repairs.

The programs optimized with the aid of this mechatronic model are then transferred to the real system. The result is greater operational safety with improved software quality of the PLC and the robot program, right from the start.

Virtual Commissioning

Scalable solution based on a digital twin

CENIT's FASTSUITE Edition 2 offers a scalable simulation solution for this problem, based entirely on the concept of the digital twin. The robot programs and plant models created and simulated with FASTSUITE Edition 2 can continue to be used for PLC validation or virtual commissioning of the plant. A standardized interface is available for connection of external control systems through OPC-UA. In addition, real-time integration via a field bus system is planned to be provided.

In summary: With the virtual commissioning of the plant control system using a digital twin of the plant, errors are discovered at an early stage and eliminated already during the development phase. In this manner, expensive costs for change or repair of the real system can be avoided ahead of time. In addition, the overlap of mechanical design, control system development and electrical design brings about parallel work and close collaboration in early project phases. Therefore, a company achieves a significant reduction in risks, errors and later downtimes.

Virtual Commissioning