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Virtual Controller

With PLCSIM Advanced, you can easily write the automation code for your new machine and upload it into a virtual controller to test and optimise your control logic including safety & comms, without the need for any physical hardware.

What are the benefits of a virtual controller?

The final phase of building your digital twin is created with PLCSIM Advanced. This software links your virtual machine to either a virtual PLC or the real-world hardware to faciltate comprehensive simulations of the machines control functions during configuration and engineering with STEP 7 (TIA Portal) to validate code with full visibility of how the machine will behave without the need for a physical prototype. 

PLCSIM Advanced permits users to construct a digital replica of an S7-1500 or ET200SP CPU to validate standard, safety and motion application code without the need for physical hardware. This process of using a virtual controller for validating automation code with full visibility of how the machine will behave is often reffered to as 'Software-in-the-loop.'The virtual controller also provides a means of testing communication, fail-safe modules, process diagnostics and web server functions. 

Another feature of PLCSIM Advanced is the ability to configure the machines CPU in the TIA Portal, program the application logic, then load the hardware configuration and the program into a virtual controller. From here users can run program logic, observe the effects of simulated inputs and outputs, allowing for coding errors to be easily identified and rectified in a controlled, virtual environment; without resulting in extensive repair costs. 

PLCSIM Advanced Simulation Tables

PLCSIM Advanced makes it possible to connect the virtual controller to simulation software such as SIMIT or NX Mechatronics Concept Designer for extensive validation of the STEP 7 program. 

Hardware-in-the-Loop

Alternatively, the virtual model of the machine can be connected to physical automation hardware to verify the machine concept. This allows automation engineers to test communications to other systems or to simulate and validate the machines operator interface panels. 

If the automation systems application logic is first tested and validated in the virtual controller, it is quite simple to then load this into the real hardware at a later date in a few simple steps. This is referred to as 'hardware-in-the-loop' which can significantly reduce system installation costs and startup time. 

However, this functionality can prove to be even more effective for the customer once the machine has been installed on site. For example, if they are looking to upgrade their machine and make modifications to the automation code, this can be tested and validated on the digital twin first before it is loaded into the machines controller, leading to an error-free modification process with minimal disruption to production.

PLCSIM Advanced & SIMIT in action

PLCSIM Advanced & SIMIT form the basis for the SIMATIC Machine Simulator which is the perfect choice for machine builders looking to test and optimise the electrical & automation systems of their machines without needing to build a physical prototype.  

Are you wondering how PLCSIM Advanced integrates with the SIMIT simulation software and how you can use the SIMATIC Machine simulator to virtually commissioning your automation systems? 

Watch this tutorial video as we will guide you through exactly how you and your engineering teams can get started. 

Build your digital twin today

If you are interested in the virtual commissioning software that enables you to construct a digital twin for all your future machine design projects ? 

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