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.