Virtual Commissioning in Automation/Virtual commissioning in Manufacturing

Virtual Commissioning in Automation/Virtual commissioning in Manufacturing

Virtual commissioning involves the preliminary validation of program logic using a software-based virtual machine. Prior to the actual hardware being prepared, the developed logic in a PLC can be tested and verified using a virtual machine.

In virtual commissioning, PLC to machine operations is tested without the need for hardware, using simulated logic.

It plays a crucial role in the development and commissioning of large projects that span years, from the design phase to the commissioning phase.

Conventional Design Phase:

In the conventional design phase, the workflow commences with the mechanical design, followed by the electrical design, as depicted in image 1. In the electrical design phase, the assembly of the machine takes place.

Image 1.

Nevertheless, the electrical team frequently encounters delays waiting for the mechanical machine assembly to conclude before they can proceed. Following the finalization of mechanical assembly, the development of PLC logic commences. This situation results in the mechanical team needing to wait for the control team, consequently prolonging the overall development timeline.

In the commissioning phase on-site, both the program and mechanical operations undergo thorough verification. Any mistakes or issues that might have arisen in the initial phases can be identified and addressed during this stage.

*Design Phase and Work Duration with Virtual Commissioning.

*How Virtual Commissiong works.

*Steps in Virtual Commissioning.

In Virtual Commissioning, after completing the mechanical design, the availability of a virtual machine allows the control design process to proceed concurrently with mechanical assembly.

Image 2.

This eliminates the waiting time for assembly. Once the PLC logic is developed, it can be tested using the virtual PLC and Virtual Machine, circumventing the need to wait for the actual machine.

So, mechanical operations can be verified with PLC logic. This approach not only identifies and eliminates errors in both mechanical design and PLC logic but also prevents potential issues. As a result, it saves time and enhances productivity in both software and hardware design.

Advantages of Virtual Commissiong:

1.Shortens Commissiong Time:

a) Through the verification of PLC logic before the actual commissioning process, errors can be minimized, leading to a shortened commissioning time.

b) By pre-verifying mechanical operations with the PLC program, any errors in the mechanical design can be identified and resolved during the initial phase. This prevents these errors from progressing to subsequent stages, ultimately leading to time savings.

2.Saves commission Cost:

a) Reducing commissioning time results in decreased labor costs.

3.Improves software and Hardware Quality as errors are removed in early stages.

4.Improves productivity of project.

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