The company i work for asked me to find a way to virtually test an overhead conveyor system that we produce.
They want to avoid installation on our facilities because it is expensive and time consuming.
So the concept is to test the logic of the design and to verify the plc code.
Searching over the google i have found that siemens provide a function in the siemens nx 9 (called mechatgronics concept designer) that provides the tools to create a kind of simulation reading if necessary instructions from plc.
In order for this to happen an opc server must be configured.
Can anyone help on this opc server matter describing the necessary steps in order to setup one to which the plcsim or actual plc will write data and from which siemens nx 9 will read that data and apply their values to the 3d model simulation?
thank you and let me know if this isn't the right place for this question
Solved! Go to Solution.
Yes, NX9 mechatronics concept designer(MCD) provides the functionality to link MCD with OPC server, then read/rewrit signals from OPC server, then apply the value to 3D model simuaiton in MCD.
In your case, if you use MCD, it is ready to use the function. but if you do not use MCD, you need create OPC client API to read/write OPC server.
About OPC server, MCD did not do anything, user is responsible for setup OPC server.
you can search how to setup PLC software communication via OPC.
thank you very much for the reply, really much appreciated
I installed ni opc server and i configure it so it can read write values to from/to a plcsim and i succesfully tested it through the ni opc server quick client.
the issue know is that the mcd opc client cannot see the ni opc server, and if i try to give the server id to the mcd client a message poping up that states cannot connect to this server.
So i believe that the problem has somethink to do with opc server type, the ni opc server is an ua server but the mcd opc client i think its da opc client.
is the above correct or not.
1) do you have an idea on what is happening ?
2) if i finally make it where can i find a good guide on creating real time variable connection between plc variables and mcd variables
Again thank you very much
thanks again for your reply, now i have to report success!
i installed EzOpc from the following website: EzOPC
then i installed the Softing OPC Toolbox Demo as the EzOPC installation wizard suggested
i also downloaded the NetToPlcSim
after all installation finished i started tia portal, written a small program with 3 variables then i got online with plcsim after that i started EzOPC and Softing OPC Toolbox Demo and configured NetToPlcSim (you just need to give the ip addresses of the devices to be connected)
Finally i started NX 9 MCD and under opc servers i thankfully saw the EzOPC server and under this servers the tags i created in softing opc toolbox demo
regarding your question
both ni opc server (which stands for national instruments opc server (same company of labview)) and mcd run on same machine
i do not know what is the problem and mcd cannot connect to the ni server but if you need somethink for me in order to solve it i will be glad to provide it
Again really thank you very much if i can do something in return please let me know
Finally do you know a web place where i can find a guide on mcd training or something like that?
for using NX MCD for Virtual Commissioning I recommend also to think about using on top of MCD Simit - a special tool from Siemens for interfacing with Automation Hardware. There is a standard MCD-Simit Interface. We at iSILOG developed an even better integration called PLCConnect which even gives more features for Virtual Commissioning. See attached PDF for more information on that.
I'm trying to connect MCD with KEPServer but it doesn't work. MCD show me a message that says "Cannot connect with this OPC Server". The Server is on "Runtime" mode and it works perfectly. Also, I try to connect TOPSerever but MCD show me the same message. I don't know what is the problem.
My application consists in connect a PLC "Xinje" with MCD. The PLC is connected to KEPServer. I only need help with the OPC connection with MCD.
Regards from Ecuador.
Hi Alex and welcome to the PLM Community,
there are two things to consider here:
1. Does MCD and the KEP OPC Server run on the same machine? (The easy way)
If that is the case you probably need to install the "OPC Core Components" (from the OPC Foundation website) on this machine:https://opcfoundation.org/developer-tools/developer-kits-classic/core-components
2. If you already have the OPC Core Components on the MCD machine but the KEP OPC Server is running on a different machine, then you have to cofigure your DCOM settings properly (on client and server side, this can be a bit complicated) you can find some references how to do that here:
Best regards from Germany,
Hello everyone and thanks for the helpful replies so far. I have a similar task to the original post, however I am very new to this topic so I have some additional questions.
The idea is to connect a basic MCD model to a Microbox PC, to enable real time virtual prototyping. For example as an initial test, the position of a cube in MCD is controlled by a simple program on the PLC, such as a counter. The first possibility is to use OPC-DA. On the laptop with NX installed, I have downloaded the Matrikon OPC Universal PLC Server and changed the DCOM settings according to Matrikon´s tutorial. I am using an Ethernet cable to connect this laptop to the Microbox. But I am unsure how to make the connection "live".
1. Should the machine with MCD be the OPC client or server?
2. What do I need to do on the Microbox side to make an OPC connection?
The other option is to use the program Process Simulator (PS) as a "middleman." i.e. MCD - PS - Microbox. I have succeeded in the first step, an OPC connection between an MCD model and Process Simulator. But there is trouble with the second part. PS can use S7IsoTCP, and with the Microbox IP address I can briefly create a connection. However, errors immediately appear such as "function refused by CPU (unknown error)" I can post the PS log if it is of interest.
3. Can anyone give advice on using PS with the PLC?
Again, I believe the problem is on the Microbox end because I am not sure how to arrange the settings for this connection.
I hope this description is clear enough, and I appreciate any help!
Regards from Germany
Hi Christi and welcome to the PLM Community,
it seems that you already are able to connect to a local OPC server with MCD and that you now need to connect your remote client (Microbox PLC) to your local OPC Server which is also running MCD...
To your questions:
1. It can be either way but keep in mind that you will need to configure your DCOM Settings properly and it could be that it is easier to keep your OPC Server on your MCD machine... (see Post above)
2. I dont have much experience with the Configuration on your Automation System but I found this Video that could be helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYDLKqbckfk&ab_channel=Siemens
If that does not help, you probably have to ask in the Siemens Automation Forum or the support team for microbox.
3. For connecting the Process Simulator via S7IsoTCP to your PLC (Microbox) you certainly have to ask in the forum for Process Simulator or you have to use a different Connection type maybe Modbus?