Since there are several interfaces from PS to PLC, i.e., SIMIT, PLCSIM, external connection, how can i assess which solution is better when i start a project.
Would it be better to simulate my PLC code with a real PLC instead of a virtual one, and if it is, what's the advantage?
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For PS it's relatively irrelevant, what kind of connection you choose.
It is usually defined by your personal constrains.
You don't need safety? OPC might the easiest to set up.
You want to use the right type of hardware PLC, but need safety? You need Simba/SU
No hardware? Use PLCSIM for S7-300/400 or PLCSIM Adv for S7-1500
Regarding real vs virtual:
Real HW-is expensive, you usually don't have all possible models on stock and you need additional HW-when the PLC contains safety-blocks (Simab/SU).
Virtual PLC does not cause such problems and in addition you can run the system in virtual time, synchronized with PS. Which allows you to simulate large projects, without beeing afraid to break supervision-times.
Btw: SIMIT connection does not mean a connection to Simit itself, but to the Simit Emulation Platform (EMU)
to 1. correct.
It seems that in Siemens and Phoenix Contact world no OPC-server allows safety...actually this is correct behavior, if not you might use OPC-connected signal-sources to bridge safety-equipment, which is against the safety-idea.
But I heard, e.g. Rockwell allows to switch the PLC to some kind of simulation-mode, which treats safety-signals like common signals.
2. Simba has LAN-connectors on two sides. ProfiNet-side and Simulation-side. Step 7/TIA Portal uploads the HW-configuration onto the Simba. From that moment on, the PLC believes all ProfiNet-bus-members are alive. PS connects to the simulation-side, hooks directly to the emulated devices and communicates through them via ProfiNet. PS has the needed Simba-SW already inside. So it's relativly easy to configure.
3. as for 1500, there are several ways:
- 3rd party OPC like INAT, but I'm not uptodate regarding INAT vs 1500
- 1500 has a built in OPC UA-Server on the PLC, so there should be no need for 3rd party. This solution still doesn't support safety
- if you work with TIA-Portal 14, you might purchase PLCSIM Advanced, which virtualizes any 1500 CPU. Starting from 13.1.1, PS directly connects to it. It also allows a time-synchronous simulation between PS and PSA. Currently this connection works only with I/Qs, but it allows safety.
if you are referring to the SIMIT entry in options dialog, the answer is no.
It's missleading, but refers to the SIMIT Emulation Platform, not SIMIT itself.
That's an OPC connection with time-sync-channel.
If you connect PS to PLCSim and SIMIT also connects to it, that might work.
But for any problems with Simit, you will have to adress the Simit-support.
This forums are not meant to support Simit...