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Process simulate: Virtual Commisioning



I have a some questions about VC with Process Simulate:


I have made an robotic cell in PS12.1.1 witch i want to connect to a real PLC (TIAPORTAL Project)

we wil use I/O and Safety I/O with Profinet/Profisafe...


the main goal is to do a complete VC for this project:


A) What hardware setup wil i need for this? (do i need extra hardware, SIMBA-Box??)


b) What can i test in Process Simulate? (Robot program's, safety doors, conveyers?)


c) How much work and witch work is needed to prepare a VC project for 1 simple PLC cell (ex:3 robots, 2 fixure's, 1 rollerdoor..)

-> I got the Process simulate dump with all path's and devices ready (standard mode/ NOT line simulation mode) 


thanks in advance!


Frederik VMA


Re: Process simulate: Virtual Commisioning

Hi Fred-rob


First thing's first: For Safety simulation in PS you need SimulationUnit (formerly known as SimbaBox).

It will emulate the complete network configuration and any Safety included.

You can find many tutorials online for how to connect a SimulationUnit with TIA Portal.

Is PS you will need to define a "Simba PNIO" External connection which is pretty simple as well.


Since you are asking about how to switch to PLC mode, let me ask you first: Are you familiar with Line Simulation mode? 


If you are, than the main differences in PLC mode (any PLC connection) are:

  1. Modules (Modeule Viewer) are not executed at all (such logic should come from the PLC itself).
  2. Operations no longer start using the previous operation's end condition and Links, but rather start when their "Start_op" signal is triggered. You need to create a Start signal for every operation you want to run (Object Flow, Non-Sim) and trigger it when you want to run this operation from either the PLC or PS. You can create these signals easily using the dedicated commands (search for "Start Signal" in the PS help, for examle the "Create All Flow Start Signals" command). Start signal do not relate to Robotic Operation which should run using Robot Programs and Robot Default Signals. 
  3. Map your signals with your PLC tags and mark any signal with the appropriate External Connection. Take special care here. If the PS and PLC Process Images (list of signals) do not match, simulation will not run. You can use various tools in PS for this: Signal Mapping Tool, Connection Mapping, etc. See the Help for more information.



Effort-wise: there is some effort involved in switching from Standard to LS mode and then (or directly) to PLC mode since you need to change and take care of your process sequence differently (by using Transition Conditions in LS mode and Start signals in PLC mode), take care of Material Flow, Signals, Robot Programs instead of operations and Logic in general (Modules, Logic Blocks). For PLC mode you obvisouly have to also take care of setting up any software\hardware and connectivity. The complexity and effort varies greatly depending on data and user experience so it's hard for me to estimate of course. 


It takes some work to get there, but many steps are re-usable later so it takes less time and of course the added value of such simulation is briliant. 


I hope this helps clarify things for you. Let me know if I can further assist, and feel free to share your results(if you can) and any comments!


Kind regards,
Gal Snir

Re: Process simulate: Virtual Commisioning



i have a question about Simba box.


Do Simba box support data exchange with controllers from Rockwell Automation?


Re: Process simulate: Virtual Commisioning

SIMBA, or as the latest generation is called "Simulation Unit" is not exactly bound to Siemens.

As long as you can load your bus-configuration onto it, it will emulate Profinet components on the fieldbus.


I know only about Simatic and Phoenix Contact, able to export such configuration.


If Rockwell supports it, you may ask the Simba support, AFAIK: