Between the development phase of the production plant and the operating phase is the commissioning phase (COM) of a production plant (FIG.1). The further development of digital capabilities has led to the original real COM being supplemented by virtual commissioning (VCOM), which now takes place in parallel with the design phase and uncovers as many defects as possible in advance. In this process, the planned real manufacturing plant is virtually replicated using suitable simulation models: a so-called digital twin (DT). Then, completely separate from the VCOM, the real COM takes place first as a preliminary COM at the system integrator and later as an COM at the customer. This results in the following disadvantages for the system integrator:
- Delivery delays of individual modules have a direct impact on the overall COM time
- Complete preliminary COM is necessary with the developer of the production equipment
- Complete preliminary COM is not always fully feasible due to dependencies on machine suppliers
- Real material flow is necessary for COM at the customer's site
- No virtual impact analyses of retrofit investments are possible
The objective of the project is to realize a smooth transition between virtual and real COM phase with continuous virtual validation and design (FIG.2). Furthermore, the connection of virtual automation components to the real plant operation (operating phase) is to be achieved for extended services of the system integrator.
The smooth transition from virtual to real COM is prepared by the conception and creation of a modular system for virtual automation components that can be parameterized and configured to individual customer projects. The development of a model generator supports the simple and user-friendly coupling with real plant technology by dynamically tuning and generating virtual partial automation solutions from the virtual automation components.
- Reduction of COM times and costs with increasing quality through a gradual transition between virtual and real COM phases while continuously taking advantage of simulation-based planning and design
- Novel business models and service offerings for system integrators in the customer's operating phase through coordinated use of simulation-based models, methods and tools
- Optimization of the operating phase at the customer's site through coordinated service offerings based on virtual automation components
- Real COM possible with virtual material flow