Within the scope of the ZIM project "Development of a Continuous Simulation Based Engineering platform (CoSBE)". (funding code: ZF4331503LF8), a continuous development platform was developed which for the first time links various specialized simulation methods (Model-in-the-Loop (MIL), Software-in-the-Loop (SIL) and Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL)) for mechanical and plant engineering. This makes it possible to use a "growing" simulation model throughout the engineering process. However, the requirements and concept phase is not linked to the currently known MIL , SIL , and HIL simulations. This is where the R2D2-Twin project comes in.
The current approach in the requirements and concept phase is bilateral exchange between the customer and the plant/machine manufacturer to find an individual solution for the client. The state of the art here is the use of requirements management software, such as IBM Doors, or documentation software, such as PowerPoint, Excel or Word and/or the use of modeling languages such as UML or SysML. Both parties have to do a lot of transfer work in the process: The plant manufacturer knows the limits of what is technically feasible from experience, but must explain these to the customer in a comprehensible way and transfer them into the appropriate documents. The customer knows all - even implicit - requirements for the solution and must communicate these to the plant manufacturer as correctly and completely as possible. Subsequent changes due to technical limitations or misunderstandings lead to costly iterations between the two parties - these extend into the operational phase of production and cause high time and cost expenditure. Preventing as many errors as possible in the requirements phase is an important cost factor and, last but not least, a competitive advantage if quality, time as well as cost planning can be adhered to in the delivered system.
The aim of the project is to develop a new tool and associated methods for the use of 3D simulation in the requirements phase and to transfer this 3D simulation into the development of the machine or plant: Requirement-to-Development Digital Twin (R2D2-Twin). By means of R2D2-Twin, communication between the customer and the machine/plant manufacturer in the requirements phase is to be enabled by a tool-supported creation of the requirements specification and an immediate visualization of the latest version on a new scale, and to stand out from conventional, time-consuming requirements creation. The tool support by R2D2-Twin can be understood as an intelligent assistance system, which aims at the following functions:
- Maintain and provide knowledge about the manufacturer's products
- Automatically check all requirements for completeness, consistency and feasibility
- Translate requirements into a comprehensible and descriptive form in the shape of 3D simulation models
- Generate variants of existing simulation models to make them available to the viewers, customer and manufacturer, for discussion and reflection on requirements
By transferring the information to the design phase, the new R2D2 twin of the machine or plant becomes a "dynamic requirements specification", which enables the life cycle from the requirements phase, through the design phase, to the virtual commissioning phase.