The manufacturing sector has evolved dramatically over the decades. The once dirty and laborious factory has now given way to a highly technical, precise operation using the latest technologies available. Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), also known as Industry 4.0, is revolutionizing the way we produce goods.
One new technology is virtual commissioning. In motion control, virtual commissioning is essentially the creation of a digital replica of operations. This digital replica can be used in a number of different ways without working with physical assets and creates several benefits for manufacturers.
Understanding the Digital Twin in Virtual Commissioning
At the heart of virtual commissioning in motion control is the digital twin – an exact, physics-based digital copy of a motion control system. This digital copy, or digital twin, is precisely the same as the physical system that it replicates, which is important. For virtual commissioning to be practical, the digital twin has to be exactly the same.
This digital twin can be created by importing CAD information from other tools – an important technological capability. This digital twin, which is constantly updated as the physical system is maintained and changed, can be used to ensure that the real system will achieve desired performance without any setbacks or downtime.
The Benefits of Virtual Commissioning in Motion Control
The primary benefit of virtual commissioning in motion control is the ability to test the behavior of a motion control system before making any physical changes. This ensures no mistakes are built into the system, eliminating potential sources of downtime and lost productivity. Also, virtual commissioning can reduce risks when changing operations that impact the motion control system.
On top of this testing, it can help reduce the time it takes to integrate and maintain a motion control system. Accurate virtual commissioning allows users to pre-program a motion control system as needed, based on the characteristics of the virtual commissioning. This significantly cuts the time it takes to install and operate a motion control system, saving integration and maintenance costs.
Virtual commissioning brings many benefits for manufacturers, particularly in the form of more uptime, higher productivity, reduced risks, and lower costs.
Virtual commissioning is a complex technology with the potential to improve operations in nearly any manufacturing environment. Every motion control system should leverage virtual commissioning to help manufacturers maintain a competitive edge.
To learn more on this subject, register for our free archived webinar, “Getting it Right, the First Time: Using Virtual Commissioning to Reduce Cost and Right-Size Machine Components.”