Digital Twin unites CAD and controls

Virtually experiencing the combined operation allows conflicts to be resolved before changes become costly.


Show Daily Exclusive - Every automation system comprises two descriptions of truth, a physical and a logical. The two rarely align because each is developed separately by different people. The physical truth is the CAD model of the system or machine, and the logical truth is the control system.

This misalignment comes to a head at commissioning, when hardware and logic are brought together. The two truths don’t need to be misaligned much for the system to under-perform, and the costs associated with changes and delays at the commissioning stage can have a catastrophic effect on the profitability of the system and put into question further automation decisions.

Fortunately, there’s a way to bring the two truths together early in the design process, before metal is cut and concrete poured, where the combined operation of the mechanical and the logical systems can be observed, tested, debugged and verified safely and accurately. As a bonus, there’s less conflict between the teams responsible for each truth because changes at this early stage are easier to implement.

Creating a Dynamic Digital Twin using the CAD of the system and its actual operational logic, delivers a powerful means of putting the system through its paces in a virtual environment, where the cost of changes is minimal.

Emulate3D software from Emulate3D (Booth E-8902) is the ideal platform for the creation of Dynamic Digital Twins—import CAD, create kinematic behaviors to reflect movements of the actual system, then connect the model control items to the actual control system via the Tag Browser. Create loads to drive the system, and the Dynamic Digital Twin is live and ready to be operated via the human/machine interfaces for the actual system.

With the two potentially conflicting truths accurately represented in a virtual environment, their full operation can be verified and demonstrated exhaustively and repeatably, before any resources are committed to their manufacture. When the real system is assembled onsite and connected to the control system, you can be confident logical operation or sequencing issues have been identified and resolved.

End users benefit from a more thoroughly tested system; system integrators can predict commissioning times more accurately; and everyone wins when projects come in on time and on budget.

For more information, visit SD

More in Controls & automation