Investigation of Virtual Commissioning for a Small Enterprise

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Industriell Produktion

Abstract: In order to test an automation code for a production cell it is necessary to have access to the physical model. Therefore, the automation code is validated in the end of the design process. Finding and correcting faults in the code takes time and changes late in the design process tend to be expensive. Having a virtual model of a production cell with the same features as a physical model enables to test automation code and evaluate different features in an early stage of development. The process of having a virtual model to validate code and try out new features is called Virtual Commissioning (VC). The ability to detect errors in the code and identify problems early in the process can lower the lead time for the project and reduce the overall cost. Virtual Commissioning is a relative new process step in the industry and have so far mainly used in larger enterprises. This project has been done at a company named NPB Automation AB, located in Jönköping, Sweden. NPB is a smaller company that designs and produces robot cells that are fully automated. This project is an investigate to see if a software that can perform a Virtual Commissioning should be added to their lineup of tools. This task has been managed by empirically finding how a Virtual Commissioning can be set up. To find out how Virtual Commissioning can affect different fields at the company interviews were held with personnel from different working fields. To get practical knowledge and verifying that Virtual Commissioning can be performed on a robot cell produced at the company, a Virtual Commissioning were set up of a subsystem of a robot cell. The Virtual Commissioning in this project was set up with the software Emulate3D connected to a Rockwell PLC model 1769- L33ERMS, the PLC code used were written in Studio 5000 Logix Designer. The conclusion of his project is that Virtual Commissioning can reduce time to market by reducing the commissioning time. The tasks where Virtual Commissioning will benefit the most is in new projects or when validating changes.

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