applications such as simulation and modeling to automation has been talked
about, and even implemented in specific instances, for years. But the topic has
gathered quite a bit of steam recently.
Fair this year, Siemens made news with its focus on software-enabled concurrent
engineering. This initiative by Siemens will center on expansion of its TIA
(Totally Integrated Automation) Portal to includes its PLM (product lifecycle
management) software, as well as its MES and HMI software. The company's vision
is to enable a combined product and production lifecycle using a joint data
model, allowing all software applications to access the same database for
can access the full news article on this announcement from Siemens here.
This week, Maplesoft
and B&R announced a partnership aimed at hardware-in-the-loop simulations (wherein
actual plant control operations are included in the development and testing of
real-time embedded systems of automated devices).
programming and development software -- Automation Studio -- is built on an open
architecture, which reportedly allows for the physical models designed in Maplesoft's
MapleSim simulation software to be transferred to B&R's controller hardware.
According to the Maplesoft, the result is a hardware-in-the-loop simulation
that emulates a machine's behavior in real time, in a safe testing
environment before rolling it onto the production floor for use.
MapleSim, Automation Studio users can develop high-fidelity models of the
control plant, analyze the dynamics, and then generate optimized, real-time
code for the plant," said Dr. Laurent Bernardin, vice president, Research and
The alliance with MapleSoft is not B&R's first venture
into connecting simulation and automation. The company also has a relationship with
Mathworks, using Simulink to transfer automatically generated source codes to machine
control systems. To enable this, B&R created Automation Studio Target for
Simulink, which gives product and systems designers an interface though which
to connect B&R's Automation Studio with Mathworks' MatLab, Simulink and Stateflow
Major changes are happening in the world of 3D printing and additive manufacturing materials, machines, and software. If the industry -- and the design engineers and OEMs it serves -- are to grow, all three areas must become much more tightly integrated.
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