Virtual Commissioning, Digital Twin of a Robot Cell
About the company
ÅF is an engineering and design company within the fields of energy, industry and infrastructure. We create sustainable solutions for the next generation through talented people and technology. We are based in Europe and our business and clients are found all over the world.
ÅF Making Future.
About the job
Master Thesis Project at ÅF Advanced Manufacturing - Virtual Commissioning, Digital Twin of a Robot Cell.
Virtual commissioning uses a virtual model of an existing or planned robot cell or line connected directly to the control system to enable virtual testing and verification at a very early stage in development. Virtual commissioning also helps to shorten start-up and ramp-up time when commissioning.
There is an increasing demand for Virtual Commissioning in industry. Machine vendors and competing platform providers are in a race to provide tools and software support for Virtual Commissioning. However Virtual Commissioning is still in an early stage in industry hence there is a need to develop methods to match the demands.
The vision is to be able to test PLC and Robot behavior of an automation cell in a virtual environment without doing any changes to existing code to make it compatible with the simulation model.
There is a hence a need to create digital twins of all kinds of machines and equipment in the robot cell that interacts with the PLC and Robot. Logic of all virtual objects in the robot cell should be created, as exact as possible. For example, a turn table and a welding tool. The reason for this is to stress test the PLC and robot program in a virtual environment.
The following thesis aims to develop a method for generating models of virtual objects and connecting them to the virtual commissioning tools.
We want to set up an architecture with SIMIT, that connects all programs such as Robot studio, Siemens PLC and all virtual objects in the cell. When the PLC send a start signals to a machine in SIMIT, the signal will respond as in reality. We also want to be able to trigger various errors in SIMIT that cause incorrect signals to be sent to the PLC to stress test the PLC code. There is also security logic sequences, logic and timings to be simulate between PLC, Machines and Robots in a robot cell. We would like to simulate safety with sensors such as light bars and button panels with emergency stops, etc.
Another purpose is to simulate the signal switch between robot and PLC to get as realistic behavior on the robot as possible. Not only sequentially, but it is also important that we have realistic response times. This will enable you to calculate energy usage on the robot. Thus, we want to measure accelerations and speeds on the robot and optimize these with respect to energy consumption.
This will be set up and commissioned visually with HTC Vive in a VR studio at ÅF.
Who are you?
Create a virtual commissioning with possibilities for verification and test of low level PLC and robot programming as well as high level programming of SCADA or equivalent.
- The project must be performed by two students.
- Both students must have proven very good knowledge of PLC, Robot.
- Both students must have knowledge and interest in programming, preferably in C, C++ or C#.
- The thesis will be performed at ÅF.
Production engineering, Systems Control and Mechatronics
We are looking for someone who wants to be part of ÅF’s success story. Are you passionate about technology development? Do you like to work together to find the best solution? Then we can offer you career opportunities in a modern workplace with challenging assignments and exciting projects all over the world.
The ÅF Group is ranked as one of Sweden’s most popular employer among engineers. At ÅF you will be involved in developing innovative and sustainable solutions within infrastructure, energy and industry. We are always looking for the sharpest skills that can create a future society together with us. We hope you will learn as much from us as we will learn from you.
Andreas Buhlin - Section Manager