New Possibilities for Digital Twins Emerge with the Integration of Tools

B&R MapleSim Connector simplifies model-based machine development

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Maplesoft and B&R have announced the new B&R MapleSim Connector that will help simplify model-based machine development. It considerably reduces the time spent modeling machine components. With the new connector, machine functions become easy to program and deploy. B&R MapleSim Connector is seamlessly integrated in the B&R Automation Studio environment.

The B&R MapleSim Connector makes it efficient for B&R customers to integrate MapleSim, the modeling and simulation tool from Maplesoft. MapleSim creates a highly accurate, dynamic model of the machine based directly on CAD data. This model can then be used for accurate motor sizing, as well testing and comparing different designs. Additionally, the model can be used within Automation Studio to support the virtual commissioning workflow. This helps avoid the risk of costly design errors by finding them earlier in the commissioning process.

Efficient use of digital twins

The B&R MapleSim Connector offers two streamlined export functions for efficient use of digital twins in the development process. First, a model’s simulation data – containing accurate estimates of a motion’s required torque and forces – can be exported in a format directly readable by SERVOSoft. This gives it the information it needs to “right-size” the servo drives, motors and gearboxes. Secondly, the model itself, along with its CAD visualization, can be exported to Automation Studio for control code testing.

Transfer models to hardware quickly

Once in Automation Studio, the model can be simulated and transferred directly to the B&R control hardware. The result is hardware-in-the-loop simulation, where the machine's behavior is emulated in real time to create a controlled environment where the machine software can be tested safely. In this environment, all control parameters can be manipulated and the temperature behavior of the drive can be simulated. The behavior of the digital twin is visualized live in B&R Scene Viewer.

“Engineers can use Digital Twins to save significant time and cost by finding design and controller code issues well before physical prototypes are built,” said Kurt Zehetleitner, Group Leader, Engineering Software – Simulation and Digital Twin, B&R. “By including the visualization feedback within Automation Studio, the virtual machine’s dynamic behaviour can be readily observed without having to decipher it from plots and tag values – significantly improving the control code development process.”

To learn more about how to benefit from Digital Twins using MapleSim, read this whitepaper.

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