Virtual commissioning of machines

digital twin
Virtual commissioning of machines



A guest post by Katrin Ehrenleitner

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The Solid System Team (SST) supports Hymmen GmbH Maschinen- und Anlagenbau in implementing virtual commissioning using a digital twin.

Mechatronics Concept Designer can be used to simulate Hymmen GmbH’s complex printing and pressing systems, including the automation technology.

(Image: Anthem)

Hymmen specializes in production technology for large-scale production of panel-shaped materials and surface treatment of panels and webs. The special machine manufacturer from Bielefeld develops, among other things, printing, press and thermolamination systems as well as coating lines, which must also be put into operation virtually as part of its digitization strategy: Since installation and testing of the systems are very complex and expensive due to their dimensions, Hymmen is dependent on digital systems. With the help of simulations on the digital twin, it can be seen early in the development process whether the planned machine really meets the requirements, whether components and drives have been designed correctly, or whether the control technology is working correctly.

The Solid System team was responsible for advising, developing and implementing an integrated solution based on the Mechatronics Concept Designers (MCD) from Siemens NX, as Hymmen CEO Thomas Eikelmann reports: “For us, the MCD is the central building block for to realize a digital twin and the virtual commissioning of our printing and press systems. We are also taking this step in the digital transformation together with the Solid System Team, whose expertise as a systems house and integration partner we have trusted for over 20 years.”

The newly introduced NX CAD with its addition Mechatronics Concept Designer could be easily implemented into the existing engineering landscape beyond Solid Edge; thanks to direct integration, there are no media breaks. After 3D engineering of the machines and the entire system, all components are read and kinematized directly in NX and Mechatronics Concept Designer. This is where the physics-based simulation takes place, where, for example, friction, weights or densities are defined. An interface also connects various add-on modules, as Jan Henrik Ostmeier, head of project engineering at Hymmen, explains: “On the one hand, there are behavioral models where individual components are simulated, but also a communication simulation, a simulation of the classic. control cabinet, so to speak Inverter, motor control and so on. In addition, the PLC program is connected to the physics-based simulation, and the I/O therein is created from our electrotechnical tool EPlan. After all, our visualization is also connected to the virtual commissioning.”

Consistency of the systems from engineering to automation

The controllers from Siemens and Beckhoff can already be designed during virtual commissioning with MCD. Because the solution is linked to the automation software – the TIA portal for the Siemens PLCs and TwinCAT for the Beckhoff PLCs. The hymn can, for example, virtually program the robots used and adjust them correctly to avoid collisions during later operation and thus expensive repairs. In general, the printing and pressing systems can be tested much more qualified and cheaper with the virtual commissioning on the digital twin. This also reduces the travel times and the costs for the actual commissioning of the machine, which is not insignificant for Hymmen customers spread all over the world. They also benefit from the digital twin approach because Hymmen can use the Mechatronics Concept Designer to determine the lead times of its systems in advance and make one or two adjustments before delivery.

Laser machine manufacturer Evosys has digitized its business processes using appropriate CAD, PDM and ERP software.  (Kurt Fuchs/EVOSYS)

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