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Report | October 2019

B&R’s new simulation tool for model-based machine

B&R has integrated the industrialPhysics simulation tool into its Automation Studio engineering environment. The 3D simulation software greatly simplifies model-based machine development.

Developers can import CAD data from machine components or entire machines directly into the simulation tool. Then they can quickly and easily generate a digital twin for developing and testing the machine software. Digital twins are the key to efficiency when it comes to software development and the virtual commissioning of a machine. industrialPhysics generates digital twins from CAD data. The data is imported in STEP format, which makes it possible to utilise important properties of the CAD design, such as mass and density. Since the simulation tool is integrated with Automation Studio, developers are able to run the virtual model of the machine right on the PC and connect with the controller.

The simulation tool makes it possible to view physical behaviour of the machine in real time. Developers can simulate the flow of materials through the line and identify potential collisions early enough to make easy corrections. With no additional effort, the machine model can also be viewed using virtual reality or augmented reality headsets. Free from any distractions, developers can work directly with the simulated machine. Processes can be evaluated with the simulation running. Augmented reality offers the added benefit of being able to view the model on-site in the real environment.

Cost-effective safety function

B&R has developed a virtual sensor for its ACOPOS P3 servo drive: the Safe Speed Observer. It determines speed in accordance with SIL 2 / PL d / CAT 3 requirements, reducing the cost of implementing the Safely Limited Speed safety function by eliminating the need for a safe encoder.

From the electrical variables of a permanent magnet synchronous motor, the Safe Speed Observer calculates two redundant models of the motor – achieving a high safety level for the calculated speed. The virtual sensor can be used for both linear and rotary synchronous motors.

The Safe Speed Observer is easy to configure in the Automation Studio engineering environment via the respective encoder interface. The user can implement the safety functions available for the safe axis from the safety library. This new solution is made possible by the drive-integrated safety technology of SafeMOTION.

B&R is an innovative automation company with headquarters in Austria and offices all around the world. On July 6, 2017, B&R became a business unit of the ABB Group. As a global leader in industrial automation, B&R combines state-of-the-art technology with advanced engineering to provide customers in virtually every industry with complete solutions for machine and factory automation, motion control, HMI and integrated safety technology. With Industrial IoT communication standards like OPC UA, POWERLINK and openSAFETY as well as the powerful Automation Studio software development environment, B&R is constantly redefining the future of automation engineering.

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