Manufacturing systems are faced with the demands for cost effective and flexible production in a global competition that is described by diversification of production and increasingly shorter innovation cycles and the development of manufacturing systems is faced with progressively tightening timeframes, along with growing requirements on planning quality and engineering accuracy. These demands result from significant cost constraints, shortening of product life-cycles, increasing number of product variants and economic needs for rapid time-to-market.
Thus, an efficient production ramp-up including the commissioning as the crucial part, becomes more and more important for engineering companies to stay profitable.
Virtual Commissioning (VC) is widely considered as promising method to address the challenges associated with real commissioning, but the simulation model building necessary for VC is affiliated with considerable effort and required expertise. Virtual commissioning of manufacturing systems has been are search topic in academia and industry for many years.
All the different types of modern manufacturing systems with their increasing complexity have the fact that they are composed of many different components or sub-systems in common, such as:
Storage / magazines
Conveyor, handling and transportation systems
Machining and assembling tools
Robots with automatic tool-changing systems
Machine vision systems
Control and HMI/SCADA-Systems
Communication networks (Field bus, Ethernet)
Positive results are reported from large companies e.g. from the automotive industry, which are mostly using the complex and costly suites of tools in the context of the Digital Factory.
Thus, the main goal of this research is the development of a new systematic simulation study methodology as general guideline for planning, implementation and execution of VC. It is intended to be notably beneficial for engineers, as helpful guideline for planning, implementation and execution of VC and to facilitate the substantially high modelling effort required for VC of manufacturing systems.