With a big bang, Siemens PLM Software and SCHUNK attracted attention to the Automatica 2018: As part of an OEM partnership, the leading providers of simulation software and the competence leader for gripping systems and clamping technology will be radically simplifying the entry into the world of simulation of handling solutions.
With this in mind, SCHUNK is putting together an attractive starter kit made up of Mechatronics Concept Designer software from Siemens PLM Software, a component library of digital twins from SCHUNK and corresponding support for their use. The tool can be completely integrated into Siemens’ NX software. Designers, programmers and project developers can test the simulation software for six months in the full version free of charge. Irrespective of the entry package, licenses of Mechatronics Concept Designer can be purchased from SCHUNK immediately.
“In the future, no one will have to calculate cycle times for periods of several days or spend weeks commissioning handling solutions,” says Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Henrik A. Schunk assuredly. “As part of our digitalization initiative, we have set ourselves the target of allowing systems engineers and integrators to gain entry to the highly efficient world of simultaneous engineering and virtual commissioning as easily as possible.” It is essentially a case of simulating entire assembly systems in three-dimensional spaces and mapping the entire engineering process from the design through to the mechanics, electrics and software right up to virtual commissioning in digitalized form in a single system. “Even experienced designers are amazed at the benefits and the efficiency effects afforded by engineering with Mechatronics Concept Designer,” Henrik A. Schunk reports.
Complete package for simultaneous engineering
“In our opinion, no other simulation software is able to fully cover the systems development process as comprehensively as Siemens’ Mechatronics Concept Designer,” Schunk highlights. From design in the CAD program, simulation, right up to virtual commissioning and real connectivity to the control system, the system covers all phases with minimal media disruptions. While for conventional engineering, mechanics, electrics, and software programming run sequentially one after the other and commissioning doesn’t begin until the end at the assembled automated system, Mechatronics Concept Designer combines all three disciplines in one interface and thereby creates the possibility to have all activities run in parallel. This simultaneous engineering accelerates the entire systems development process, minimizes the complexity, increases the flexibility and ultimately can save a great deal of money. Changes can be applied within no time at all and their feasibility verified. Furthermore, comparable follow-up projects can be implemented a great deal faster than was previously possible.
Everything from a single source
As the simulation software, the component library, the real components and the support all originate from a single source, it is a particularly more time- and cost-efficient entry into simulation software. With this in mind, SCHUNK has created its 24 V mechatronics program for high-performance assembly as digital twins, so that simple assembly systems can also be simulated without comprehensive software expertise. The component library comprises in the first stage the parallel grippers SCHUNK EGP, the linear modules SCHUNK ELP, the rotary gripping modules EGS, and the rotary modules ERS. In the medium term, all gripping system and clamping technology components from SCHUNK will be available as digital twins. The digital twins comprise the CAD volume model with all geometric data for modeling in Siemens’ NX software, CAE data (EPLAN), a kinematic behavior model, and a physical model in which the stroke, extension and retraction speed, acceleration, jerk, nominal force, and mass are stored. Added to this are functional components for virtual commissioning to simplify the scenario software and hardware in the loop (SiL/HiL).
Interface for real control
Besides a flow sequence, the software supplies a Gantt diagram in which all phases and dependencies are illustrated. As early as the planning phase, it can be identified where sequential movements are necessary or where parallel movements are possible. By means of automation interfaces, the behavior of the virtual model can be tested on real control systems such as the Siemens’ Simatic S7 or Beckhoff, meaning Plug & Work-capable handling solutions can be implemented. In order to ensure the highest degree of design freedom, component libraries of other manufacturers can already be implemented into the free test phase. Those who want to get further into the software can also make use of training sessions provided by Siemens in addition to the library support provided by SCHUNK.
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