The role of software in our industry is becoming increasingly apparent. Digital twin emulation is becoming a valuable tool for bringing ideas to life and sharing them globally with the click of a button.
Digital twin emulation allows the user to create a virtual machine that uses operational logic and connects to a control system, predicting future performance and simulating line changes. In creating this virtual environment, the user can avoid any surprises and discover control issues before the build takes shape.
For companies like AutoLogic, this solution has differentiated them from the competition by providing a more immersive and interactive experience for their customers as they deliver value through discovery.
Today, we’re looking at how Avanti Conveyors Ltd. a UK based OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) used AutoLogic Systems’ capability, and Rockwell Automation’s Emulate3D technology to get to market faster.
AutoLogic Systems is the UK’s Value Added Reseller and System Integrator for Emulate3D, who joined the Sonepar family in August 2022. The company is a leading provider of simulation products, consulting, and related services, serving primarily the manufacturing, transport, and logistics sectors.
Deploying Emulate3D Digital Twin with AutoLogic Systems
Avanti Conveyors Ltd. has provided material handling solutions for over 30 years, manufacturing their own machinery for corrugated board handling organizations worldwide.
With the continued growth and sophistication of their machinery, the ability to demonstrate and differentiate their systems and products to both existing and new customers fast became a priority.
But rather than use more traditional modelling of their products, Avanti wanted to go one step further and create a full dynamic digital twin of their sophisticated Pegasus Palletiser machine, connected to the control system and deployed to each individual client. A true emulation.
Through precise emulation, Avanti could demonstrate its capabilities and distinguish its system's superior performance compared to competitors.
Choosing the right solution
Rockwell’s Emulate3D provides a single modeling platform to demonstrate solutions, validate designs, and virtually commission PLC code and plant management software before the solution is built. Resulting digital twins deliver continued value for plant optimization and operator training.
Avanti is now benefiting from this complete workflow provided by Emulate3D, with this case study focusing on sales growth opportunities.
Dr. Danos Damianou, software director for Avanti, stated, “AutoLogic Systems is a trusted partner of Avanti. The combination of their expertise and renowned Emulate3D software was an exciting prospect for us. The team at AutoLogic worked closely with the experienced control engineers at Avanti to understand the complex machine operation and behaviors required of a digital twin to satisfy the control system.”
‘Digital Twinning at its Best’
Andy Parsons, Sales Director at AutoLogic, added, “Using the 3D mechanical design, Emulate3D allows you to add kinematic behaviors and constraints and create product movement with complex physics behaviors and test system-wide operation. Avanti can then simply connect the dynamic model to their physical PLC (and soft PLC) to validate the virtual machine is behaving as per reality.” He continued, “A PLC-based digital twin also takes machine selling to a new level. Add the fantastic stakeholder engagement tools in Emulate3D, and I’m certain many OEMs could get to market faster.”
By connecting a digital twin to the PLC, the model will replicate the proposed equipment or materials handling solution. Outputs, speeds, configurations, and any other variables can all be tested and proven within the model, and clients can watch it working in real time in state-of-the-art 3D graphics.
Dr. Damianou concluded, “We can say to clients and prospects, ‘here is our proposed solution, and this is it working exactly as it would once be installed within your existing facility.’ It’s an amazing sales tool and allows us to ensure our proposed solutions will deliver exactly what the customer needs. In addition, the model can be used for operator training and familiarization well ahead of the actual machine installation, thus accelerating the effective use of the machine. This, combined with our ongoing design validation and virtual commissioning work, is Emulate3D and digital twinning at its best.”