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Fast development of controllers and sequence controllers

The MATLAB® program package and the associated toolbox, Simulink® from Mathworks Inc. are considered to be the worldwide standard in the area of modeling dynamic systems in technologically demanding processes. 

With the complete integration of the M1 controller as target system, a convenient and efficient implementation of the MATLAB® functions is enabled on an M1 control system. The user can concentrate exclusively on working in the familiar, graphic Simulink® programming environment, where he can model the system in its entirety and simulate the effect of changes even before transfer to an M1 control system. The code for the M1 target system is generated automatically in the background and requires no knowledge of a programming language. This complete integration enables efficient programming and commissioning of the M1 control system.

 

Features

  • Faster implementation of controllers through shorter controller design phases
  • Shorter commissioning processes through reliable automatic code generation 
  • Higher level of agreement between machine model and controller model

Development Process

1. Modeling

Both plant (physical system) and control systems are modeled in Simulink®. Using application specific tools reduces the time spent developing the system. This is achieved by enabling the developer to use modeling languages native to the domain of interest. Domain-specific products for physical modeling, such as Simscape ElectricalTM, Simscape FluidsTM, Simscape MultibodyTM, make it easier to create intuitive, reusable models of the multidomain physical system. For mathematical modeling, MATLAB® and Simulink® also offer a range of capabilities. Established service companies offer additional expertise in all domains.

2. Simulation

The resulting complete model is now simulated offline on the computer. Comprehensive test series of all possible operating conditions or error situations are played through. Iterative model adjustments and new simulations follow seamlessly. The high-quality process/solver for numeric calculation of differential equations also prove themselves outside of simple analytical systems. Outstanding graphic depiction possibilities, such as curves and surface plots and even animated 3D-CAD models, optimize the work sequence.

3. Generation and download

In this step, the process model is first separated from the actual control part. Then a mouse click triggers automatic code generation and preparation of the application for the real-time system. This can be loaded directly from the Simulink® interface into the controller. Optionally, libraries can be generated for IEC 61131-3 programs or for C/C++, which are used in the respective development environments in order to create applications.

4. Test and optimization

The generated real-time program now runs in the controller. But it can exchange data directly with the Simulink® interface on the PC through the communication interfaces integrated during code generation. Then, in the so-called “external mode”, the actual process values (variables, channel values) are available directly online in Simulink®. At the same time, variable values or internal parameters of the Simulink® blocks can also be changed from there in the real-time program. In this mode, the Simulink® model created by the developer is only the graphic front end for visualization of process values and assignments of parameters. Using the real process environment, the discovered solution can be verified and further optimized. If necessary, users can switch to a prior process step and make changes there (iterative improvement).

5. Operation

As soon as a satisfactory result is achieved, the project management PC can be separated from the controller – which continues to run autonomously in real time. All interfaces to parallel-running applications on the same (or other) controllers remain in place. The published process variables can be depicted through the general engineering tool SolutionCenter or in visualizations.

System overview

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