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How difficult is it to build a system?

December 2020

This is a question that we get alot from meeting new customers, so we felt it deserved its own blog entry to explore the answer.

Building an emulation model of a system in Simumatik is actually much easier than building it in reality. We usually say, “if you can build the real one, you can build the model in Simumatik”. You don’t need any extra knowledge. The trick is though to have all the components you need to build your system already digitized and organized in libraries. Let’s explain this step by step.

It is important to understand that Simumatik follows a “component-based” modelling approach. This means that each component included in the system first needs to be modelled separately. A component can be anything from a sensor to a motor, from a PLC to a  robot, or just a mechanism. Digitizing a component can take minutes or hours, depending on its complexity. Some components may be commercial ones, while others will be custom made. But everything gets easier when you can use an existing component in the cloud, or a component you previously created as a base, and just make modifications to it. 

When all the components needed are in place, the user doesn’t need any special knowledge. There’s no need to program anything. All you need is some connection diagrams you can follow (e.g. electric or pneumatic drawings), and a layout or CAD drawing to know where to place each component.

Building out a cabinet using a components based approach.

Once the components are in place, they need to be connected. First, you set up wires, pipes and mechanical connections between the component’s ports using our graphical interface, and follow the drawings like the real thing.

Following that, there may be a need to physically connect some components to others, that represents screws or welds, with what we call “constraints”. Using constraints can either fix a component or give it a degree of flexibility with another.   

Component "constraints". Either fixed or flexible.

As explained above, introducing the components and setting the connections and constraints is not necessarily complicated. This process may take from a couple of hours to a couple of days, depending on the complexity of the system. Once team members in an organization get familiar with the tool, it is worth allocating specific resources to take care of digitizing components. In the end, when the component libraries are in place, the building process actually becomes much easier and efficient.

Is your team curious about the benefits of digitizing their systems? Simumatik is here to help get you started on your journey. Contact us directly and let’s talk!

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