Integrated Real-Virtuality System and Environments for Advanced Control System Developers and Machines Builders
The pace of technological change is increasing and sophisticated customer driven markets are forcing rapid machine evolution, increasing complexity and quality, and faster response. To survive and thrive in these markets, machine builders/suppliers require absolute customer and market orientation, focusing on .. rapid provision of solutions rather than products. Their production systems will need to accommodate unpredictable changes while maintaining financial and operational efficiency with short lead and delivery times. Real-Virtuality (R-V) systems are an innovative environment to address these requirements by facilitating enhanced support in machine system design utilising integrated real-virtual environments centred on concurrent machine system development and realization. This environment supports not only machine system design but also the development of the' control system at the same time. Utilising the Real-Virtual Mapping Environment (RVMI;:), 3-D simulation machine models can perform actual machine operations in real-time when coupled with the real machine controller. This provides a more understandable, reliable and transparent machine function and performance. The research study explores different types of controller verification methods and proposes a new method which employs the use of a control signal emulator. The research study has fomulated a novel technique for emulating quadrature encoder signals to provide virtual closed loop control of servomotors. The deployment of a control signal emulator technique makes the system unique and removes its dependency on specific hardware. Enabling the real-time data from the signal emulation environment eases the task of realising a real-time machine simulator. To evaluate the proposed architecture, three case studies were performed. The results have shown that it is possible to create verified and validated machine control programs with no modification needed when applied to the real machine. The migration from the virtual to the real world is totally seamless. The result from the ????study show that the virtual machine is able to operate and respond as a real machine in real-time. This opens up the unexplored potential of integrated 3-D virtual technology. The real-time 3-D simulation virtual machine will enable commissioning and training to be conducted '!-t an earlier stage in the design process (without having to wait for the real machine to be built). Furthermore, various test scenarios can also be developed and tested on the system which helps to provide a better lofriderstanding of the machine behaviours and responses. This research study has made an original contribution in the field of machine system development. It has contributed a novel approach of using emulated control signals to provide machine control programmers with a platform to test their application programs at machine level which involves both discrete digital signals and continuous signals. The real-time virtual environment extends the application domain for the use of simulation. The architecture proposed is generic; to be exact it is not constrained to a specific industrial control system or to a specific simulation vendor.
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