Frequently Asked Questions
Questions on digital twins
When should a digital twin be used?
A digital twin should be used as early as possible in the engineering phase. Ideally, the simulation model is used as early as the planning phase, for example to check processes with regard to feasibility. During the process, the model is then enriched with more and more data. This diagram illustrates the time period.
How does a digital twin help me with a bidding process?
With more and more requests for proposals, the creation of a digital twin is required. Companies applying for the contract need a suitable solution. If no tool or a specific provider is specified, those responsible are faced with the task of selecting a suitable digital twin software. We would be happy to talk to you personally about your requirements and your time schedule.
How quickly can a digital twin be created?
The time scale depends on various factors, including the complexity and level of detail of the simulation model and products. The technical skills and time resources of your staff also play an important role. After a personal conversation we will be happy to give you an initial cost estimate.
Will a digital twin help me with digitisation?
In the context of modern networked industry, a digital twin is a key tool. The use of simulation tools brings numerous advantages. In addition to significantly faster commissioning, the transparency of technical features is significantly increased and product development times are shortened. Companies that use digital twins win additional orders, as studies have shown.
General questions / Technical questions
What does the license model of fe.screen-sim look like?
The fe.screen-sim licensing concept has a modular structure based on floating licenses.
The graphic shows an overview of the structure of the software.
- The heart of fe.screen-sim is the "CORE", in which a project can be loaded. Several CLIENTS can connect to the "CORE" and work on one project at the same time.
- Communication interfaces are also licensed at the "CORE". These can be, for example, interfaces to programmable logic controllers (PLCs), robot tools or subsystems.
- The required function modules are licensed directly to the individual CLIENTS and can be used flexibly on different computers via a license server.
- If required, the additional purchase of interfaces for individual software extensions and separate applications is possible.
A total of three employees are working on two different projects. In one project, Siemens is used as the PLC, in the other a control system from Allen Bradley. All three employees write function logics, e.g. in FUP or C#, and create operating elements. In one project, a connection to a Kuka robot is also implemented. It should be possible to import CAD data from every workstation, but not at the same time.
The following modules are required for this:
- 2 x Core module (because two projects are processed simultaneously)
- 1 x PLC module Siemens
- 1 x PLC module Allen Bradley
- 3 x client module (three employees access the two core modules)
- 3 x Logic creator (three employees work on logics in the projects simultaneously)
- 3 x Interaction module (three employees use switching elements, such as buttons for operation, etc. simultaneously)
- 1 x Robotic module Kuka
- 1 x CAD-Importer (After a CAD import the module can be restored on the license server).
Which data formats can be imported into fe.screen-sim?
The following data and file formats can be imported:
- CAD import: SolidWorks, Step, JT, OBJ, FBX u. v. m.
- SQL, XML and Excel.
Which external systems can be connected?
fe.screen-sim has interfaces to almost all common systems and data sources on the market.
- Controllers: Siemens S7 (series: 200, 300, 400, 1200, 1500) and compatible controllers (e. g. VIPA), Allen Bradley, Rockwell, Beckhoff (TwinCAT 3), Fanuc, WAGO, PLC-SIM Advanced, Simulation Unit.
- Robotics: KUKA, ABB, Fanuc (others on request).
- Subsystems: MATLAB®/Simulink®, WinMOD®, etc.
What are the system requirements for fe.screen-sim?
The ideal system configuration when using fe.screen-sim is as follows:
- CPU: Intel I7-, 7700 or AMD 2700X
- Graphics card: Geforce RTX 2080
- RAM: 16 GB
Of course the software can be used in connection with other hardware components that may already be in place. We are happy to advise you in this regard.
Which settings have to be made in order to interact with a Siemens PLC and TIA?
1) Access to the DBs
To access the 1500 and 1200 DBs, the optimized device access must be deactivated.
In the communication settings of the 1500 PLC, access via PUT/GET must be permitted.
Questions about virtual commissioning
What are the application areas and scenarios?
The use of fe.screen-sim is completely possible regardless of the industry. Currently, the software is already being used very successfully in plant and mechanical engineering, logistics, materials handling, automation and robotics.
Typical application scenarios are:
- Virtuelle Inbetriebnahme
- Process optimization
- Collision checks
- Functional tests
- Training scenarios
- Feasibility studies
- HMI operating concept tests
- Ergonomics considerations
In which business areas can the simulation be used?
Flexibility is a keyword that has always played a major role in the development of fe.screen-sim. Through a cross-departmental use of the 3D simulation software in the company, synergy effects can be used optimally and potential can be exploited in the best possible way.
On the one hand, simulation models can be created directly in fe.screen-sim without using an existing database. On the other hand, the import of data from CAD programs is possible, whereby many file formats (e.g. FBX, OBJ, WRL, JT, etc.) are supported.
In addition, programmable logic controllers (PLC) from a wide range of manufacturers (e.g. Allen Bradley, Rockwell, Schneider Electric, Siemens) can be integrated into fe.screen-sim.
Of course, the simulation of robots from various manufacturers - including ABB, Fanuc and KUKA - is also possible. An SQL database interface ensures the smooth integration of fe.screen-sim into the workflow.
What are the benefits of virtual and augmented reality in plant simulation?
The integration of an interface for different VR and AR glasses allows the user to immerse himself in the simulation. This makes it easier to estimate sizes and distances. New, impressive display possibilities open up. Take part in one of our next webinars! There you will learn more about it.
Who creates such a model in our company?
The field of virtual commissioning is new to engineering science. Therefore, many companies do not have trained personnel with specific responsibilities in this field. Ideally, the responsible employee should be a "virtual mechanic" who understands how the plant works and at the same time has a basic understanding of PLC.
How quickly can a model be created?
This depends on the degree of idealization and the complexity of the plant or machine. Quickly checking a linked system for feasibility works in a few minutes. Several days must be invested in a detailed representation. This also depends on the database you can provide us with. This can best be clarified in a personal conversation.
Your personal contact person – for more clearness
You are a project or department manager and are faced with the question of how to set up a digital twin for your project? We would be happy to talk to you personally about your requirements, the time frame, the possible project approach and give you an initial cost estimate.