Overall system simulation
Under overall system simulation (short GSS) or cross-domain simulation of complex mechatronic systems refers to the simulation of the behavior of an entire system. The focus here is not on individual components and their detailed physical behavior, but on their interactions with other components, which together represent an entire system.
Today's systems and products are increasingly being developed with the support of simulation software. These increase the efficiency of the development tools and enable an almost constant development time despite the sharp increase in product complexity. This is exactly the problem that is faced in the field of control unit development. Increasing product complexity in the context of Industry 4.0 consists in networking systems with one another, increasing their intelligence and thus creating cyber-physical systems. These functionalities are mainly implemented on the control units of the systems, as a large amount of data is exchanged, on the basis of which decisions are made. In order to efficiently test this functionality before the system is released, the control development department uses techniques from the area of model-based development, the so-called "X-in-the-Loop" technologies.
In the context of the development of control units for intelligent technical systems, “X-in-the-Loop” technologies are increasingly being used. For this purpose, simulation models are created that represent the behavior of the overall system. Depending on the requirements of these models, different modeling depths are mapped. Both physical laws and implicit system knowledge are used to create the models. As part of a MiL simulation, first drafts of the system and the associated control are developed and detailed in the further course of the design methodology. This ensures that the first prototype of the control unit has already undergone several iterative optimization runs and is of significantly higher quality. The time savings potential that the system simulation enables becomes clear here: Virtual system behavior for designing and testing controls in order to accelerate iterations in development and to save prototypes.
Another field of application for overall system simulation is virtual commissioning . Here, too, virtual images of real systems are used to carry out spatial planning, virtually examine production processes and examine logistical processes before commissioning. Here, too, the use of the overall system simulation offers the possibility of detecting and correcting errors before commissioning, without time-consuming tests having to be carried out on the real system.