The Machine’s Digital Twin in the Simulator
In the first step, the machine to be tested is reproduced as a software model, incorporating all of the technical specifications, which include dimensions, engine performance data, support structure strength, weight distribution, the angles at which the jibs move, jib length and much more. The physical laws of mechanics, hydraulics and electronics such as forces, pressures and control signals are integrated into the software as mathematical equations. And thus, a digital twin is created.
In the next step, the simulator with the digital twin is connected to the electronic control units that control machine operation. A specialist operates the numerous controllers and joysticks, which are also connected to the control units. An animated 3D graphic reproduces all of the machine’s movements on a display.
The HiL simulator test reveals the level of precision with which the control unit and machine work together, and how sensitive the control elements such as joysticks are. Modern heavy equipment features a whole host of sensors, which register values such as the torque and acceleration of the jibs, pressure, the weight applied to the cables, and the incline of the ground below the machine. Here, too, the simulation shows whether the sensor-based communication between the machine and control unit is precise and instantaneous. Technical faults can also be simulated. For example, what happens if a cable breaks at a joint or there is a loss of pressure in the lifting element hydraulics?