Software developer Maplesoft, Waterloo, Ontario, recently entered into a partnership with B&R Industrial Automation Corp., Roswell, Ga., to make it easy for users of B&R's Automation Studio software to add physical modeling to their workflow. Now, Automation Studio users can quickly develop machine and system models using Maplesoft's MapleSim software and then transfer them to B&R's realtime platform using automatic code generation. Within Automation Studio, users can then design and test control strategies based on the virtual machine they have created.

First, the system model is developed in MapleSim using an extensive component library including rigid beams, masses, and revolute joints, then visualized using the integrated 3D engine and existing CAD data where needed. Next, the MapleSim Connector creates a Simulink function block from the physical model for both simulation and code generation. At this point, MapleSim optimizes differential-equation code to accelerate runtimes without reducing model accuracy. This test verifies physical model mechanics developed in MapleSim during simulation with a control algorithm implemented in Simulink.

Finally, the model is transferred to B&R's X20 series industrial hardware by a push of a button, triggering implementation of a hardware-in-the-loop model on the controller. The latter emulates the demonstration system, so can be used for realtime simulation, training, or functional demonstrations. For more information, visit maplesoft.com or br-automation.com.