Early Validation of Automation Plant Control Software using Simulation Based on Assumption Modeling and Validation Use Cases

Veronika Brandstetter, Andreas Froese, Bastian Tenbergen, Andreas Vogelsang, Jan Christoph Wehrstedt, Thorsten Weyer

Abstract


In automation plants, technical processes must be conducted in a way that products, substances, or services are produced reliably, with sufficient quality and with minimal strain on resources. A key driver in conducting these processes is the automation plant’s control software, which controls the technical plant components and thereby affects the physical, chemical, and mechanical processes that take place in automation plants. To this end, the control software of an automation plant must adhere to strict process requirements arising from the technical processes, and from the physical plant design. Currently, the validation of the control software often starts late in the engineering process in many cases – once the automation plant is almost completely constructed. However, as widely acknowledged, the later the control software of the automation plant is validated, the higher the effort for correcting revealed defects is, which can lead to serious budget overruns and project delays. In this article we propose an approach that allows the early validation of automation control software against the technical plant processes and assumptions about the physical plant design by means of simulation. We demonstrate the application of our approach on the example of an actual plant project from the automation industry and present it’s technical implementation

Keywords:

Automation technology; process plants; context modeling; simulation; vali-dation; executable requirements; assumptions

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DOI: 10.7250/csimq.2015-4.04

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