The industrial landscape is increasingly getting more complex with heterogeneous systems and components operating to meet the dynamic needs of the market. A typical plant floor is exposed to several constraints and scenarios, most of which cannot be even dreamt of in the labs where these systems are built. This trend is not going to slow down anytime soon. Utthunga comes to the rescue of industrial product and solution builders by virtue of our Simulator Framework, uSimulate. uSimulate accelerates the development of custom simulation systems that aid the testing and validation of products and solutions.
The business value that our simulator frameworks offers is not just deep customization as per your need but also faster time to market for your products. Our deep understanding of the factory and process automation systems allows us to continuously extend the framework to simulate additional industrial protocols, devices, and network.
Utthunga’s uSimulate Framework
uSimulate framework is a ready-to-use framework to simulate communication protocols, field devices, control equipment, process flow and network traffic. Built ground up to provide a complete simulation solution, the framework reduces complexity, development and testing effort to create state of the art simulation tools and digital twins.
The framework comes with pluggable software modules like protocol handler, simulation engine, device model, etc. On top of these modules customizations for individual protocols and devices as well as simulation logic can be implemented to create a complete simulation solution to meet your need.
This simple to use and intuitive framework includes:
- Custom business logic implementation
- Comprehensive configuration tool
- Test Application for testing the simulator itself
The uSimulate Framework can be used to develop simulators in two flavors: PC based and Embedded.
PC based Simulator
In this flavor of the simulator, the framework is built on .NET 4.5 SP1 and can simulate devices on a standard Windows 7 & above PC. Multiple devices can be simulated on the same PC with multiple simulator instances. The number of instances are dependent on hardware, memory, and available communication ports.
- Protocol Support: TCP/Non-TCP, Serial, bus-based
- Simulation algorithms
- Customized WPF Smart Controls for faster UI design
- Plug & Play Scheduler, DataSource, Channel, DB Model modules
- SQLite or XML to store configurations
- Customized Log4Net for data logging including application state, errors etc.
- Localization support
Utthunga provides embedded version of the simulator that includes simulation software embedded in the hardware with serial communication capability. This simulator can be used for simulating various protocols and devices. We provide design, development and testing services to build custom solution including configuration and the diagnostic tools that communicate with the embedded simulator over TCP port.
- Protocol Support: HART, Profibus, DeviceNet, Ethernet/IP, PROFINET, FF
- TCP port for serial communication
- PC-based configuration & diagnostic tool
- Simulate multiple devices
- Custom solutions for configuration and diagnostic tools
Utthunga has deep knowledge of industrial protocols and the industrial domain. That combined with the superior software and hardware technical competence equips Utthunga to build simulator solutions that would best serve the customer. When you engage with us to develop a simulator solution, or pick up an existing proven product/solution, you get the following advantages:
Faster time to market: uSimulate is a 70% ready simulator framework. Specific customizations for a new solution can be developed, tested and delivered adhering to project schedules. Since the uSimulate framework is being upgraded continuously (given the stream of new solution requirements), very often the customer needs are met out of the existing codebase.
Customization: Given the modular architecture of the framework customizations specific to the customer can be made easily resulting in quick turnaround time and reduced testing effort (~50%). In cases where a specific customer customization is deemed to be beneficial to other customers as well, the change is made at the framework layer, this way customers (new and old) benefit from continuously upgraded product.
Expertise in all layers of the industrial devices, protocols, communications and network. Our deep knowledge of the industry standards helps to follow a mature and secure development process with field tested accelerators and frameworks.
Understanding of various domains including process, power and discrete industries. We helps in bringing the various distinctions of multiple deployment scenarios, network configurations, etc. to the solution.
Deployment: Our expert engineers will guide the customer through every step of the way to ensure the simulator fits into the planned test/deployment scenario. Where a prior experience is missing, we work in a close co-development mode with the customer, and/or hiring 3rd party consultants to bring the domain expertise.
Simulator Framework Applications
Simulators are gaining acceptance as an integral part of the design and development of industrial product and solutions. Utthunga’s uSimulate accelerator helps in developments of customized simulation tools. Some of the real uses cases or applications of uSimulate include:
Virtual testing and validation of industrial assets
The simulation models verify and validate the host systems under normal and extreme operational conditions for various parameters like control loops, safety functions, alarms and events notiﬁcations, fault responses etc. They can be used to verify performance, scalability, response time etc. of the host systems during product engineering and system engineering.
- Verify control systems, AMS systems, conﬁgurators, calibrators, diagnostic / test and measurement equipments
- Verify interoperability across diﬀerent versions, make, models and device types
The simulator application can be used for virtual commissioning of systems in the lab with the actual addresses of the ﬁeld devices. This helps to minimize the time spent in the plant for commissioning. It can be used for pre FAT for customers to gain conﬁdence during the commissioning phase.
Service & Support
The application can be used to reproduce the conditions causing a ﬁeld problem. This helps to provide quick turnaround with solution to customers during support and service.
Training & Education
As part of operational training and situational preparedness activities, it can be used during the creation of training and demonstration material, videos.
The applications can be used in live demonstration of the product capabilities of host systems, diagnostics equipments in webinars, in experience centers, and exhibitions.
1. How many separate instances of the protocol or device simulator can I run on the same PC?
This depends on the PC configuration. Simulator does not have any limitation as there are no shared modules exist.
2. I need to simulate 2000 Modbus (TCP) slaves with 10 parameters each. Is that possible?
3. Can a custom data simulation algorithm be added?
Yes. Framework has already built in support to simulation of fixed value, toggling data, sine & random values and has flexibility to add any custom algorithm for simulation.
4. We have a proprietary protocol that needs to be simulated. What detailed information is required from us and how long would it take to develop the custom simulator application using Utthunga’s uSimulate?
uSimulate enables custom simulator development. We need the protocol specification and target environment details to build the simulator. Our engineer will closely work with you to know your precise requirements and shall provide the probable solution details along with the schedule.