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Entry type: Application example Entry ID: 109754823, Entry date: 02/27/2018
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Digitalization with TIA Portal: Virtual Commissioning by basic behavior modeling with SIMATIC S7-PLCSIM Advanced

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The Crosslink application enables an exchange of the IO data between two instances of a virtual Controller from S7-PLCSIM Advanced.

With the SIMATIC S7-PLCSIM Advanced virtual controllers for the simulation of a S7-1500 or ET 200SP CPU are created and used for the comprehensive simulation of functions. Therefore no real controllers are required to test a STEP 7 program.

The virtual controllers can also be tested and validated in the context of a system or machine. The application programming interface (API) allows manipulating the IOs and is used to connect the virtual controller to a virtual model of a machine or plant. Depending on the validation questions that should be answered by the simulation, a virtual model of a machine or plant can include two components:

  • Simulation of the physical behavior, for e.g. realized with NX Mechatronic Concept Designer
  • Behavior simulation of active components like for example drive or valves 

One possibility to realize simple behavior models is to use STEP 7 and simulate it in an own PLCSIM Advanced instance.

This application example provides a crosslink application (here called "Crosslink"), which deals as an IO signal exchange unit between two instances of the virtual controller via API of the PLCSIM Advanced. One instance is in charge of the plant control and the second instance simulates the device behavior. This is the basis to develop own behavior models in STEP 7 and connect them to the program that shall be validated.


In this documentation the usage of the crosslink application is demonstrated by the following two use cases:

  • Simulation of a valve control with ET 200SP IOs and a CPU 1511-1PN
  • Simulation of a conveyor controlled by SINAMICS V90 drive and a CPU 1511-1PN

Advantages of the application example

  • Comprehensive simulation of controller functionality with SIMATIC S7-PLCSIM Advanced
  • Connection of virtual models of machine functionality via open API depending on requirements and application
  • Generation of a digital twin with equivalent inputs/outputs as test bench

Restrictions of the application example

  • No library for behavior models available. Engineering effort has to be spent to create behavior models, depending of the model complexity
  • Limited to SIMATIC S7-1500 applications
  • STEP 7 behavior models cannot be migrated to SIMIT

Documentation and Project 

  Documentation (2,1 MB)

 Registrierung notwendig  Crosslink application (435,2 KB)
SHA-256 checksum: 5BCD36D3DA677E503787ECB83981F18C42DD4CC973CD1FB49D4AF3877B10EF33
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 Registrierung notwendig  Sample project simulating a valve control with STEP 7 V14 SP1 (TIA Portal) (6,4 MB)

 Registrierung notwendig  Sample project simulating a SINAMICS V90 drive with STEP 7 V14 SP1 (TIA Portal) (6,3 MB)

Further Information 
Digitalization with SIMATIC TIA Portal

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