Increasingly, real-time simulation is applied to the design of mechatronic systems. This is especially true if the process, the hardware, and the software are developed simultaneously in order to minimize iterative development cycles and to meet short time-to-market schedules.
“For the design and testing of complex control systems and their algorithms under real-time constraints, a real-time controller simulation with hardware other than the final series production hardware may be performed. The process, the actuators, and sensors can then be real. This is called control prototyping”.
However, partsof the process or actuators may be simulated, resulting in a mixture of HIL-simulation and controlprototyping.
The advantages are mainly:
a. Early development of signal processing methods, process models, and control system structure, including algorithms with high level software and high performance off-the-shelf hardware;
b. Testing of signal processing and control systems, together with other design of actuators, process parts, and sensor technology, in order to create synergetic effects;
c. Reduction of models and algorithms to meet the requirements of cheaper mass production hardware;
d. Defining the specifications for final hardware and software.