Emulate3D develops software products for the development, sale, and deployment of automated material handling and production systems. Our market comprises companies planning investments in automated material handling systems, companies offering these systems, both original equipment manufacturers and integrators, and academic institutions. Emulate3D products are used to model, analyse and improve a wide range of systems from order picking lines to assembly lines, from pallet handling and sorting layouts to high speed box sorters and complex warehousing systems, not forgetting airport baggage handling systems.
Emulate3D breaks new ground in 3D industrial modelling with its realistic physics-based virtual world, producing results which are both original and captivating. The success of Emulate3D’s products is due in no small part to the intuitive way in which dynamic models can be built and run; users are unaware of the underlying system complexities, and behaviour such as box collisions is often “emergent”, or unplanned, but visually credible.
A 2014 Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category was awarded for the Emulate3D Controls Testing products, which apply the innovative modelling environment to the testing of industrial control systems. Despite the widespread use of standard components in industrial systems, customer-specific requirements make each one a prototype in need of comprehensive and thorough testing. Decisions taken at the design stage determine the cost of ownership, throughput, flexibility, and ease of use and maintenance of the resulting system, and central to this is the control system. Emulate3D connects to control systems from a wide range of manufacturers including Siemens, Allen-Bradley, and Mitsubishi PLCs using their native protocols, and provides tag connections for Modbus and Excel.
Control systems react to changes in inputs which are signalled to them via sensors, and they change output values as a result of these changes. Inputs may indicate the presence of a load (like a box or a suitcase), or read a barcode value or a weight. Outputs can switch motors on and off, activate pushers, or start a machine cycle, for example. Verifying that a control system will operate correctly under a wide range of conditions has traditionally been time consuming, complex, and therefore expensive. As it is carried out in an industrial environment, it is often also uncomfortable and sometimes even dangerous.
By connecting a real control system to an Emulate3D Controls Testing model, users have an accurate test bed to carry out testing before going on site. In addition, this testing phase can be carried out in parallel with other aspects of the project, and is no longer hurriedly executed before handover and therefore often victim to other project delays. This controlled and repeatable approach results in more thoroughly tested systems, completed in less time, and without physical risk to man or machine. Further benefits include a reduction in the variability of the project duration, which means projects can be more accurately priced and scheduled than was previously possible.
Emulate3D continues to work in partnership with our users and distributors to develop and improve advanced engineering products which are straightforward and intuitive for new or occasional users; provide tangible benefits to all users, and which offer the robust development framework and flexibility that our most advanced users require.
Reading Enterprise Centre, Earley Gate, Reading RG6 6BU
Tel: +44 (0)118 935 7388
Above: The Emulate3D support and development team.
Below: Emulate3D controls testing saves time and money at system commissioning. Bottom-left: Airport baggage handling system
integrators produce robust controls with Emulate3D. Bottom-right: Machine builders use Emulate3D to develop safe solutions, fast…