Comparative Study on Implementation of 3D Virtual Simulator System for Manufacturing Facilities Programming Education
Hyeon-Ho Seo1, Koo-Rack Park2, Dong-Hyun Kim3

1Hyeon-Ho Seo, Department of IT Convergence, Kongju National University,  Korea, East Asian.

2Koo-Rack Park, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, Kongju National University, Korea, East Asian.

3Dong-Hyun Kim, Department of Computer Engineering, Kongju National University, Korea, East Asian.

Manuscript received on 10 June 2019 | Revised Manuscript received on 17 June 2019 | Manuscript Published on 22 June 2019 | PP: 1072-1077 | Volume-8 Issue-8S2 June 2019 | Retrieval Number: H11820688S219/19©BEIESP

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Abstract: The Fourth Industrial Revolution has introduced the widespread automation of facilities in production manufacturing sites through PLC(Programmable Logic Controllers). While this has led to the construction of smart factories, technology for operating manufacturing facilities is insufficient, and there is an urgent need for PLC programming education. In this regard, this paper presents a virtual simulator model for PLC programming education that uses a simulator technique. Methods/Statistical analysis: Extending beyond factory automation, PLC is a key component of building smart factories and plays an integral role in manufacturing. However, most platforms for PLC education are represented in 2D, contributing too many difficulties in education and training. Moreover, PLC education is not realistic in places other than large-scale educational institutions. The development of 3D virtual facility simulators using physical engines has increased with improvements in PC performance. This trend has facilitated the implementation of systems using simulators for PLC programming learning, in which manufacturing facilities can be operated without huge costs. Findings: A type of controller widely used in the product manufacturing industry, PLC is a very effective system in terms of production cost and has proven reliable as well. This paper presents a virtual facility simulator comprising a physical engine. It consists of a simulator for displaying the correct answer for training and a simulator for displaying program written by the operator. The middleware is also configured to communicate the information of the correct answer program and inspection program to the virtual facility simulator and unique memory area. The start trigger function is embedded to enable the correct answer module and inspection module to start operation simultaneously, while the PLC Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is equipped with emulator functionality to enable program practice and testing even without a PLC. The model operates through a repeater that transmits signals between the test response module and the PLC emulator through a signal transmission module. This not only alleviates existing economic problems but also improves educational effectiveness in various aspects such as accessibility through online education, time-saving, and level of interest. Improvements/Applications: Amidst active discussions on engineering education, future studies should investigate mounting the correct answer module in not only PLC education simulators but also simulators of various other devices.

Keywords: PLC Programming, Ladder Diagram, 3D Virtual Simulator, Physical Engine, Middleware.
Scope of the Article: Cyber-Physical Systems