Area of application

Process simulation and operator training are two of the key components of process automation: They help to minimize risks, reduce the lifecycle costs and improve the performance of both the process and the operator. A host of simulation options are available that differ in their functionality and cost. Each type of simulation is optimized with regard to certain objectives - and these may extend from the testing of hardware and software in the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) to the complete thermo-chemical simulation of a reaction process.

  • System Hardware Checkout

  • “Loopback” Testing

  • Configuration Logic Checkout

  • Process Simulation

  • Batch / Recipe Development

  • Operator Training

Modular Approach to Process Simulation

This modular approach uses a suite of products that have been designed to work together, which makes it very easy to add new simulation capabilities during different stages of the lifecycle of a plant. Thus, the simulation created for logic checkout at FAT can be re-used and adapted to create operator training and/or process simulation.

  •  SIMIT simulation framework for virtual commissioning. Models the devices controlled by the automation technology as well as the plant behavior in SIMATIC S7 or SIMATIC PCS 7 projects.

  •  Controller Simulator (PLCSim) – Simulates a controller for the functional testing and development of the automation software without controller hardware

  •  SIMBApro – For simulations of the I/O signal profile (on a conventional I/O and digital fieldbus) when testing the time control and system capacity

  •  External packages (such as HYSYS) - can be connected easily via OPC for the simulation of extended thermo-chemical reactions

A key to the efficient use of simulation packages is the seamless integration into the engineering of SIMATIC PCS 7. In the simulation packages mentioned above, the majority of the simulation can be generated by import/export from the engineering data or by means of the bulk engineering tools.

This minimizes the additional expense of engineering for generating the simulation and guarantees traceability between engineering data and simulation.


Numerous benefits can be achieved by leveraging simulation tools. Although often viewed as an additional up-front cost, an investment in simulation tools typically pays for itself quickly by providing benefits during the entire lifecycle of a plant.

These benefits can be achieved by leveraging the simulation options available for use with PCS 7:

  • Reduces Design and Installation Costs (while minimizing errors)

  • Compresses the time required for Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT)

  • Allows operators to be trained before touching a live system

  • Improves performance of operators - helping to prevent unplanned downtime and maximize yield

  • Reduces time required and risk associated with startup

  • Helps to optimize operations in order to minimize raw material usage and energy consumption

  • Allows thorough testing of configuration changes offline before installing on a running system

Design and functions

Controller Simulation with S7-PLCSIM

Using the S7-PLCSIM simulation software, user programs created with CFC/SFC can be tested on a PG/PC, regardless of whether the target hardware is available. The detection and elimination of errors is thus brought forward into an early phase of development. This results in faster commissioning, lower costs and better program quality.

S7-PLCSIM simulates a SIMATIC S7-CPU with the associated process images. The program to be tested is loaded into the simulated S7 CPU in a manner identical to the procedure with real hardware, and is executed there. S7-PLCSIM is completely integrated in STEP 7. Process data can be exchanged between S7-PLCSIM and other Windows applications via an interface.

The Information about SIMBApro FAT and SIMIT please find under Related Links