Virtual Engineering of an Automated Plant
The Fraunhofer IFF developed a complete plant that manufactures water filters from special membranes for a major chemical company. The function of machinery and complicated process steps as well as the layout and product parameters were first developed, tested and optimized in extensive simulations. Once it had been validated, the plant was built. The control engineering was largely developed on the virtual model before the plant physically existed. This made it possible to keep the tight plant construction schedule and minimized development risk.
The basic stages of the process run automatically in the first plant; prep work is still done manually. The next plants will produce water filters fully automatically. Virtual engineering will play an important role in their development, too.