Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Figure 3. Plant simulation in ITS PLC. From left to right: sorting, batching, palletizer, pick & place and
automated warehouse training systems
tems for training in automation. Using modern
computer video games technology, it emulates
five fully interactive industrial plants representing
the most common PLC programming challenges
in industry: sorting, batching, palletizing, pick
and place and automated storage and retrieval -
Figure 3. The mission of the trainees is to control
these systems by devising and programming the
correct control algorithms. Yet, at a higher level,
ITS PLC is also very useful in training HMI (Hu-
man Machine Interface) design and programming,
SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisi-
tion), MES (Manufacturing Executing Systems)
and even ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)
systems (Kulga & Gilfanov, 2002) and (Mertins,
Rabe & Gocev, 2008).
ITS PLC uses modern video game technology
for the real-time 3D graphics, physics and sound.
This transports the trainees to a synthetic but
convincing 3D world where they can freely and
easily navigate, enjoying all the details and func-
tionalities of each machine while discovering a
way to control it. The fully Interactivity of ITS
PLC allows trainees to interact with virtual objects
in a very similar way as they would in the real
world, where the 3D sound contributes to the
quality of the simulation making the experience
even more pleasant and convincing. Surprisingly,
to run ITS PLC it is not required a powerful
computer. Any modern computer running Win-
dows will do. An USB port is the gateway that
dissociates synthetic and real words. In fact,
synthetic system include virtual sensors and ac-
tuators that exchange data in real-time with the
external PLC through an USB DAQ (Data Ac-
quisition Board) - Figure 4. This option is very
interesting as it provides a plug and play func-
tionality that makes ITS PLC extremely portable
and compatible with desktops, laptops and even
netbooks.
Figure 4. ITS PLC interface with the external controller
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