HIL Simulation of a Towing Tank

Apr 11, 2017

Controllab has successfully carried out a HIL simulation with the Siemens platform. A simulation of a towing tank carriage was coupled to a Siemens Simotion Controller containing a new control system. The HIL simulation enabled VSE to design and implement the control system in a record braking time.


The Seakeeping and Manoeuvering Basin of the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) allows model ships to run independently in waves, followed by a towing tank carriage containing measurement equipment. The carriage has been refitted by VSE with a state of the art control system. Controllab has tested this control system using its Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) simulation technology.


The HIL simulator was based on 20-sim. 20-sim is a package for the modeling and simulation of machines like MARIN’s towing carriage. Controllab has created an module for 20-sim that allows it to be coupled to PLC systems like the Siemens Simotion Controller. By coupling the HIL simulator with the newly developed control system, all kinds of tests could be carried out. This allowed VSE to solve various errors and gradually increase the quality of its control system. It also allowed VSE to run scenario’s that would potentially damage the real carriage and see if the control system would prevent this. Using HIL simulation, 90% of the FMEA could be carried out, weeks before the actual implementation of the control system.



The refit by VSE was a complete success. Implementation of the hardware and the testing of the controller software was carried out within time and within budget.