Allseas - Pipelay

HIL-testing a steel crane


A paper has been presented by TATA Steel on the use of digital twins for steel manufacturing. As Hans Pronk explains in the paper, “In the steel industry complex processes are planned for automation such as hot metal pouring from a torpedo to ladle or crane movements. In IJmuiden we started discussing how a simulator could help us. We came to the conclusion that Controllab was the best place to start this development. We decided to take the most critical crane we have.

Controllab started to build the basic model with an already existing 3D point cloud of the area, adding extra details for cranes, cars and ladles. All the weights, speeds and other physics of the crane and equipment are included in this model to have the same behavior as in reality. The model interacts with a real Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), comparable to the PLC of the loading crane.


The HIL simulator (digital model) is now an important tool for testing and adjusting new software. It is used not only for the medium loading crane, but also for the initial testing of new software for other cranes in this area. Instead of understanding complicated software rules and parameters, it is easy to see the result of changing a rule or parameter. New software engineers can be trained on the job and are allowed to make mistakes without serious consequences. “

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HIL-Simulation for Barges with Mooring Lines