The commissioning of a production cell is very critical: errors committed during this phase have considerably high relevance in terms of money and time waste. Virtual commissioning allows to save time by parallelizing the design phase and the commissioning phase; also, it prevents from eventual damages to the real hardware system.
Concerning virtual commissioning of robotic cells, many software applications already exist. However, they are optimized for the single elements (robots, PLCs, etc.): a comprehensive approach involving both robot(s) and PLC(s) is missing. We developed a software tool that allows to create an organic simulation environment where robot and PLC programs can be tested simultaneously, enabling a consistent and holistic virtual commissioning of the whole cell.