This page intends to help you get started with PlantSim, providing you with a few simple and easy to follow, steps. Read the instructions below, or, if you prefer, watch the video to see how easy and enjoyable it is to use PlantSim.
Download the latest version of PlcSim and extract the zip archive to a folder of choice.
Plant model selection
PlantSim allows the simulation of a variety of plant models. To select a plant model to work with:
go to Options -> Plant or press F8.
A window opens with a list of the available plant models. Double click a row in the table to use the corresponding model.
Hint: To install a new plant model, drag and drop its DLL-file onto this window.
PlantSim does not communicate with S7-PLCSIM directly. Instead, a server application, PLCSIM-Server, is used, which is supplied together with PlantSim. This way two workflows are possible:
- Local – the development of the control software, as well as its testing with the simulated plant model, are taking place on a single workstation. This workflow is suitable for single developers;
- Remote – writing and testing take place on separate workstations on the network. This workflow is suitable to separate the roles of a developer and a tester.
To set up the connection to the server,
go to Options -> Server or press F7.
A window opens with the available server settings. In the Communication section, it is possible to set the:
- IP Address – the IP address of the PLCSIM-Server. Defaults to 127.0.0.1 (localhost) for the local workflow. For the remote workflow, please enter the IP address of the workstation running the PLCSIM-Server;
- Port Number – the number of the port, on which the PLCSIM-Server is awaiting connections. Defaults to 1234, regardless of the workflow.
Additionally, in the Base Address section, it is possible to set the:
- Inputs – the starting address of the digital inputs (DI) module of the PLC, as set up in the hardware configuration of the project in Simatic Manager;
- Outputs – the starting address of the digital outputs (DO) module of the PLC, as set up in the hardware configuration of the project in Simatic Manager.
For the local workflow, please start PLCSIM-Server directly from PlantSim:
Go to Server -> Start or press F6.
This opens the console window of PLCSIM-Server. The server is ready to accept connections if the following message is shown:
Awaiting connection on port X…
For the remote workflow, please start the server on the remote workstation manually:
To be able to proceed further with PlantSim, a running instance of S7-PLCSIM is required. Please consult the Simatic Manager’s manual about starting S7-PLCSIM and downloading a STEP 7 program to it.
Connecting to PLCSIM-Server
Once both S7-PLCSIM and PLCSIM-Server are running
go to Server->Connect or press F5
to establish a connection.
Testing the control software
At this point, everything should be up and running. S7-PLCSIM is executing your STEP 7 program with the model from PlantSim as a plant. If the model has control elements, such as switches and knobs, you might want to go on and operate them to affect the simulation.
To achieve the desired plant behavior, feel free to alter your STEP 7 program in Simatic Manager and download it again into S7-PLCSIM as many times as you need.
Restarting the simulation
Depending on the model you are using, it might be necessary at some point to re-run the simulation. To do that