In cooperation with the Technical University (TU) of Dresden, Putzmeister has developed a simulation system based on open-source software. The project started in October 2008 and was finished in March 2010, with the first public presentation of the simulator at this year´s Bauma, Munich. Visitors of the Putzmeister stand had the opportunity to try the simulation of the Sika-PM 500 concrete spraying system on a large-format screen.
This Putzmeister inhouse-development is based on the software framework SARTURIS, provided by TU Dresden. The modular software framework was specially developed to simulate cross-linked subsystems of mobile working machines and vehicles in virtual surroundings. According to TU Dresden, the software provides improved methods for the development of more efficient, robust and flexible software systems for machine- and vehicle simulation.
The simulation system was developed as part of the research project INPROVY, carried out by the Chair of Construction Machines and Conveying Technology of TU Dresden in cooperation with Putzmeister and other companies from the sector, and supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The aim of the project is the development of completely virtual prototypes of mobile working machines, allowing the fast and flexible variation and evaluation of new components and machine concepts. The holistic simulation of machines reduces development costs as well as the consumption of resources, which is also beneficial for the environment.
The use of the simulation system during the development of the Sika-PM 500 allowed Putzmeister to take customer requirements into account and test them in early development stages already. Besides, the system can easily be reconfigured to be used as a training simulator and will now be used as such. The simulation works as follows: The signals of the original control unit of the Sika-PM 500 are converted into CAN-bus signals which are interpretable by the simulation software. The user controls the simulation model of the machine as well as the sprayed concrete. The results of the simulation are dynamically transmitted to the visualization model, consisting of Tunnel, Sika-PM 500 and sprayed concrete. In this way, an interactive simulation is created. According to Timo Penndorf, Putzmeister specialist for computation and simulation, who was involved in the development of the software, the distinctive feature of the simulation models is the fact that they consist of systems of differential equations which are calculated in real time. Penndorf points out that this improves the “degree of realness” considerably, for example as far as the afterbounce of the spraying arm is concerned.