Today I posted an blog article about why Unity is a better choice than the standard tools. You can find the full article in LinkedIn (sorry it is currently only in German).

This week we released a new version (Release 173) of Game4Automation. It includes now the possibility to save camera views and in the demo model some views are saved with the buttons F1,F2,F3. 

Since end of February Game4Automation includes all necessary interfaces to support all types of Siemens Automation controllers and Systems. With the Simit Interface Simit and Profibus and Profinet can be directly connected to Game4Automation.

The PLCSim-Advanced interface enables the use of the virtual S7-1500 Siemens PLCs. And with our S7-TCPIP Interface any kind of Siemens hardware controller like S7-300, S7-400, S7-1200, S7-1500, Simotion and Sinumerik can be connected directly over TCP-IP – without the need of additional software or hardware to Unity. Please check our Youtube channel for tutorial videos about the interfaces. 

We also released the full documentation. You can check https://game4automation.com/documentation for the latest version. Still not everything is documented but this will happen in the next  weeks.

What’s the plan for the next weeks and months?

One of the important next steps is to implement the OPC-UA interface. We already started with this and I think we can deliver it around mid of April. In parallel we are preparing to get Game4Automation into the Unity Asset Store. Even if the Asset Store is currently not the place where you find a lot of engineering solutions, I strongly believe that this is going to happen in the future. And we are going to be one of the first companies who are supporting that.

We are also planning to implement into Game4Automation primarily simulation related functions for enabling the use of Game4Automation for sales and systems design. As one of the first steps we are planning to integrate into Game4Automation a system for path based movements. This could be used for anything like conveyor systems, agv-systems or even little things like chains for the tools in a machining center.

Unity is going to release a lot of cool new features. The most important ones for Game4Automation is the real-time rendering which will increase again the visual quality of the simulation (you can see examples on an cooperation with BMW here: https://unity.com/ray-tracing. As soon as this new feature is available (around end of this year we will test and implement it).

Another important new feature is the new Data-Oriented Technology Stack (DOTS – see https://unity.com/dots). This will enable the use of multiple cores and the C# job system. This will boost the performance again and thousands of movable objects are going to be possible without problems. We are going to transfer Game4Automation step by step in the next months with the so called hybrid approach to the new system.



This new tutorial in youtube shows how Simit from Siemens can be connected to Unity based on the Game4Automation Framework for Simulation, Virtual Commissioning and 3D HMI.

The 3D machine model can be simulated, including physics, in Unity. Whereas  the Interface to the PLC (Profibus or Profinet for example) and the detailled behaviour model of the components can be simulated in Simit.


We are happy to announce that the first version of the Game4Automation framework based on Unity is released. It has been a tough race. The framework can be used for machinery sales demonstrators, simulation, virtual commissioning, training systems and 3D HMI for the machinery. Please check Youtube for a demo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjiG-6DoMnA&t=51s

The framework itself is available under Apache 2.0 Shareware license. This means that you do not need to pay any license fee for using it. It can be downloaded, if you subscribe for the Game4Automation framework. The applicable subscription fee is a service charge for getting your access to the download and documentation platform. You can already start for 20€. You can subscribe here: https://game4automation.com/registrieren.

Please note, that this is the first version and that we are continuously working on the next releases. The documentation is still under construction and will be finalized the next 2 weeks. The current version is providing a Shared Memory Interface to Simit. This is a perfect fit for Virtual Commissioning. With Simit as a gateway it is possible to connect Siemens PLCSim Advanced and any any Profinet or Profibus equipped automation like Sinumerik or Simotion. In the next upcoming releases of Game4Automation we will also provide direct connections to automation controllers.

The plans for the next upcoming releases, which will be available for everybody who is subscribed, are in short term period (next 4 weeks):

  • Integration of PLCSim Advanced and S7-TCPIP interfaces for connection to virtual and real Siemens PLCs (like S7-300 and S7-1500 as well as Simotion and Sinumerik) - CAD Live Link and Update functionality based on PIXYZ
  • Extended Documentation and Youtube tutorials

In a long term period (next 3-6 months)

  • OPC-UA Interface for connection to Non-Siemens Controllers
  • Beckoff ADS Interface
  • Interfaces to Robot-Controllers like KUKA Office Lite, Fanuc Roboguide and ABB Robotstudio
  • Enhanced UI Components
  • Automation-ML Interface
  • Solidworks integration

We would appreciate to get feedback about your experience with Game4Automation. This will help us to improve our product continuously. Please use our support forum for public feedback or private messages at https://game4automation.userecho.com/.


Today we released a new video showing the Game4Automation features and functions like

  • Adding Sensors and Drives to the 3D Modell
  • Connecting the Sensors and Drives to PLC-Signals
  • Testing the Digital Twin with Virtual Commissioning
  • Extending the functions with C# logic based on Unity's API
  • Defining Animations and Camera Movements based on Unity's Cinemachine and to use it for sales and marketing
  • Adding UI Elements like buttons and lamps to the virtual machine (for example for using it as 3D HMI)
  • Deploying the Digital Twin to any platform like Windows, IOs or android and to deliver it license cost free

 


Are you still using old fashioned Engineering tools like NX Mechatronics Concept Designer, Industrial Physics or Virtuos for Concept Design, Simulation and Virtual Commissioning?
Do you want to do more? Do you want to be able to use one model for High-End 3D Videos and Presentations, Augmented Reality, Virtual Commissioning and 3D HMI? Do you want to deliver your own Digital Twin to customers without the need to pay license fees? Do you want to be able to do with your Virtual Machine everything what is possible in Games?
Check our first Youtube Video about Game4Automation here: https://youtu.be/SckAF_j2F2Q. It shows the Demo model of the Game4Automation Shareware Framework based on Unity.



First Beta will be released about end of January 2019.