Simulation in control engineering: key benefits

The use of simulation in control engineering can enable businesses to try out new and innovative methods without causing too much unnecessary risk to the company. Businesses need to change and adapt their approach to meet the needs of their customers; however, the issue of risk can prevent them becoming as innovative as they might otherwise be.

Simulation in control engineering

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A real-world example

When businesses want to try out new electrical control components, doing so through a simulation process can allow them to replicate how a problem would pan out and give them the opportunity to assess the potential problem in a secure and controlled way.

Companies can put in different variables to see how this will impact the output, without putting the business at too much risk. A wide range of decisions can be trialled in this way to ensure that they are feasible before being rolled out on a wider scale.

Cost savings

One of the areas in which simulation can help is the implementation of new methods of working that will save a business money and make them more efficient. In the crude oil sector, for example, one company that employed a simulation exercise managed to achieve around $85m (£59m) in cost savings over the course of a year by helping it to manage a shortfall in its throughput and achieve better revenue performance.

Quick to implement

When businesses are trying out new scenarios through simulations, including the use of new electrical control systems from suppliers such as Osmelectrical, this can be implemented within four to six weeks rather than the four to six months it would generally take if using traditional software.

This can be achieved as the models used have the right amount of detail and modern computers can process information far quicker, providing real-world results in a relatively short time frame.

Simulation challenges

There are many benefits to simulation exercises but there can also be challenges involved, such as the process shutting down when errors occur and employees not understanding the software correctly.

Simulation is becoming a key area of control engineering and the development of new systems. As more businesses understand the value it can bring to them, the use of simulation will continue to grow and bring about benefits in a risk-free environment.

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