Siemens Partners with Modelon to Integrate Simulation Approaches
Jeffrey Rowe posted on January 16, 2019 |

Siemens PLM Software and Modelon have agreed to integrate Modelon's OPTIMICA Compiler Toolkit into Simcenter Amesim 17 as its default Modelica engine.

The partnership will allow Simcenter Amesim users to develop, reuse and integrate Modelica libraries with Simcenter Amesim native libraries for dynamic multi-physics systems modeling and its platform capabilities, such as performance or linear analysis. Users can benefit from the Simcenter Amesim solver and platform capabilities.

The steady-state solver capabilities of the OPTIMICA Compiler Toolkit enables reliable simulation for challenging physical models. (Image courtesy of Modelon.)
The steady-state solver capabilities of the OPTIMICA Compiler Toolkit enables reliable simulation for challenging physical models. (Image courtesy of Modelon.)

The agreement will let Simcenter Amesim users describe dynamic multi-physical systems in a dedicated environment, by directly writing Modelica code or by graphically assembling existing Modelica models.

Using optimized code generation capabilities of OPTIMICA Compiler Toolkit, importing Modelica models to Simcenter Amesim should be much easier. These models can be combined with Simcenter Amesim native libraries or simulated directly.

Both Modelica acausal (a system whose present response depends on future values of the inputs) and Simcenter Amesim causal (a system whose output depends on present and past inputs only and not on future inputs) approaches are now bridged in the same simulation environment while avoiding costly and error-prone co-simulation. Dedicated physical connectors based on Functional Mock-up Interface (FMI) physical ports concepts have been developed in order to ensure a robust interface between the two worlds.

Modelica is an open-source, object-oriented, equation-based language for modeling complex physical systems containing, for example, mechanical, electrical, electronic, hydraulic, thermal, control, electric power or process-oriented subcomponents.

According to Willy Bakkers, Vice President, Head of Simulation at Siemens PLM Software, "Through this strategic partnership with Modelon, we reaffirm our commitment to Simcenter Amesim openness. I am convinced that our customers will appreciate how straightforward it is to reuse Modelica models and mix Modelica-based and Simcenter Amesim-native components while avoiding co-simulation."

Functional Mock-up Interface

Functional Mock-up Interface (FMI) is a tool independent standard to support both model exchange and co-simulation of dynamic models using a combination of xml-files and compiled C-code.

The first version, FMI 1.0, was published in 2010, followed by FMI 2.0 in July 2014. FMI development was initiated by Daimler AG with the goal of improving the exchange of simulation models between suppliers and OEMs. Today, development of the standard continues through the participation of companies and research institutions under the umbrella of the Modelica Association as a Modelica Association Project. FMI is supported by over 100 tools and is used by automotive and other industries around the world.

The intent of development, standardization and promoting the FMI definition is that dynamic system models of different software systems can be used together for software/model/hardware-in-the-loop simulation, for cyber physical systems, and other applications.

Simcenter Amesim 17

Simcenter Amesim is a commercial simulation software for modeling and analyzing of multi-domain systems. It is part of systems engineering domain for mechatronic engineering.

Simcenter Amesim includes ready-to-use multi-physics libraries combined with application and industry-oriented solvers that are supported by powerful platform capabilities, for rapidly creating models and accurately performing analysis. It is an open environment that can be integrated into enterprise processes. The software can be easily coupled with major CAD, CAE and controls software packages, interoperate it with the FMI, Modelica, and connect it with other Simcenter solutions, Teamcenter and Excel.

The software suite of tools is used to model, analyze and predict the performance of mechatronic systems. Models are described using nonlinear time-dependent analytical equations that represent the system’s hydraulic, pneumatic, thermal, electric or mechanical behavior. Compared to 3D CAE modeling, this approach provides the capability to simulate the behavior of systems before detailed CAD geometry is available, so it is used earlier in the system design cycle or V-Model, also known as a verification and validation model which is based on the association of a testing phase for each corresponding development phase. 

To create a simulation model for a system, a set of libraries is used that contain pre-defined components for different physical domains. The icons in the system have to be connected and for this purpose each icon has ports which have several inputs and outputs. Causality is enforced by linking the inputs of one icon to the outputs of another icon (and vice versa).

The Simcenter Amesim software was developed by Imagine S.A. a company which was acquired in June 2007 by LMS International, which itself was acquired in November 2012 by Siemens AG.

Simcenter Amesim is a part of the Siemens PLM Software Simcenter portfolio that combines 1D simulation, 3D CAE and physical testing with intelligent reporting and data analytics. This portfolio provides a comprehensive solution for development of complex products that include smart systems, through implementing a predictive engineering analytics approach. Predictive engineering analytics integrate between and refine simulation and testing processes to improve collaboration between analysis teams that handle different applications.

Full Modelica functionality is supported in Simcenter Amesim. (Image courtesy of Siemens PLM Software.)
Full Modelica functionality is supported in Simcenter Amesim. (Image courtesy of Siemens PLM Software.)

Modelon OPTIMICA Compiler Toolkit

Modelon’s OPTIMICA Compiler Toolkit is an advanced Modelica-based mathematical engine for automating, simulating and optimizing system behaviors throughout the model-based design cycle.

The toolkit is a Modelica FMI-based platform for Model-Based Design that makes it easy to automate simulation and optimization of systems throughout the design cycle. Transient simulation, dynamic optimization and Model Predictive Control, steady-state simulations are all analyses that are supported by the toolkit. The platform natively supports Python and MATLAB for scripting, automation, and visualization for implementation of custom workflows.

In addition, an API is available to enable programmatic access to Modelica library code for analysis and custom applications.

The toolkit comes with advanced numerical solvers that offer high performance and reliability. In addition, diagnostic tools are provided to isolate and resolve numerical issues.

OPTIMICA is recognized as one of the most advanced Modelica-based mathematical engines on the market, built from the beginning to natively support the Modelica and FMI open standards. It offers an API, native open-standards compliance, and a broad range of solvers capable of transient, steady-state and dynamic optimization. OPTIMICA is the calculation engine behind a growing list of commercial system simulation platforms. 

The partnership between Modelon and Siemens will allow Simcenter users to use develop, reuse and integrate Modelica libraries with Simcenter Amesim native libraries for dynamic multi-physics systems modeling. As a result, Simcenter Amesim 17 will fully support the Modelica standard, benefit from optimized code generated by OPTIMICA, and continue utilization of the Simcenter Amesim solver for simulation while remaining compatible with all Simcenter Amesim platform capabilities. Additionally, support of Modelon industrial libraries will come in future Simcenter releases.

“We’re thrilled to start this journey with Siemens, and to see the continued success of our Modelon Inside strategy, which allows integration of Modelon technology into third-party software platforms,” said Magnus Gäfvert, CEO at Modelon. “With OPTIMICA as the Modelica engine of Simcenter Amesim, we’re confident Simcenter Amesim users will experience more flexibility and an overall improvement in their design and simulation processes.”

The Modelon functionality is available upon request in Simcenter Amesim 17 and will be delivered as standard in the forthcoming release in April 2019. With the partnership agreement, Siemens PLM Software and Modelon have laid the foundation of the partnership that will continue to be strengthened with the support of Modelon industrial libraries in future Simcenter Amesim releases.

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