The VEL-HiL setup is the part of the Virtual Engineering Lab that physically connects the digital twin to the outside world. The wide range of available EtherCAT I/O terminals and fieldbus gateways enables flexible, application-specific configuration of the VEL-HiL setup.

In the course of an engineering project, FLUIDON procures the terminal hardware for the customer and configures it for coupling to the customer's control system (ECU, PLC, ...).

After an introductory training, the customer is able to use the Virtual Engineering Lab for independent development work after project completion.

Application examples for the HiL setup

Control development

  • Development and testing of the program logic
  • Application engineers can validate the code against a "physical" behaviour of the virtual machine
  • Interference effects (shaking, delay, overshoot, ...) can be eliminated by a correct control strategy
  • Machine-related errors that cannot be corrected by software are detected early enough

Real-time 3D visualisation

  • Direct visual feedback of system behaviour
  • Simplifies the didactic communication of facts and figures
  • Further use for marketing purposes possible

Human-machine interface (HMI)

  • Can be connected like a controller due to the VEL's flexible interface
  • Allows direct interaction with the virtual machine
  • Machine operators can evaluate the machine
  • Training of machine operators without physical access to the real machine

VR goggles

  • Significantly improved user experience when operating the virtual machine
  • Intuitive operation and more direct feedback for evaluating machine behaviour


The VEL-SiL setup is the part of the Virtual Engineering Lab that enables the digital twin to exchange data with applications from a wide range of manufacturers in automation technology via OPC UA coupling.

SiL with OPC UA

The video describes the preparation and execution of an OPC UA based SiL simulation between the plant simulation with the FLUIDON VEL and a control development program.

The open, platform-independent communication standard OPC UA is flexibly scalable for the respective requirements and enables the project-specific use of the VEL.

The OPC UA coupling can be used for two application scenarios:

  • Real-time SiL: If a real-time capable plant model is available, then the VEL is directly linked to an OPC server.
  • Triggered SiL: If the plant model is not real-time capable, the VEL can still be used for an OPC UA coupling. A trigger variable is used to synchronize the simulation with the control program.

The developers of the VEL will be happy to advise you on the design and implementation of an SiL-OPC UA coupling.

A communication library is also available for DSHplus, which realizes a direct coupling of the animated DSHplus simulation with an application for automation technology by means of OPC DA.

SiL with OPC DA

The video describes the preparation and execution of an OPC DA based SiL simulation between the plant simulation with DSHplus and a control development program.

The OPC DA standard is increasingly being replaced by the OPC UA standard in industrial practice. FLUIDON currently supports the OPC DA coupling for existing customers for compatibility reasons.