Keyur B

Keyur B

March 23, 2023 8 minutes to read

Revolutionizing Manufacturing: The Power of Virtual Commissioning

Revolutionizing Manufacturing: The Power of Virtual Commissioning

The world of manufacturing and logistics is becoming more and more fast-paced, with companies facing intense pressure to stay ahead of the competition. To stay afloat, many organizations are turning to automation systems to streamline their processes. But with such sophisticated technology comes great responsibility – the task of getting these systems to work seamlessly can be a complex and challenging one.

Enter Virtual Commissioning, a game-changing solution for challenges in the manufacturing industry. With Virtual Commissioning, companies can save time and resources by testing and fixing any issues with the control software before it is even connected to the real system. This is made possible by utilizing Digital Twin modelling and virtual commissioning, which allows for testing, debugging, and validation to be done from the comfort of a computer. Imagine the time and effort that can be saved by catching any errors and fixing them before they even have a chance to cause problems on the factory floor. Virtual Commissioning can save nearly two-thirds of the commissioning time that would normally be spent fixing issues on site. By eliminating the need for on-site commissioning, companies can minimize downtime, reduce costs, and increase efficiency.

In order to streamline manufacturing processes and stay ahead of the curve, consider the power of Virtual Commissioning. With its ability to simplify and optimize the commissioning process, it’s the key to unlocking a world of opportunities for the business.

What is Virtual Commissioning?

Virtual commissioning takes the guesswork out of manufacturing by using cutting-edge simulation technology to design, install, and test automation systems before putting the actual hardware to use. Imagine being able to optimize a robot’s deployment, troubleshoot issues, and fine-tune performance, all without having to shut down your production line. That’s the magic of virtual commissioning.

At its core, virtual commissioning is powered by sophisticated simulation software. This software acts as a virtual sandbox where you can build, test, and refine your automation system to perfection. It includes virtual models of all the technologies you plan to use, as well as advanced algorithms that help you test every aspect of your system’s operation, so you can be confident in your setup before you go live.

Virtual Commissioning vs Traditional Machine Commissioning: A Comparison

The commissioning of new production equipment and manufacturing plants is a critical step in ensuring that the customer and vendor are on the same page in terms of specifications and requirements. This process involves the engineering, negotiation, and acceptance of a designed-to-fit production line. However, traditional commissioning can expose both parties to significant risk, as it involves the physical inspection and operation of prototypes or even the actual equipment.

Milestone reviews during commissioning often result in additional engineering investment or construction, adding to the cost and risk involved. This is where virtual commissioning comes in, offering a solution that minimizes risk and cost while maximizing efficiency.

Virtual commissioning leverages the power of 3D modelling to test the capabilities and functionality of equipment based on digital models, or digital twins, without the need for physical construction. This approach allows for simulation and evaluation of the entire production line, or even just a single assembly task, and provides an opportunity to identify potential improvements early on in the process.

While virtual commissioning is an attractive option, it may not fully fulfil the requirements of traditional machine commissioning if the planned equipment involves processes that cannot be reliably predicted by deterministic simulation and analysis, such as those that require human interaction. Without the presence of real machines, human-centric process issues can go undiscovered until it’s too late to resolve them cost-effectively.

The key to bridging the gap between virtual and traditional commissioning lies in finding ways to allow human interaction with the digital model in a similar manner to that of traditional commissioning, but in a virtual setting. This way, human-centric process issues can be identified and addressed before physical construction begins, reducing risk and increasing efficiency.

Industry 4.0 & Virtual Commissioning

Industry 4.0 is a term that has captured the imagination of the manufacturing world and beyond, marking a seismic shift in the way we approach production and automation. This fourth industrial revolution is all about harnessing the power of technology to create smarter, more efficient systems that can operate with minimal human intervention.

At the heart of Industry 4.0 lies the fusion of cutting-edge sensor technologies, internet connectivity, and artificial intelligence, allowing for the creation of “cyber-physical systems.” These systems have the ability to report on their conditions in real-time, respond to trends and optimize their performance, leading to a step-change in manufacturing capabilities that is reminiscent of the earlier revolutions of steam, electricity, and computerization.

However, the complexity of Industry 4.0 systems demands a new approach to their implementation and operation. Enter the digital twin and virtual commissioning. These two innovative processes are essential tools in the Industry 4.0 toolkit, providing a virtual replica of physical assets, processes, and systems, allowing manufacturers to simulate and optimize the entire lifecycle of their products, from design and development to operation and maintenance.

In short, Industry 4.0 represents a new era in manufacturing, one in which technology and human expertise combine to create systems that are smarter, more efficient, and more sustainable than ever before. The digital twin and virtual commissioning are two of the key drivers of this revolution, paving the way for a future in which manufacturing is truly transformed.

The Art of Digital Validation Through Virtual Commissioning

Bringing digital product concepts to life and revolutionizing the way manufacturing enterprises validate their products and processes, virtual commissioning is here to change the game. By leveraging cutting-edge virtual reality solutions, stakeholders can experience a virtual version of proposed equipment for commissioning and take their digital twin beyond managing CAD geometry and product data.

By eliminating the need for physical builds and in-person reviews, virtual commissioning supports efficient collaboration between product and manufacturing engineering teams, suppliers, pilot facilities, industrialization partners, and assembly line operations teams, reducing travel and ensuring a ‘first-time right’ start of production. Virtual exploration and validation of human-centric assembly cells and lines can help companies stay agile in managing changes and updates to their assembly lines, quickly adapting to changes in demand or available workforce. While virtual commissioning may not close every potential gap between conventional machine commissioning and a completely digital workflow, it is significantly closer to reality, offering a step-change in the manufacturing capabilities of companies.

A Closer Look at the Five Key Benefits of Virtual Commissioning

These are the unique benefits of virtual commissioning that sets it apart from traditional methods, providing a cost-effective, time-saving and risk-averse solution for automation testing and validation.

  • Streamlined Deployment With virtual commissioning, you can wave goodbye to time-consuming, on-site activities and welcome a more efficient deployment process. This minimizes downtime and streamlines your operations, saving you time and money in the long run.
  • Safe Automation Testing potential hazards in a virtual environment is a game-changer when it comes to automating your production process. By simulating the process before deploying the physical hardware, you can avoid any potential accidents or injuries that may occur in traditional physical commissioning. Plus, you can even test limit cases that would be impossible to do in reality.
  • Seamless Team Collaboration Virtual commissioning provides a platform for all team members to view, understand, and make suggestions to the automation solution. This improves communication, eliminates misunderstandings and with RoboDK for Web, your colleagues can even view the simulation without having to install the software.
  • Agile Adjustments Virtual commissioning offers the flexibility to make changes or adjust your production process at any time. You can quickly test new ideas in the simulator without disrupting your real-life production, ensuring that your automation solution is always up-to-date.
  • Enhanced Understanding By developing your automation solution in a simulator, you will gain a deeper understanding of how it works. By exploring the technology in a virtual environment, you’ll quickly learn its capabilities and limitations, helping you to make better use of it in real life.

The Way Ahead: Combining Virtual Commissioning with AR

With advancements in technology, virtual commissioning is becoming more accessible and user-friendly, allowing more businesses to adopt it. Companies are also becoming more aware of the numerous benefits of virtual commissioning, such as improved operational efficiency, safer automation, better communication, flexibility to changes, and better understanding of solutions.

Virtual commissioning allows manufacturers to simulate the production process before investing in physical hardware, which minimizes the risk of errors and reduces downtime. With the ability to simulate the production process in a virtual environment, manufacturers can optimize their automation systems, ensuring that they are running at maximum efficiency. Virtual commissioning is becoming increasingly valuable as manufacturers are facing an ever-increasing need for flexible, efficient, and cost-effective production solutions. In the coming years, virtual commissioning is likely to play a key role in the digitalization of the manufacturing industry combining with AR solutions, helping businesses to streamline their processes, reduce costs, and remain competitive in an ever-evolving market.


Virtual Commissioning is a process that allows engineers and manufacturers to simulate and test manufacturing systems in a virtual environment before they are built. By using computer simulations, engineers can test and optimize the performance of a manufacturing system, identify potential problems, and make improvements before the system is built. This approach can help reduce the time and cost of the commissioning process, as well as reduce the risk of errors and downtime during actual production. Additionally, virtual commissioning can help manufacturers optimize their production processes, resulting in improved efficiency and productivity.

Virtual Commissioning can benefit a wide range of industries that use complex manufacturing systems. Industries such as automotive, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, and consumer goods are just a few examples of industries that can benefit from Virtual Commissioning. Any industry that requires high precision and quality in their manufacturing process can benefit from this technology.

Yes, Virtual Commissioning can help reduce errors in the manufacturing process. By simulating and testing a manufacturing system in a virtual environment, engineers can identify and resolve potential issues before the system is built. This approach can help reduce errors and minimize the risk of downtime or production delays during actual production.

Virtual Commissioning has some potential drawbacks and limitations. One limitation is that the simulation environment may not always accurately reflect the real-world environment, which can lead to inaccurate results. Additionally, virtual commissioning requires significant upfront investment in software, hardware, and personnel training, which may not be feasible for some companies. Another potential limitation is that Virtual Commissioning may not be suitable for highly customized or unique manufacturing systems, as the simulation environment may not accurately reflect the complexity of the system. Finally, Virtual Commissioning does not replace physical commissioning entirely, as some aspects of the system must still be tested and validated in a real-world environment.
Keyur B

Keyur B

CEO, Founder of Plutomen

With more than 12+ years of experience in the world of enterprises, technology, and metaverse, Keyur Bhalavat is leading Plutomen to gain meaningful partnerships & to have a strong clientele network. He is one of the board members of GESIA (Gujarat IT Association Ahmedabad).

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