August 9, 2022

Introduction to Virtual Factory

In this growing digital era, along with the reverberations of industry 4.0, Virtual Factory is an important area to learn about to support industrial progress. Virtual Factory is an integrated approach to manufacturing system modeling or an integrated simulation model of the main sub-systems in a factory that takes into account the whole plant and provides advanced decision support capabilities.

Let’s briefly explain the benefits of  Virtual Factory in industry:

1. It creates accurate and fast collaboration and data management for right decision making.

2. It allows remote working and remote monitoring.

3. It helps industry players to increase productivity and efficiency, encourages growth, and maintains business continuity.

In the short semester offered at International University Liaison Indonesia (IULI) for the 2020/2021 academic year, the Computer Science study program provides courses that teach about Virtual Factory, while supporting the Merdeka Belajar program. The Virtual Factory class in this short semester is attended by students from Universitas Negeri Makassar (UNM). The students from UNM took an enthusiastic part in learning about the Virtual Factory at IULI.

Learning is done not only though theory, so Ir. Invanos Tertiana, MBA, as the Head of the IULI Computer Science and as a Lecturer in the Virtual Factory course, makes learning more interesting  by challenging students to create their own Virtual Factory in a competition between teams in the class.

To be able to create a Virtual Factory and win the competition, students need to download the Factory I/O & OpenPLC IDE application on their laptop or computer and the MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport ) Dash application on the smartphone. Factory I/O is a 3D factory simulation that can build and simulate industrial systems and can be used with automation technologies such as PLC, whereas OpenPLC is an open-source Programmable Logic Controller based on easy-to-use software. MQTT Dash itself is a dashboard for IoT Smart Home devices that are used for home automation via the internet and GSM networks.

The main objective of the Virtual Factory course is for students to be able to build a system consisting of Interrelated and interacting elements and a set of rules to achieve the goal: a Virtual Factory.

To achieve these learning objectives, there are three important things to learn, namely:

1. Whole System consisting of Interrelated & Interacting elements, a rule base used to store and manipulate knowledge to interpret information in a useful way, and the goal.

2. Flow Node-RED

3. Ladder Logic Diagram

Node-RED is a flow-based development tool for visual programming, originally developed by IBM to connect hardware, APIs, and online services as part of the Internet of Things.

There are several standard programming languages ​​defined for Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). Some of the internationally accepted standard languages ​​are:

1. Ladder diagram (LD)

2. Structured Text (ST)

3. Sequential Function Charts (SFC)

4. Instruction List (IL)

5. Function Block Diagram (FBD)

Ladder Logic Diagram is the most popular PLC programming language. A ladder diagram or ladder diagram is a special schematic, commonly used to document control logic systems in industrial environments.

Are you interested in learning more about Virtual Factory? Students not only study Virtual Factory but, in the Computer Science study program, THEY are also taught to create efficient software using innovative algorithms, while understanding how computer hardware works. In addition, they learn how humans interact with computers.

The progress in computer technology haS become part of human civilization. Size, mobility, and connectivity are proof that modern humans cannot live without computer technology. Therefore, IULI is very concerned with the flow of technology, as it is part of the curriculum and student activities.

Don’t delay; achieve a brilliant future with IULI! Register now at pmb.iuli.ac.id

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