Virtual commissioning in the automotive industry

Closer to the customer's vision from the beginning

Rickard Fransén works on the control system programmer side at Granitor Systems, which works to immerse us in virtual commissioning towards discrete automation. Volvo Cars is one of our major customers in Västra Götaland that operates in that area. Rickard brings his control system expertise into the collaboration with LKN Industriautomation, which has been part of Granitor since the autumn of 2018. They meet with simulation of mechanical hardware such as robots and fixtures.

In its work with Volvo Cars, among others, LKN Industriautomation has long used the tool Siemens Process Simulate to simulate the mechanics, especially in robot cells. At the same time, Granitor Systems has long used the tool Siemens TIA Portal for programming control systems for the same customer. Recently, Siemens has invested in bringing one of its simulation tools, SIMIT, which has previously been aimed at process technology, into discrete automation. Here, Granitor and LKN together see an opportunity and a need to start connecting these tools and raise the quality of our deliveries.

As a programmer and entrepreneur, Rickard has seen expensive hours spent solving problems on site. There are many professional disciplines that will emerge at the same time, which puts extra pressure on everything to work from the start. Virtual commissioning helps us find and solve potential problems before we are in place in reality.


We have found thet we get closer to the customer's vision right from the start. Previously, the customer has tried to give us an idea of ​​what reality we should achieve in the form of a function descriptions, animations and the like. This is a communication between the customer and ourselves where misunderstandings can occur. With virtual commissioning, the customer can build a model against which we can validate our function.


A physical commissioning is a hectic phase in a project, not at least for the customer. Thre is a lot that needs to be planned and implemented. There is a lot of responsibility both on us and on the customer for a project to have a successful outcome. I believe that virtual commissioning can facilitate physical commissioning and make it easier to plan and implement. You reduce the amount of work that needs to be done on site.

Time saving

We always struggle with access to facilities in the factories. If we do a job in the green field, we do not feel this, but in the brown field it will be a problem. Volvo is currently an extreme case where their factory produces 24 hours a day 7 days a week with the exception of a 6 hour maintenance window every other weekend as well as 4 weeks holiday and a few days stop around the Christmas weekend. Here, virtual commissioning becomes incredibly valuable both for us and for the customer.


Industries with predictable hardware are easiest to start in. A robot is predictable as you always know how its body moves based on the position of its joints. Media such as gases and liquids can be more difficult to simulate. With virtual commissioning, we want to get closer to reality. And the simpler the reality is to model up, the easier it is to perform commissioning virtually. That is why we see such opportunities in, for example, the automotive industry. .


New control systems pharmaceutical plant

Granitor was engaged to modernize and replace the control systems in two of the key processes within the pharmaceutical manufacturing facility.

Read next case