As simulation hardware and software become increasingly more capable, it no longer makes technological or financial sense to use proprietary plant hardware as part of your simulation system.
Relying on plant hardware to run specific plant control systems leads to several problems.
- You’re unable to run a true simulation of your plant without the hardware.
- Physical hardware is often tied to older operating systems, possibly preventing you from upgrading your simulator.
- When vendors upgrade their hardware, you have to upgrade, which is time consuming, costly, and inconvenient. Also, as you ship the hardware back to the vendor, you risk damaging the delicate hardware.
- While you replace the hardware, your simulator is either out-of-date or inoperable.
Relying on software is the smart solution
Whenever possible, replacing proprietary hardware with software is a more intelligent and cost-effective way to manage your simulator. There are several advantages:
- Software versions of physical hardware and firmware significantly improve the portability of your simulator, and eliminate the need to manage and maintain delicate and potentially cumbersome hardware components.
- With software, you can run your simulator on a laptop or VPanel™, a classroom style soft-panel simulator, for added training versatility and convenience.
- While upgrading hardware is difficult, upgrading software is often as simple as uploading a patch, enabling you to implement small or large changes quickly and to keep up with changes in the software environment, such as updates to the operating system.