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Virtual Plant Using Mimic for Rockwell Automation PlantPAx
By Martin Berutti
Product: Mimic Simulation

Mimic Simulation Software provides dynamic process simulation to Rockwell users through the EncompassTM Partner Program.


Operations managers at process plants have greater challenges than ever before. Worker safety, environmental stewardship, process uptime, and conservation of plant resources have been common goals for plant operations for the last several decades. However, today additional challenges are stretching the limits of plant operations making the job of running a process plant more difficult than any other time in history. See Business Case for the Virtual Plant Using Mimic Simulation Software.

Operations managers that use Rockwell Automation's PlantPAxTM have a powerful tool available to combat these challenges. The Virtual Plant based on Mimic Simulation Software is an enabling technology that allows process plants to address these issues and other operational challenges.

Challenging times for operations managers of process plants

The PlantPAx Virtual Plant

MYNAH Technologies' Mimic Simulation Software is a proven technology for dynamic process and IO simulation of PlantPAxTM solutions. Mimic Simulated IO Drivers using EtherNet/IP and OPC are specifically made for Rockwell's Logix and RSLogixTM Emulate automation platforms. With Mimic, PlantPAxTM users can test their control system and train plant operators with a dynamic, realistic simulation of their plant.

The Virtual Power Plant modeled in Mimic

Architecture Solutions for the PlantPAxTM Virtual Plant

Mimic has two different Simulated IO Drivers for the PlantPAxTM Virtual Plant. Simulated IO (SIO) Drivers run as data bridges between the Mimic Simulation Server and the off-line control system. SIO Drivers are optimized for communication with the control system and bring the full power and features of Mimic to the off-line control system IO system. Once an IO link is made through the SIO Driver, that data is available throughout the Mimic system.

  • Mimic Simulated IO Driver for EtherNet/IP, MM3-2106 - uses a direct EtherNet/IP connection to the Logix processor. Mimic can read/write any Logix tag. The configuration menu of the SIO Driver includes a utility that reads a RSLogix5000TM L5K file and allows the user to select Logix tags to be integrated into the Mimic simulation.
Virtual Plant Architecture Using the Mimic Simulated IO Driver for EtherNet/IP
Virtual Plant Architecture Using the Mimic Simulated IO Driver for OPC Server and RSLogixTM Emulate

Mimic Simulation Software – Built for the PlantPaxTM Virtual Plant

Unlike other simulation offerings, Mimic Simulation Software is built specifically to provide the Virtual Plant, complementing and integrating with the off-line PlantPaxTM system.

Mimic is built for Software Acceptance Testing (SAT) and Operator Training Systems (OTS). Mimic is built with a Simulated IO system that is non-intrusive to the off-line control system, allowing the user to minimize or eliminate changes to his control system configuration. Mimic is designed as a companion package to PlantPAxTM so that it protects the integrity of the control system configuration. Mimic’s Operator Training Manager option allows the user to build structured, measurable and recordable operator training sessions.

Mimic is easy to use. Mimic was designed for use by the end-user or integrator with process automation experience, not simulation experts. Integration with the Virtual Control System is simple and automatic with Mimic. Mimic simulation utilities generate a complete low fidelity simulation from the control system database as a starting simulation point.

Mimic is Flexible, Powerful and Dynamic. Mimic can be scaled from very small simulations to very large ones in the same software license. Mimic is unique in that it does not dictate the level of simulation complexity to the customer. Mimic can be used to selectively apply simulation complexity depending upon the requirements of the process and the training or testing objectives. Mimic is a dynamic, real-time process simulator. Modeling functions and objects in Mimic are designed to give accurate, dynamic simulations for a realistic operator experience at the control system operator station.

The Virtual Plant is easy to build and manage in Mimic Explorer.

Mimic is a 3rd Generation Simulation offering, built from the ground up to take advantage of the latest in software and hardware technology and customer needs for a simulation product. Mimic user interfaces are .NET, graphical and functional. Open import/export to XML is available for any part of the simulation system. Mimic uses a MS SQL Server Express database as a secure, open repository for simulation data. Mimic has an OPC Server as part of the standard system that allows full access to modeling and Operator training data by any OPC client. Mimic is programmed in IEC1131 function blocks familiar to most process control engineers. Mimic is built to take advantage of multiprocessor PCs so that very large simulations can be run on very inexpensive workstations.

In addition, Mimic was designed to provide the user with complete flexibility about how he builds simulations and views simulation data. Modeling functions and objects in Mimic are dynamic and provide realistic, accurate simulation results. Tools and utilities have been developed throughout Mimic to make the user efficient and productive. Most importantly, Mimic is very intuitive and easy to use.

The PlantPAxTM Virtual Plant Delivers Results

By using this Virtual Plant to test the control system configuration and train the operators, incredible business results are achieved. In fact, the investment in the simulation system is usually paid for in business results before startup ever occurs. Our customers tell us that some of the business results they have achieved are:

  • Reduced startup time and faster time to market, saving $100 – 500K per day.
  • Reduced off-spec product , increasing product quality, decreasing rework, saving$50K to $1MM per batch or run.
  • Lower operating costs due to lower unscheduled downtime saving $5k to $50K per hour.
  • Reduction in control system or process failures and incidents that can cost $50K to $1MM per incident.
Effective operator training using Mimic Operator Training Manager

The benefits are proven. Rockwell PlantPAxTM users that incorporate the Virtual Plant into their control system management and operator effectiveness planning save time and money. In this age of great challenges, plant operations need new solutions to help survive. The Virtual Plant using Mimic Simulation Software is an enabling technology to address these issues.

Other Resources on the PlantPAxTM Virtual Plant

Product bulletins and white papers that describe the capabilities of Mimic Simulation Software and the PlantPAxTM virtual plant can be found at:

Business Case for the Virtual Plant Using Mimic Simulation Software
Operations managers at process plants have greater challenges than ever before.

Mimic Simulation Software Overview
Mimic is the first third-generation simulation software for the process control industry. It is graphical, flexible, powerful and dynamic. It is the proven solution for process automation system Software Acceptance Testing & Operator Training.

Mimic Software Support Service
Mimic Software Support Service provides technical support and automatic software upgrades for your Mimic Process Simulation System.

Mimic Software Options

Mimic Test Bench
Mimic Test Bench provides automated testing and reporting of control system configurations using Mimic Simulation Software.

Mimic Server
Mimic Server provides multi-user support to a single Mimic application based upon Microsoft Server Remote Terminal Services.

Mimic Operator Training Manager
Mimic Operator Training Manager (Mimic OTM) is an option for Mimic Simulation Software that allows the Mimic user to develop structured, repeatable, measurable operator training sessions.

Mimic Advanced Modeling Options

Mimic Advanced Modeling Objects- Core
Mimic Advanced Modeling Objects are a set of rigorous first-principles, dynamic models of process plant unit operations designed for high-performance simulations for operator training or automation system testing.

Mimic Power Generation Modeling Objects
The Mimic Power Generation Modeling Objects are rigorous first-principles, dynamic models of boiler with furnace, steam header, fuel, and turbine designed for high-performance simulations for operator training or automation system testing.

Mimic Mining Advanced Modeling Objects
The Mimic Mining Advanced Modeling Objects are designed for high-performance dynamic simulations for operator training, automation system testing, and operational improvement.

Mimic Two-Phase, Three-Phase Separator Object
The Mimic Two-Phase, Three-Phase Separator Objects are rigorous first-principles, dynamic models of hydrocarbon separators designed for high-performance simulations for operator training or automation system testing.

Mimic Thermo, Flash, and Stream Property Functions
The Mimic Thermo, Flash, and Stream Property Functions provide sophisticated, accurate calculations of thermodynamic properties and component flash for dynamic simulations in Mimic.

Mimic Bioreactor Modeling Object
The Mimic Bioreactor Object is a rigorous first-principles, dynamic model of a bioreactor or fermenter designed for high-performance simulations for operator training, automation system testing, and operations and process improvement.

Mimic Continuous Stirred Tank Reactor Modeling Object
The Mimic Continuous Stirred Tank Reactor Object is a rigorous first-principles, dynamic model of a chemical reactor designed for high-performance simulations for operator training or automation system testing.

Mimic Distillation Modeling Object
The Mimic Distillation Object is a rigorous first-principles, dynamic model of distillation column, reboiler, reflux condenser and stripper unit operations designed for high-performance simulations for operator training or automation system testing.

Simulated IO Drivers

Mimic Open OPC Client SIO Driver
The Mimic Open OPC Client SIO Driver provides real-time IO signal simulation for PlantPAxTM systems that use RSLogixTM Emulate.

Mimic EtherNet/IP SIO Driver
The Mimic EtherNet/IP SIO Driver provides real-time IO signal simulation for Rockwell Logix and other PLCs that support the Ethernet/IP protocol.