HIL experiment using PLC and MATLAB OPC toolbox

The objective of this thesis is to perform a HIL simulation with PLC and MATLAB Simulink and to accomplish real time communication between them through OPC. PLC is being widely used in control systems for industrial automation, and testing and verifying written code for every control system is an essential and unavoidable task. Since testing on physical plant is time consuming and risky in case of damaging equipments, so simulation and HIL is very useful and desirable. In this method, a real plant is being replaced by a model in software, and interacts with the real control system. Every plant or system consists of inputs and outputs which in a control system is represented with various data values and type, so it's possible to model almost every system with mathematical equations in MATLAB. The main barrier in this method is to connect these two separate systems which are implemented in two different environments. The solution for this problem requires recruiting a translator to exchange data between these two objects. OPC (OLE for Process Control) has been created for this purpose, it's a software based technology that creates a database, and exchange data between different objects from different vendors and integrators. Every PLC in the market has OPC server and this makes possible for researchers and students to accomplish real time communication between PLC and MATLAB. One of the goals of this project is to create a structure for students to use in future experiments and researches to implement simulation.