Difference between Postprocessor and SimulatorLast change: Sep 24, 2019
A Postprocessor is used to automatically generate an executable program for a specific control from a graphically created work plan (CAD / CAM). One could also say that the postprocessor "translates" a control-neutral format into the format of SIEMENS, FANUC, HEIDENHAIN, HAAS, etc. Also, a DIN/PAL program (German standard coding for Vocation Training) can be converted by postprocessor into a format for the control.
By contrast, a Simulator simulates the control itself. There are simulators that correspond 1:1 to the original controls and therefore have the same interface and handling (for example, SinuTrain or HEIDENHAIN programming station). On the other hand, the simulators in SYMplus™ from KELLER use a control-neutral interface, while most of the commands and cycles of the real control are supported. All supported commands and cycles have input dialogs and context help screens. This allows students / apprentices to learn how to program the original controller and use the modern 2D and 3D simulation graphics to check it.
A program generated by a postprocessor can also be post-edited in the corresponding simulator and tested again, so that a simulator can also be useful for production customers. This is especially true if the original controller is already older, the editing on the controller cumbersome and the graphics are not very meaningful.
Since the introduction of SYMplus™ with plusCARE™, a post-processor "complete package" (see link below) is always included with the software. Postprocessors are also available for "exotic" controls and can be customized to meet customer requirements on demand.
In contrast, simulators are always offered for a particular control, e.g. "Simulator FANUC 0i (G Code System A)" and an individual adaptation is not possible.