I worked for a company that made industrial machines controlled by PLCs. Our machines were designed in SWX and we checked the machine motion using the built-in Motion Study capability. For the PLCs we usually waited to build the actual machine or a mock-up to fully check those PLC programs. The two efforts are entirely separate, but should not have to be.
During SWX World 2013 in Orlando I saw a presentation by someone from SWX Corporate that used a MicroSoft Kinect controller to interface with SWX. As he moved and danced in front of the controller the SWX model of the human skeleton model on the screen moved as he did, not even with any discernible lag. It was amazing! This indicates the ability to do just what I am asking.
What I am asking for from SWX:
Provide a software interface between the PLC programming software (or any other programmable system to control the devices) and SWX such that the motors, sensors and other elements of the Motion Study can respond to signals from the PLC/programmable system software simulation as well as send outputs for the PLC/programmable system software to interpret. This would be a non-hardware simulation of both the mechanism and the PLC/programmable system programs. With this ability we can much more quickly debug both the mechanism in SWX as well as the PLC/programmable system program.
I submitted this for the Top Ten list a few years ago so it should be on the eventual To-Do list at SWX. But, since the Top Ten List is treated as an informal Enhancement Request there was not an ER/SPR generated for it (that's a separate gripe). I just searched the ERs and found 117 that had PLC in the title, but none of them are related to this so I just submitted a new ER for it (1-21236589777). When I get the SPR that you can vote on I will post it here. That way if you would like to see this functionality added to SWX you can vote it up.
EDIT #1: Last week this SPR, 1139149, was assigned to the Enhancement Request. Please use it to vote for the idea and encourage its implementation.
EDIT #2: Changed title from "Do you use PLCs?" to "Do you use PLCs or other Computerized Control of Devices?" and added text in red to expand the description beyond PLCs.