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Large portions of a winder's control system software are tested during commissioning. This is inefficient because production is stopped and financial pressures limit the time available for testing. However, it avoids the cost of integrating the winder and electrical drive system before installation. This paper describes a winder simulator that allowed control system software to be tested before installation. Shipping roll build up, parent roll build down, mechanical brakes, and a two-drum windup model were developed. These models were used to simulate the winder, web, and drive system dynamics in real time with a dedicated programmable logic controller (PLC). This PLC provided signals for the winder PLC that would normally be supplied by the drive system and various sensors. The simulator was verified with data from a previously installed winder. The use of the simulator before installation of a new winder demonstrated the benefits of pre-installation software testing.