A quantum leap in system engineering – that’s how Siemens described its Simatic PCS7 – the company’s new generation open process control system, initially for small to medium projects. At a European launch last month, Siemens said that it’s based on standard Simatic and Siemens’ Totally Integrated Automation (TIA).
TIA lead the company’s vice president, Klaus Wucherer, to claim `it’s now possible to offer a process control system for the price of a PLC’. He suggested that TIA increases project productivity by a factor of two, halving engineering costs and cutting the total cost of automation by 25%.
Siemens says that TIA is all about consistency – in data management, planning, programming and comms, enabling enterprise-wide integration. Once entered, data is available everywhere. Everything is handled by a single Windows NT/95-based graphical engineering tool with a single system-wide database and consistent, modular software.
This covers configuration, commissioning and operations, with the same look-and-feel throughout. Software includes Step 7, CFC (Continuous Function Chart), SFC (Sequential Function Chart), SCL (Structured Control Language), DocPro and NetPro. There’s also a batch package – Batch Flexible.
It’s all handled by Simatic Manager, which looks after project and plant organisation, and links to CAE systems, etc. It means a single object-based configuration from the MMI to the I/O.
Simatic PCS7 components include S7 PLCs, S7-400 controllers, PCs, operator panels, WinCC visualisation system, OP47 operator panels, and Simatic Net, Ethernet and Profibus, plus distributed I/O and intelligent field devices.
Siemens says that PCS7 can be used with the existing Simatic PCS, Teleperm M and Simatic S5/Coros systems. Migration paths have been developed.