PLCs, DCSs & Controllers

Totally intergrated automation- consistent to the end of spiralling costs in automation.

March 2000 PLCs, DCSs & Controllers

The core property of TIA is its consistency - in data management, planning/programming and communication. Consistency is a non-detachable core, integrated and built +ex works+ into every Simatic product belonging to TIA. This is of great advantage whenever a concrete automation system is realised. Thanks to the key property of consistency built into Simatic products they all match, creating a great cost reduction in automation engineering.

TIA includes automation products and systems for the manufacturing and process industries. They are:

* Controllers - programmable logic controllers, programming devices, PCs, distributed peripherals and I/O modules.

* Operating + monitoring - text displays, operator panels, software packages and complete O+M systems complete with processor.

* Communication - communication modules in terminals, as well as the communication infrastructure.

* Process control system - with all relating components, such as O+M system, automation system, PLC, I/O modules, bus system, host computer and programming software with processor.

Examples of controllers include the Simatic S7 programmable logic controllers, the WinCC process visualisation system for operating and monitoring, Simatic Net together with Industrial Ethernet or Profibus for communication, as well as the new Simatic Process Control 7 process control system.

Totally integrated automation is more than

the sum of its individual products

Siemens says that TIA puts an end to all technological barriers: it overcomes existing system barriers - between the computer world and the PLC world, between operating & monitoring and control, between central and distributed automation, between manufacturing and process automation. TIA combines these worlds and enables the complete integration of an organisation+s entire automation setup - from goods inwards to the packing machine, from the man-machine interface to the fieldbus. This is achieved by consistency as the key property - in data management, configuring and programming, as well as communication: consistency in data management means: once entered, data is consistently available throughout the factory. This does away with double entries, time-consuming conversions between different systems and expensive ways of ensuring data consistency. Configuration, and modifications, are drastically reduced.

Consistency in configuration and programming means that all components are handled by one single modular software system responsible for configuration, programming, commissioning, testing and monitoring. This software engineering tool kit is called Simatic Software and is based on Windows NT and Windows 95. Consistency in communication means that the selection of the network, through which the individual components are supposed to communicate, is of minor importance in TIA. Communication is fully integrated and is just a selection criterion used in planning. You could plan a PLC, for instance, without knowing the party with whom the controller will have to exchange data later on, and on which network the partners will communicate - Profibus or Industrial Ethernet. Connection tables establish who can communicate with whom, and that can be changed at any time and at any point. It also puts an end to the difference between central and distributed communication.

Totally integrated automation is the end of spiralling costs. The greater the number of systems used, and the more diverse systems are - PLCs, O+M, PC, process control systems - the more obvious the advantage of consistency within TIA becomes, and the more cost-intensive transitions between different technologies can be avoided.

Siemens claim that totally integrated automation increases productivity in the realisation of projects by a factor of 2 and halves the engineering costs. Expensive interface management is no longer required to co-ordinate different technical worlds - PLC, computer, process control and instrumentation, communication from goods inwards to goods outwards. In engineering, the time spent on planning, programming, commissioning, testing, updating and training is reduced significantly.

Siemens says that TIA may cut by up to 25% the total cost of automation, ie the cost for the entire life cycle of the plant. The life cycle costs include the cost of purchase, but, more importantly, the running cost: software adjustments, modifications, interface management, training, service and spares inventory make for spiralling costs in plants equipped with conventional technology. TIA stops this movement - as mentioned above - by working to halve the engineering costs, and lower purchase costs, in the first place.

In process engineering, TIA reduces the hardware cost considerably, says Siemens. The Simatic PCS 7 process control system is based on the standard Simatic components. Their finely scaled architecture allows a very exact adjustment to the task at hand and avoids over-dimensioning. Major functionalities are covered by software. The use of standard Simatic components makes it possible to offer a process control system at the price of a PLC.

Siemens believes that TIA will have a sustained effect on automation engineering: The service market, for one, will benefit greatly from TIA. Integrators, engineering firms and software firms are free to use their technical expertise to the best. With the great number of open, standardised interfaces and powerful engineering tools of TIA they can concentrate on their own core competence. These firms would be making the best use of their industrial competence, rather than having to try to cope with bringing together products and systems from different manufacturers/developers, and overcoming technological hurdles.

Siemens Automation & Drives

(011) 652 3675


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