Siemens have equipped version 7.1 of their Simatic PCS 7 process control system with new functions. Their primary purpose is to shorten engineering, installation and commissioning times, while also reducing operating and maintenance costs.
The additions to version 7.1 of Simatic PCS 7 relate to all function areas. For engineering, the advanced process library offers several operating modes and facilitates enhanced interaction between the operator and equipment, including ‘local’ and ‘out of service’ operating modes, and faceplate views such as ‘Preview’ and ‘Note’.
Easy-to-use interlocking modules with first-signal information are also provided. Commissioning can now be simulated in advance directly on the operator station. With the new ‘CFC-Forcing’ function, users can manually enter values for interconnected inputs, to simulate functionality. This shortens testing times and, therefore, configuration time during commissioning and maintenance. In addition, the new version has made automation of complex batch processes flexible, through online modification of master recipes.
The user interface in version 7.1 of Simatic PCS 7 has also been modified with the aim of achieving efficiency and productivity. An optimised colour scheme and improved alarm functions mean that operating personnel can see critical states faster.
New faceplates and trending capabilities create a high degree of data transparency, allowing operators to react quickly to process changes. Process images for large displays with a 16:9/16:10 wide-screen format allow more space for additional information, new ergonomic icons and task-oriented faceplates in the advanced process. Library V7.1 provide users with a coherent control environment and uniform display of status information, and the faceplates can be easily adapted to the respective operating philosophy of the plant. Confirmation steps can be stipulated when a motor starts operating. With the new ‘Interlock’ faceplates, the operator can quickly check the status of interlock conditions and navigate to the source of the interlock.
In version 7.1 of Simatic PCS 7, the polling and analysis of historical and current process data has also been simplified. The improved ‘Trend Control’ function allows access to and visualisation of trends directly at the operator station. With the new ‘Data Monitor’ tool, a direct connection to process data can be established in Excel. Users are thus able to utilise efficient analysis and reporting functions in the familiar Excel environment. MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems) and MIS (Management Information System) software has access to this data through the OpenPCS 7 interface.
The operator system now also offers freely configurable ‘Alarm Control’ functions, which enable alarms to be displayed and processed effectively. The alarm control functions include individual filtering and export of alarms for thorough analysis of critical plant states.
Maintenance functions have been improved. Diagnostic information now provided to web clients through a web server, offers higher maintenance flexibility. The maintenance information can be transferred by LAN, SMS or email.