Siemens Industry is further simplifying temperature measurement and control for manufacturing applications with the release of two new signal modules for its Simatic S7-1200 compact controller family.
“Temperature control can be tricky and can require some complicated math and we wanted to address that,” says Siemens’ Paul Ruland. “There are several different kinds of sensors out there for different temperature bands and in the past, PLC users often had to buy and install a separate temperature control module which is really a completely separate controller that requires its own integration, engineering and maintenance. We’ve done away with all that for S7 users.”
The new modules – the RTD (Resistance Temperature Detector) and the TC (Thermocouple) signal modules – each offer four input channels and are provided in compact 45mm wide housings. The thermocouple temperature input module supports seven different thermocouple sensor types and +/-80mv input signals, enabling it to perform in the variety of temperature control applications while the new RTD temperature input module supports eight different RTD sensor types and 150-ohm, 300-ohm, and 600-ohm resistance inputs.
“The software side of this is where you see the greatest impact of our effort to simplify things,” says Ruland. The Proportional-Integral-Differential (PID) Function Blocks integrated within the Simatic Step 7 Basic engineering system give users intelligent control of their temperature control function, or other closed-loop control applications.
“It’s kind of like cruise control on your car,” says Ruland. “It reads inputs from the attached temperature sensors and reacts automatically to keep your processes within set parameters.”
Furthermore, the included PID commissioning interface virtually eliminates manual configuration and custom programming of the code by automatically computing the optimum tuning values, dramatically simplifying start-up and commissioning. “All you have to do is point and click your way through set up and let the autotune take over. It takes only a few minutes. By making it easy to use and set up we are saving customers engineering time and cost.
“Ultimately the idea was to provide an easy to use solution that would simplify temperature control while eliminating end user costs. To that end, Step 7 users don’t have to buy a separate upgrade or add on to their Step 7 Basic programming software…there are no new capitalized expenses, no custom programming, just point and click, fill in the blanks and you are up and running.”Have an Inquiry for Siemens about this article? Click Here >>