Digital processes, and in particular leveraging the power of the internet for manufacturing purposes, are now part of production reality. Manufacturers know that they must go down the digital and automated path; yet many find the migration process daunting. The 10 steps detailed below should make the transition easier.
As manufacturing moves inexorably towards Industry 4.0, manufacturers are making significant investments in automation to prepare for the time ahead. However, many are frustrated or fearful of the necessary migration. Following the step-by-step path outlined below will go a long way to allay those concerns.
A Straightforward Migration Path
There are 10 logical migration steps a manufacturer needs to take to move from legacy practices to modern processes consistent with the principals and vision of Industry 4.0:
1. Inspect – Physically inspect the application or machine for fit, networking, and function.
2. Obtain – Obtain a copy of the current documentation for hardware and software.
3. Develop – Develop the hardware solution.
4. Migrate – Migrate control code.
5. Add – Add advanced diagnostics.
6. Test – Test the application using simulation.
7. Update – Update documentation.
8. Install – Install on site.
9. Start – Start up on site.
10. Train – Train plant personnel.
Let’s look at each of these steps in greater detail, as each action taken within the steps comprises a “start to finish” flowchart of the granular steps needed to modernize operations using Siemens solution technology.
Start the entire process here with these first two steps:
1. Physically review the system to be migrated.
2. Determine the panel space and locate space for mounting an additional panel or panels if required.
Fit, networking, and function need to be inspected. For fit, examine existing panel spaces and assess the space requirements of new hardware; if those requirements exceed existing spaces, find new ones. Networking considerations include the following: Is the network distributed I/O? Will it drive connectivity? Does it connect to MES? Function must be examined for existing control capabilities, including memory sizes, execution time, I/O type, HMI usage, and specialized components being used.
Obtaining current documentation for hardware and software triggers the next step:
1. Get drawings of the physical application and a copy of the application program.
Hardware considerations include wiring (i.e., connectivity, number of spares, sensors used), controller hardware (i.e., controller, I/O, HMI) and networking details. Software details needed include symbols (i.e., tag names), comments, structure, and logic.
The next five steps involve development of the hardware solution:
1. Analyze the current I/O and determine if special hardware is being used.
2. Cross-reference the I/O to appropriate SIMATIC I/O.
3. Locate an appropriate Siemens solution for any special hardware being used, such as that supplied by AB Encompass partners.
4. Choose and configure an appropriate SIMATIC PLC and configure it in TIA Portal.
5. If required to connect to a specific network, determine an appropriate gateway or SIMATIC solution
Special hardware needs must be examined, including gateways, sensors, and upgrades or changes. The control hardware must be cross-referenced, including the controller (e.g., memory size, execution time, networking support, and certifications), I/O (e.g., module types, quantity, wiring, and panel fit), drives, and I/O.
The next four steps relate to migration of the control code:
1. Migrate the existing AB programs using the TIA Migration Tool.
2. In the event that a SIMATIC library function is not available for a specific AB function, create a SIMATIC library function and add it to the SIMATIC AB library.
3. Create SIMATIC functions for any new hardware or gateways that will be used.
4. Create the Main calling routine or routines.
Equivalent data files or structures need to be created. In retaining current structure, equivalent data files with tag names and/or comments need to be created. For symbols, create equivalent symbolic arrays and comments. New hardware, gateways, or sensors may require creation of new logic.
When converting logic, create equivalent instructions and calling structure to retain the current structure. For symbols, create new instructions and calling structure.
The next eight steps relate to adding advanced diagnostics:
1. Add PROGRAM_ALARM for diagnostic messages to the S7-1500 display and HMI.
2. Configure the HMI or HMIs in TIA Portal.
3. Verify the HMI connections.
4. Configure the HMI tags.
5. Confirm the HMI graphics.
6. Configure the HMI alarms.
7. Configure the HMI trending.
8. Configure the PLC/HMI security.
Adding advanced diagnostics enables application-specific messages (e.g., for the integrated controller and HMI displays), fast machine diagnostics, maintenance without development tools, and reduces downtime—and production loss.
The next two steps relate to testing:
1. Test the new configuration using simulation.
2. Correct any issues found during simulation.
Using simulation enables testing without hardware, facilitates incremental testing, and drives down start-up time significantly.
Updating ensures proper documentation for plant maintenance, and requires the next two steps:
1. Develop preliminary drawings for the application using the new SIMATIC hardware.
2. Develop an operator/maintenance manual for the plant.
After completing updating, installation may begin. This process requires the next three steps in the workflow:
1. Take the new system to site and install it.
2. Wire the I/O using the fastest possible method.
3. Adapt the network configuration to the plant network infrastructure.
New control hardware typically will include the controller, I/O, network components (i.e., distributed I/O), HMIs, sensors, and drives.
We’ve reached the point of start up:
1. Start up and test the new application.
Among the tasks to be completed: verifying I/O, testing machine operation, making changes as necessary, finalizing the application, then finalizing documentation.
The last five steps, which complete the workflow, relate to training:
1. Modify and document the updates to the application hardware and software.
2. Modify and release the final drawings for the application.
3. Archive the application code.
4. Get acceptance sign-off.
5. Deliver all documentation and drawings to the customer/stakeholder.
Comprehensive training will include a documentation overview, hardware training, development tools training, operator training, and maintenance training.
Meeting the Challenge
Today’s manufacturing is not your father’s manufacturing. Acquiring and maintaining customers is a different challenge in a digitally-driven world, where end-customers are increasingly able to tell manufacturers directly exactly what they want and when they want it. Alternatives can be found easily, often in surprising places, and potential business can be lost quickly if a manufacturer’s capabilities lag behind their competitors’.
As such, manufacturers need to respond with significant reduction in time to market and massively improved flexibility to enable individualized mass production—all with reduced energy and resource consumption. For many, this means migrating from existing production processes to more agile digital production processes consonant with the vision of Industry 4.0.
The steps delineated above, if followed, will speed and ease that migration.
Within the 10 basic steps are 33 workflow steps from start to end, all of which are straightforward and simple to follow. For an easy-to-use checklist that can help monitor progress as you migrate processes to modernize operations, you can go here.
Or, contact your local Siemens representative for more detailed information on how combining Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) with Siemens Digital Enterprise Software Suite can keep you ahead of the competition by meeting the challenge today’s rapidly changing markets and technologies present.Have an Inquiry for Siemens about this article? Click Here >>