Manufacturers that embrace digitalization are benefitting through operational agility, greater efficiency and increased ROI. Similarly, the adoption of digitalization in automation engineering software can reduce engineering costs, improve productivity, and shorten time to market.
Siemens is on the forefront of this trend. The Siemens Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) Portal engineering framework along with TIA products offers auto-generated system diagnostics and comprehensive libraries for all automation components. It has the capacity, scalability and flexibility to engineer all form factors of automation, from micro/basic to advanced solutions.
This engineering framework can easily be extended with a variety of add-on options to support additional functionality such as: a digital twin of the automation solution; automatic generation of HMI solutions based on the PLC; and simple-to-configure process diagnostics with the ability to publish PLC logic directly onto HMI screens.
The Step 7 component within the TIA Portal engineering framework can be licensed at two levels. The Basic version supports the SIMATIC S7-1200 controller. The Professional version supports the complete product line of controllers all the way up to PC-based motion control and advanced SIMATIC S7-1500 controllers. The platform is scalable, and an upgrade is available from Basic to Professional. Both versions include the Startdrive package to allow configuration of drives and motion, as well as PLCSIM and WinCC Basic for the configuration of basic HMI panel hardware devices.
The important thing to understand is that Siemens TIA Portal is more than a programming tool for the PLC. It provides a complete framework that forms the basis of automation engineering for the entire solution. It encompasses networks, remote IO devices, switches, PLCs, HMIs and Drives. These extend the automation engineering capabilities of TIA Portal beyond the PLC. The result is a complete engineering framework for automation.
Automation engineering with TIA Portal has numerous no-cost options:
PLCSIM: Provides simulation of applications within the PLC. The automation engineer can utilize this add-on to simulate the entire controller PLC project. This enables the engineer to harness simulations to sort out any programming concerns long before the hardware PLC is developed. In addition, simulations can be used to ensure integration with other platform elements including the HMI.
Kinematics: The latest version of TIA Portal includes advanced kinematics and robotics features. This includes: graphical configuration for standard kinematics and zones; a kinematics control panel for teach-in and manual control; status and diagnostic checks; and motion movement records and visualization via a 3D viewer.
Automation library: This creates a corporate standard of reusable objects ─ IO devices, HMI, complete drives, trace windows, PLC blocks and more.
Automation ML and TIA Portal openness: Automation ML is an industry standard that ensures consistent and reliable data transfer from one toolset to another. TIA Portal takes advantage of this to allow electrical drawing tool data in systems such as AutoCAD and EPLAN to be transferred into and out of TIA Portal. This includes diagrams, process signals and IO tags.
SINAMICS Startdrive: Intuitively integrate SINAMICS drives into the automation landscape. The same operating concept, elimination of interfaces and the high user-friendliness make it possible to quickly integrate SINAMICS converters into the automation environment and commission them using the TIA Portal.
WinCC Basic: From machine-level visualization all the way to the powerful SCADA system, SIMATIC WinCC inside TIA Portal, with its efficient tools, covers the entire engineering and visualization software spectrum for the human machine interface ─ integrated across all performance classes!
SIMOCODE ES or Soft Starter ES: Offers ease of planning, high configuration reliability, rapid commissioning as well as parameterization, diagnostics and maintenance-relevant monitoring functions. Integrated in the uniform engineering framework of the TIA Portal, SIMOCODE ES represents the efficient and intuitive solution for all automation tasks.
Additional add-on options can be purchased to extend functionality:
SIMATIC Safety: TIA Portal offers one safety integrated solution for PLC, devices, IO, networks, the drives and HMI panels. By having integrated safety solutions from a single source, this reduces the complexity often involved in recording, evaluating and responding to safety issues. It brings about easy fulfillment of machine directives due to standard conformant evaluation and certified products. For example, safety integrated acceptance tests enable validation of the drive system. The benefits include execution and documentation of the safety acceptance test, support in compliance with the machinery directive, and substantial time savings.
SIMATIC ProDiag: This is the fully-integrated TIA solution for machine and plant diagnostics. It saves the need for programming diagnostics in the CPU during the engineering phase and provides support for troubleshooting on the HMI. ProDiag makes it possible to monitor a machine or plant and to intervene in the event of a fault.
SIMATIC SiVArc: SIMATIC Visualization Architect is a brand new feature for WinCC HMI Engineering that automatically generates visualizations based on the PLC program. It can produce more than 150,000 objects in less than 10 minutes. For example, SiVArc allows the automation engineer to generate an entire HMI solution from information available in PLC such as from a function block for a conveyor, a function call for a lifter station or a tank, or a data block associated with a robot. Faceplates or objects in the HMI library can be used to write simple rules to auto-generate the HMI screens on top of the PLC.
PLCSIM Advanced: (Digital Twin PLC): This is a way to extend simulation solutions by incorporating a true “digital twin.” Digital twins are virtual replicas of physical assets, processes and systems. They are used for such things as testing, virtual commissioning, rapid prototyping, simulating proposed changes, validation, training and troubleshooting. PLCSIM Advanced enables comprehensive simulation of controller functionality (communication, know-how protection blocks, safety, web server and more). This brings the mechanical engineer and software automation designer together well before the creation of physical prototypes or manufactured systems.
Cloud Connector: TIA Portal provides data transparency from the device to the cloud. Engineers van view data anywhere at any time from any device. This is achieved via a Siemens MindSphere application that can connect to Google, Amazon Microsoft Azure and other cloud infrastructures.
In summary, the software in the TIA Portal provides the most complete gateway to automation engineering in the digital enterprise. The basis of the automation engineering solution provides a consistent and comprehensive framework for your diverse solutions from basic to complex, inclusive of all your automation components.
Beyond the basic components of Step7, WinCC, Startdrive, Motion Control, Motor management, and Power Distribution, you can benefit from the variety of optional add-on to extend the engineering framework. The add-on features provide even more productivity, engineering efficiencies, and ROI, as you embrace digitalization concepts within your automation solutions.
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