Automation in today’s manufacturing environment is being called on to perform increasingly complex tasks faster and more efficiently. While advanced controllers are typically top of mind to perform such functions, smaller controllers should never be ruled out as they are ideal for a wide range of automation requirements.
Take the case of the Siemens S7-1200 SIMATIC Basic Controller, which offers a high degree of connectivity to higher level systems. By taking advantage of its integrated functionalities, organizations can create tested, holistic systems within a short time. This same controller can be used for standard and failsafe automation, reducing the number of components required. Integrated diagnostics provide error messages in plain text to enable rapid fault analysis. Simulation is provided by Siemens PLCSIM for code validation, which can result in faster commissioning. In addition, system and user libraries reduce engineering time through standardization. These and many other features make it possible to turn this powerful, yet basic controller into a true automation dynamo. Here are four of the ways it can be deployed.
All machines generate vibration, although some types of vibration are more worrisome than others. Identifying vibration is one of the most important elements of condition monitoring. It enables operators to detect potential issues, institute maintenance actions ahead of a catastrophic failure, avoid downtime, and optimize equipment performance.
Using the SM1281 card, the Siemens the S7-1200 controller can be turned into a condition monitoring system by tying in data from a motor, gearbox, pumps, etc. The SM1281 card can then help facilities to discover resonance, bearing damage, alignment and meshing faults, unbalance, blade passing frequency, and electrical issues. All of the data from the card or the controller can be transmitted over the network into the Siemens MindSphere cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) operating system to achieve a higher-level overview of large-scale operations.
The SM1281 condition monitoring card can be connected to up to four vibration sensors and one speed sensor. Up to seven of these modules can be added to the S7-1200.
Three different types of analysis can be accomplished once this card is in place. The most basic of these is parameter-based analytics. The system continuously monitors various paraments related to machine vibration and bearing condition, providing a red/yellow/green alert system to operators. All that is required to implement this analytics approach is the Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) Portal, Step 7.
The next type is frequency selective analysis to detect what kind of damage is imminent. As every type of damage has its own frequency spectrum, the system helps the operator know where to look for problems. While the parameter-based approach highlights that there is a problem, frequency selective analysis determines what the problem is. The detected frequency indicates whether it is a case of resonance, unbalance, misalignment, coupling faults, or a specific kind of bearing damage.
The third type is known as expert analysis. The system outputs a large amount of raw data that enables experts to drill down to the underlying causes of machinery problems. This can be accomplished via proprietary analysis tools or with Siemens X-Tools. This set of diagnostic software tools from Siemens translates raw data into histograms, vector/waterfall diagrams and other visual aids to help experts zero in on potential maintenance issues.
SIWAREX weighing modules for the S7-1200 are available in a selection of cards based on the needs of various industries. They can provide static or dynamic weighing for many different types of materials. Once again, these modules are fully integrated in the TIA Portal. They include extensive built-in diagnostic functions for commissioning and operations.
For example, a Dutch company known as RMA Techniek used these weighing modules for food and vegetable processing. The SIWAREX system could comfortably weigh up to 100 food packages per minute that passed through the food processing facility. The weighing process is controlled and monitored from the Siemens KP700 Comfort HMI panel. All measurement results are collected in a central repository for ease of analysis, trending and improved traceability. This resulted in savings to the vegetable supplier of about 15% as no packages are ever sold weighing above the set rate.
Average energy costs have been rising every year for the past several years. This has made it a significant factor, not only in overall plant productivity, but in how organizations are perceived in the community. Power energy efficiency or irresponsible energy usage can lead to customer attrition and lost market share.
The first step towards greater energy efficiency is transparency. By installing additional meters, more precise control can be established on a per-room basis. This helps identify the largest energy consumers in a factory.
The Siemens SM1238 Energy Meter enables machine level measurement of energy consumption with full transparency. Used in conjunction with the S7-1200 controller, it facilities over 200 different measurements of electrical values. Power demand, efficiency, voltages and consumption can all be monitored with precision. Up to eight Energy Meter modules can be plugged into one S7-1200.
Big savings can be realized by paying attention to machine level consumption. For example, a machine that is only used once per year could be left online to run up a large bill. The system helps detect such areas of wastage to lower consumption and boost efficiency. The SM1238 Energy Meter is integrated with TIA Portal v15.
Commissioning, Maintenance and Service
Another way to harness the S7-1200 controller is along with the SIMATIC Automation Tool (SAT). SAT offers one tool for commissioning, maintenance and service based upon the TIA Portal. With SAT, it is possible to scan the network and identify all connected devices and update the automation system outside of TIA Portal.
For instance, a solar park with 500 CPUs scattered around the facility can updated each processor centrally with one click. Similarly, tasks that need to be completed in all control cabinets can be done from one screen. In addition, collection of plant service and performance data can be automated and collected by SAT, eliminating the need to visit each cabinet. This capability to parallelize tasks greatly reduces time and overall maintenance costs. A lite version is available as a free download.
For more information, visit siemens.com/s7-1200Have an Inquiry for Siemens about this article? Click Here >>