Firmware consists of the background programs that run a machine and help it to do what it’s supposed to do. From time to time, it is necessary to make improvements to firmware. These updates are done to improve functionality, integrate with the latest technologies, fix issues or improve security. It is vital to apply the latest version of the update and to perform the necessary steps to ensure compatibility.
Siemens recently released a firmware update for one of the CPUs deployed in its control and automation equipment and displays. CPU 1518F-4 PN/DP MFP users should install firmware update V2.6.0
Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) Portal with STEP 7 Professional V15.1 or higher is required to configure this CPU firmware version. In addition, the option package STEP 7 Safety Advanced V15.1 or later is required to configure safety integrated applications with this firmware version of the failsafe CPU.
New features made available for to Siemens SIMATIC S7-1500 and ET 200 CPUs due to this firmware include:
In addition to the OPC UA server, an OPC UA client is integrated in the CPU (RT license required). This enables method calls and reading and writing of data via corresponding OPC UA communication instructions. As a result, vertical communication to MES systems, cloud services or controller-controller communication can be realized.
For S7-1500 CPUs (not S7-1500C, S7-1500R/H), isochronous mode can also be configured for modules that are inserted next to the S7-1500 CPU in a centralized configuration. This enables functions such as dynamic control tasks with constant dead times, the measuring of inputs, dosing processes and high-speed analog value acquisition with oversampling.
Overall, the user experience is greatly enhanced. For example:
- If alarm messages have been configured in different languages for the “Get_Alarm” block, alarm texts are no longer only visible for a few seconds when switching the display language.
- The web server now uses the defined MIME type for JSON files.
- Communication between the IO controller and the I-device works even when the IO controller and I-device are not in the same IP subnet.
- The performance restrictions identified in version 2.5 relating to the reading and writing of string values in structures no longer occur with version 2.6.