Digitalization at the field level
With Version 9 of its Simatic PCS 7 process control system, Siemens aims to open up new perspectives to plant operators in the process industries and to create an additional building block en route to the Digital Enterprise. The new process control system version supports the Industrial Ethernet standard Profinet with two new distributed I/O lines for greater digitalization right down to the field level, as well as extensive new software functionality.
With plants expected to achieve a service life of up to 30 years, future proofing and investment protection aspects are of vital importance. Also playing a central role as a linking element is automation. Profinet is designed to allow adaptation to future requirements occurring in the process industries. It offers efficient communication in real time, open standards for the development of standardized automation networks, security-oriented communication as well as flexible, easily scalable network structures.
Successful digitalization relies heavily on dependable communication right down to the field level. The new I/O system Simatic ET 200SP HA allows the properties of Profinet to be used to optimum effect in achieving this goal. Specifically aimed at the process industries, the new I/O line is designed for high availability and can be used directly in the field up to Ex zone 2. Its protective coating and an extended operating temperature range of -40 to +70°C allow the I/O system to be used in many cases without the need for additional air conditioning.
The Simatic Compact Field Unit (CFU) field distributor connected over Profinet is able to overcome the restrictions of conventional I/O concepts, providing consistent decentralization combined with flexible structures. The Simatic CFU combines the simple handling offered by familiar 4-20mA technology with the benefits of field bus technology, making for a demonstrably simpler distributed I/O structure. Marshaling cabinets and multi-core master cables could soon be relegated to the history books, as distributed deployment of the Simatic CFU allows considerable savings to be made in terms of cables and terminal points.
Version 9.0 of the Simatic PCS 7 also comes with extensive software innovations offering greater productivity and flexibility for plant operators and maintenance personnel. These include more efficient commissioning and management of field devices with the aid of mobile technology using the Simatic PDM (Process Device Manager). This universal tool for the engineering, parameterization, commissioning, diagnosis and maintenance of smart field devices and field components provides extensive support for Profinet.