At this year’s SPS IPC Drives industrial trade fair, Siemens provided a fascinating insight into the modern production worlds of the future: Worlds in which virtual processes for product and plant development will be increasingly integrated with real production. “The challenges posed by escalating product and production complexity can only be met effectively with integral industrial software. The trade fair innovations unveiled this year represent important steps along the road towards integrated product and production life cycles, which will mean even greater speed and efficiency for our customers”, explained Industry Automation Division CEO Anton S. Huber. Alongside its acquisition of the Belgian software company LMS, the most important innovations featured by the Siemens Industry Sector at the SPS IPC Drives were the Simatic S7-1500 controller generation and the new version of its Totally Integrated Automation Portal (TIA Portal).
This engineering framework now also offers scope for engineering drive technology. “All-embracing efficiency in the digital engineering of plants can only ever be achieved once we have realized the seamless integration of drive technology. With the TIA Portal, this capability is now in place – setting us clearly apart from our competitors in terms of integration”, said Drive Technologies Division CEO Michael Franke.
Since acquiring UGS Corp. in 2007, Siemens has been the only supplier worldwide to cover the entire product development and production value chain with industrial software. As Anton S. Huber sees it, the continuous process of digitization in industry offers the key to greater transparency and efficiency in production. “It is not by chance that industrial software is the technology segment with the highest growth in modern production. Since 2007, we have invested over 4 billion Euro in acquisitions aimed at strengthening our industrial IT and industry software capability, all with the ultimate goal of achieving seamless integration across virtual and real processes”, said Huber.
With the recently agreed acquisition of LMS, Siemens aims to expand its mechatronic system testing and simulation software portfolio. This will offer Siemens customers the capability to simulate, test, optimize and manufacture their products in future using an integral database instead of having to change from one data format and software system to another with every new step along the value chain. Siemens also announced a strategic collaboration arrangement with Bentley Systems which will see the partners defining common data formats and content with the aim of creating greater integration between digital product development, production process planning and information models across the entire factory plant life cycle.
Siemens has also set out a number of key engineering milestones with an impressive lineup of its own internal new developments featured at the SPS IPC Drives 2012: The new Simatic S7-1500 controller generation and version 12 of the TIA Portal engineering framework. A next-generation controller family for medium and high-end applications, the Simatic S7-1500 comes with excellent system performance and an array of integrated motion control, security and safety functions as standard. Simple commissioning and configurable plant status diagnostic functions are just as much part of the new features package as TIA Portal integration for simplified engineering and minimized project engineering costs.
The new TIA Portal version also comes with a wide range of added functions. One example: V12 allows parameterization of all Siemens drives from the Sinamics G converter family using the TIA Portal. “Using Sinamics Startdrive V12, we are now able to integrate our Sinamics G converter family into the plant engineering concept. Intuitive, simple operation and smart functions have meant a reduction of engineering input, even for the most complex applications”, reported Ralf-Michael Franke. In addition, safety functionality in the TIA Portal has been upgraded, also for the control systems of the new Simatic S7-1500 family, while new security functions have meant improved intellectual property, copy and access protection.
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