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INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION Simplifying Process Automation via Simulation

May 11, 2022

The industry is right on the threshold of the fourth industrial revolution. Process automation is a necessary step towards digital transformation. Automation empowers your organization to react rapidly to changing business conditions. Digitalization not only makes existing processes more efficient but also unlocks new value for customers. The goal is to have an increase in productivity, efficiency, speed, safety and quality, resulting in higher competitiveness for companies on their way to the future of industry. - Shalin Shah, Head, Business Development - Automation and Engineering, Siemens Limited

Every industry faces the following challenges: Stringent project deadlines, process safety, process optimization, plant profitability and lack of highly qualified personnel.

Simulation for Automation lets you exploit benefits of virtual version at all levels. Simulation provides the optimal basis for cross-discipline co-operation between mechanical, electrical, and automation engineering. This ensures testing and optimization of the production lines in virtual environment before you build and use them in the real world. Simulation for automation could be your gateway to the digital transformation.

In process plants, the Distributed Control System (DCS) is the starting point for optimizing productivity. DCS, monitors and controls all production processes with the help of powerful controllers and distributed I/Os. As a result, a high-performance DCS directly increases the efficiency of plant operations.

With Siemens DCS – SIMATIC PCS 7 Version 9.1, an innovative and robust hardware platform based on PROFINET and numerous software enhancements, we bring digitalization right down to the field level. SIMATIC PCS 7 makes your plant fit for the future with more security, proactive lifecycle management and innovative plant engineering.

Feature highlights of SIMATIC PCS 7 Version 9.1

  • Fail-safe I/Os, with the powerful SIMATIC ET 200SP HA peripheral system, are certified by TÜV SÜD for safety applications up to SIL3. In addition, intrinsically safe I/O modules for use in hazardous areas, are available in the SIMATIC ET 200SP HA I/O series. The I/O modules can be installed up to ATEX zone 2 and can provide intrinsically safe circuits for field devices up to zone 0

  • Supports Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019, Windows Server 2019, Windows Defender Antivirus - ensures IT and industrial security

  • Structured and systematic plant modeling in engineering concept complies with the general requirements of the ANSI/ISA ISA-88 and 106 standards. SIMATIC PCS 7 V9.1 comes with updateable and future-proof Advanced Process Library (APL). SIMATIC PCS 7 Plant Automation Accelerator V3.1 creates the basis of fully integrated planning and documentation of plant automation projects

  • A proactive Lifecycle-Management is achieved with efficient upgrade strategies based on tailormade tools and services. With the SIMATIC Management Console (SMMC) you get up-to-date status of inventory of your installed base. The new SIMATIC Plant Asset Maintenance Station (PAM Station) manages information from Package Units (PU) maintenance, diagnostics and condition monitoring. Key to plant management is with SIMATIC PCS 7 Process Historian, where information can be archived and evaluated centrally in real time. This archived data is visualized via the Information Server

Now, what happens when two technologies combine? Let’s find out.

SIMIT simulates what SIMATIC automates

Many challenges today are higher levels of automation, new system functionalities, larger systems, more flexible production processes – automation projects are becoming increasingly complex. Bringing products to the market faster while maintaining the same level of quality requires integrated engineering workflows as well as short changeover and start-up times. With SIMIT, you can comprehensively test automation projects and commission systems, machines, and processes on a platform at a virtual level. The simulation platform can also be used to create realistic training environments for operating personnel.

Virtual Commissioning: Speed up the start-up

The digital twin is the closest possible virtual image of a real system, a simulation model of reality – with all components, their characteristics, functionalities, and parameters. With a digital twin, you can start up a system virtually, even during the planning phase. The digital twin provides benefits throughout a system’s entire life: first to simulate it, then to optimize it.

The earlier you catch an error or bad design in the software, the lower the costs to correct them. There is easy coupling between the simulation and automation environment. The coupling can be done with the real hardware of the automation systems (hardware-in-the-loop) and with the integrated virtual controller or the SIMATIC S7-PLCSIM Advanced and therefore without real hardware (software-in-the-loop).

Operator Training System (OTS): Reduce risks with enhanced operator training

Operators face challenges – the increasing complexity of systems and control mechanisms require a constant willingness to learn. You can train operating staff even before the start-up of the plant – with original control panels and automation programs! All training scenarios can be initiated on demand and repeated regularly during ongoing operations. The training environment is based on automation programs and can be without hardware, for example, by using the SIMIT Virtual Controller. Operators can be trained for every plant situation in a realistic virtual environment without interfering with production or any risk to people, the environment, or the plant. At the same time, SIMIT creates the ideal basis for recording and transferring operating know-how. SIMIT has a flexible and scalable simulation structure and an intuitive user interface. A variety of communication possibilities between SIMIT and external simulators creates even more realistic simulations.

SIMATIC PCS 7 V9.1 and SIMIT Simulation Platform serve applications for every process and manufacturing industry, be it Pharmaceutical, Metal and Mining, Chemical and Specialty Chemicals, Food and Beverage, Water & Wastewater or Oil & Gas.

Distributed Control System - SIMATIC PCS 7 V9.1 and Simulation software – SIMIT are a clever combination from Siemens when it comes to Process Control. It’s time to expand your digitalization strategy with simulation in automation. Let’s combine real and digital worlds for a sustainable tomorrow!

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  • Shalin Shah

    Head, Business Development - Automation and Engineering

    Siemens Limited

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