Advanced control: Siemens offers library of function blocks for DIY applications

By Control Engineering Staff November 7, 2007

Siemens Energy & Automation has enhanced Version 7 of its Simatic PCS 7 process automation system by including a comprehensive set of easy-to-use advanced process control (APC) capabilities. Siemens says its PCS 7 system improvements give chemical, petrochemical, ethanol, glass, and other process plants the tools to increase throughput and yield, while minimizing energy costs, raw material consumption and product variability.

“Many think advanced process control is extremely complex,” says Todd Stauffer, Siemens PCS 7 marketing manager. “PCS 7 now delivers an out-of-the-box, integrated set of tools that provides basic to sophisticated APC capabilities, which can be implemented by virtually anyone at the plant.”

The APC functions are integrated into the system, allowing users to choose from different proven methods to help optimize processes. The improvements include basic PID enhancements such as auto tuning and gain scheduling, through a more sophisticated model such as predictive control, fuzzy logic and neural network control. At the most advanced level, Version 7 of PCS 7 now offers control performance monitoring, including statistical analysis of process variables, control errors and manipulated variables.

APC functionality is contained in a set of embedded function blocks, which run in the controller along side standard logic with pre-built faceplates for operation and monitoring through the HMI. As with previous versions of PCS 7, the enhanced version reportedly breaks traditional distributed control system limitations by offering the world’s only platform that integrates new and existing automation systems (process, batch, discrete and safety) and devices (process, discrete, safety, and electrical) within the plant. The system also includes common tools for engineering, visualization, and plant-wide asset and maintenance management.

—Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com
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