PC-based control software with integrated safety functions

Siemens says it's a first.
By Renee Robbins October 8, 2009

On Sept. 29, 2009, Siemens Industry Inc. unveiled what the company is calling the industry’s first PC-based control software with integrated safety functions. Siemens’ new Simatic WinAC RTX F software for PC-based control safely controls critical devices from a standard dual-core Windows XP PC, eliminating the cost for a separate safety-rated controller. The software also allows standard control logic, as well as office applications, to run on the same PC with safety-rated logic, significantly reducing integration time and cost.

Siemens Simatic WinAC RTX F software for PC-based control safely controls critical devices from a standard Dual-Core Windows XP PC, eliminating the cost for a separate safety-rated controller.

Siemens Simatic WinAC RTX F software for PC-based control safely controls critical devices from a standard Dual-Core Windows XP PC, eliminating the cost for a separate safety-rated controller.

Available for a wide range of process and discrete automation applications, Matthew Thornton, Siemens discrete automation product manager, says the TUV-certified software meets the toughest automation safety requirements and complies with EN 954-1 to Cat. 4, IEC 62061 to SIL 3 and EN ISO 13849-1 up to PL e-safety standards.

"Hardwired safety systems traditionally are not adequately integrated with standard controller systems," says Thornton. "By adapting Siemens Safety Integrated technology for Simatic S7 controllers, the software provides a single, highly integrated platform that allows standard logic, safety logic, and any other PC software to run together."

WinAC RTX F software’s runtime kernel, programmed specifically for safety logic, runs in parallel to other PC-based applications for standard logic control functions or other tasks. The software is also isolated from any system lock-up or operating system crash. Strict compatibility with dual-core Intel x86 PC systems enables the software to run all safety-rated automation tasks without interruption, says Thornton.

Scalable for standard PCs or WinXP-Embedded PCs, WinAC RTX F software is available preloaded on several Siemens PC-based or embedded controllers, including the Simatic S7-mEC-RTX F modular embedded controller and IPC 427C-RTX F industrial PC. These safety compliant controllers include built-in networking interfaces for Profisafe rated I/O, including Simatic ET 200 family products on both Profibus and Profinet/Ethernet protocols.

System extensions are available through the Open Development Kit (ODK). This allows data exchange with other PC applications, further simplifying integration and reducing engineering costs across the entire control architecture.

For more information about the WinAC RTX F software log on to www.sea.siemens.com/tiacontrollers .

Downloadable whitepapers and other information on Siemens controllers and integrated safety systems are available online. Visit http://www.controleng.com and click on the SafetyBase area of the homepage.

– Edited by Renee Robbins, senior editor

Control Engineering News Desk

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